1. ITV Report

Great East Swim goes ahead a day late

Swimmers take to the water Credit: ITV Anglia

Strong winds forced organisers to postpone the Great East Swim by a day, so it was a relief when swimmers were greeted with sunshine and calm waters on Sunday.

Nearly two thousand swimmers took part in the event at Alton Water near Ipswich, around a thousand fewer than had been expected to take part on Saturday. But organisers say concerns for the participants' safety meant it was essential to postpone the swim.

"Yesterday we had gusts of wind of 30-35 mph so we had a tough decision on Friday to postpone it to Sunday but it was absolutely the right decision - our top priority was the safety of the swimmers."

– Alex Jackson, Event Director, British Gas Great Swim series
Spectators turn out for Great East Swim Credit: ITV Anglia

Thousands of spectators turned up to watch the event. Competitors included two Olympic hopefuls, Thomas Lurz and Swann Oberson. The Great East Swim is less than half the length of the 10k Olympic open water event, but the two swimmers told Anglia News it's still good preparation, as it helps them get used to the English climate and water temperature.

"The race today was really nice, the weather was good, the conditions were perfect so it was nice to race and be a part of the race."

– Thomas Lurz, Olympic Swimmer

The event isn't just for professionals - many of the competitors are amateur swimmers. Some took part for charity, others just for the fun of it.

The event is now in its fourth year and looks set to remain a firm fixture on the East of England sporting calendar.

Swimmers enjoy the day at the Great East Swim Credit: ITV Anglia