Water 'too warm' for ice swimming national championships in Cheltenham

  • Watch Max Walsh's report.

Organisers of the national ice swimming championships in Cheltenham say the water was not cold enough for official times, despite plummeting temperatures this weekend.

For ice swimming the water needs to be below 5C. On Sunday the temperature of the water at Sandford Parks Lido in Cheltenham was 6.7C.

Kate Steels said: "We haven't got a crystal ball. Climate change plays its part. Unfortunately its too warm. But we still have fun, race and it's good training for team GB for the first ever European Championships in Romania."

Taking part in the championships was former olympian Dan Wallace who competed in four different distances on Sunday. He swam for Team GB at the Rio Olympics in 2016 but says he is enjoying the new challenge of ice swimming.

Dan Wallace said: "It's a lot harder (to go faster). Mentally you just have to be committed to the fact that you're going to be cold and uncomfortable. You don't really have to think about that when you're racing in an indoor pool.

"Physically the cold has a big impact on your performance so it's all about experience and your mindset. Today is all about gaining some more experience, getting a few more ice swims under my belt and looking forward to a few more competitions later in the year."

Mr Wallace is due to be racing at the first European championships in a few weeks time in Romania.

Sally Cheung from Cheltenham, who met her partner ice swimming, said it's a sport which is welcoming to everyone and has allowed her to compete all over the world.

Ms Cheung said: "It's the environment, it's friendly and welcoming. It doesn't matter what size, shape or how old you are - when you are in the water everyone is equal.

"It gives you a buzz. It makes you smile. When you get out the water you're smiling - wether you're smiling because you're glad you're out or you're just happy - it's both!"