Felixstowe Harbor Worker’s Welsh Swimming Success
12:00 18 June 2022
A Suffolk port worker is floating on cloud nine after beating nearly 150 competitors to win a swimming competition on a Welsh lake.
Jeremy Clipstone, who works in Felixstowe, swam 4.5km across Lake Bala in Wales in one hour, 16 minutes and 23 seconds to win the Big Bala Swim 2022 organized by the swimming and swimming society outdoor run Love SwimRun.
He spoke of his surprise at finding out he had won the race.
He said: “I was very surprised to see that I finished first, but only 90 swimmers had finished at that time. Nevertheless, I felt that I had achieved my goal and was in the top 10, even the top 5.
“However, as time went on and more swimmers came in, I stayed in first place. When the awards show started, I checked the times and couldn’t believe I was number one.
The Suffolk Coastal Port Health Authority ICT team supervisor is no stranger to fitness and competed in triathlons for 11 years as a Royal Air Force Sergeant, while also being an orienteering champion of the British Army of the Rhine for two consecutive years.
He said: “Fitness is a big part of my life that has been instilled in me since I joined the armed forces.”
Mr Clipstone also had to overcome difficulties with his suit which he was only using for the second time.
He said: “It was only my second time swimming in my new wetsuit which could have caused serious chafing issues after long periods in open water and was a schoolboy mistake.
“Fortunately, I came out unscathed and was pleasantly surprised to learn that I had come first, as I hadn’t been to a big event for some time.”
He swam for three hours a week in preparation and cycled for 10 hours a week, in addition to participating in an open water swim.
Participants rode the historic Bala Lake Railway steam train along the shores of Lake Bala, also known as Llyn Tegid, where they traveled a great distance before hitting the beach.
Swimmers had to cover 4.5 km at all times within a four and a half hour window and were ranked according to the total time they took.