Traversée du Lac d’Annecy (or Lake Annecy Traverse)
This open water swim is an annual event held on the “quinze août” in Annecy. It’s been going since 1931. The 15th of August is often regarded as the beginning of the end of the summer holidays in France. When it falls on a weekday it is taken as a bank holiday. This year it fell on a Saturday so we “lost” the holiday!
Full details of the swim, pictures, drone footage and results can be found on the event website. http://www.traverseedulacdannecy.fr/
About 1500 people took part this year. The numbers were boosted in no small part by 40 who had come down from Bathgate Swimming Club in Scotland. Bravo à tous!
There are three distances you can swim 1000m, 2400m and 5000m. There is also a 500m swim for the under 10’s. About 1500 people take part over the morning with the 2.4km swim being the most popular. I did the 2.4km last year and fancied having a go at the 5km this year. Thanks to the fact this longer distance is part of the French Cup it is quite competitive. The first woman to finish was Aurelie Muller (10k open water World Champion) in 1:02:35 and the men’s winner Romain Béraud is current French Champion over 5km, he was only 2 seconds ahead of the current European 25k champion Axel Raymond. To give you an idea how fast that is. Their average pace for 100m is 1’10”. That would be 16 seconds per 25m in your local pool. If you can swim that fast over 25 m (starting from in the water!), just imagine trying to keep it up for 5km!
There is quite a lengthy video here produced by the organisers after last years event.
And a short article and video here from France 3, it starts off by featuring the water dogs that are used to help with the rescues. France 3 Alpes
The route is marked on this map (you can click on it to make it larger), the ideal route as a broad red line and my efforts are the thinner line. My swimming is not as erratic as this makes it look. It’s hard for a GPS to keep track of its position when it is spending half the time under water!
The full details on Strava are here.
It’s always easy to keep an eye on the temperature of Lac Annecy by looking at this website.
There are details of a secret swimming spot on Lake Annecy here. http://wildswim.com/lac-dannecy-roc-du-chere
Which have come from this book on open water swimming in France. http://www.wildswimming.co.uk/wild-swimming-france/
I’ve written a couple of other blog posts on swimming in the Haute Savoie, I have put them here for reference.