THE EXMOOR Open Water Swim 2021 was held on Sunday September 26 and it was a huge success.

By far this event is one of the most popular swims in the South West and it takes place on Wimbleball Lake.

This year there were 920 participants which included a mix of professional athletes and recreational swimmers, the oldest being 81 and the youngest just 10.

One of the swimmers, Tania Genevieve Mugleston said she had an amazing time.

"Thanks for a wonderful encouraging commentary at the event that emphasized personal goals and supporting one another, what a well organized and Chilled Event."

Somerset County Gazette: Tania Genevieve Muglestone at the finish lineTania Genevieve Muglestone at the finish line

Each swimmer was able to choose between the Elite 6km, the 4km, 2km and 1km distance.

Every one received a time and and a finishers medal however for some it was still competitive.

The Men's 6km Elite race was won by professional long distance swimmer Neil Gilson in a time of 1:20:13, he said it was a great event.

"Really enjoyed myself today, it was a great event and I am very happy with the result," Gilson said.

Joshua Surridge came in second and third was Matthew Hann.

Somerset County Gazette: The first three finishers in the 6kmThe first three finishers in the 6km

The Women’s 6km Elite race was won by skins swimmer Sian Pearson, a seasoned swimmer and a previous winner at the Exmoor.

What makes her performance even more impressive is she swam in skins and not a wetsuit, and she was the fastest swimmer, male or female to finish.

Lynsey Willis crossed the line in second and Anita Whittle was third.

Gold for the 4km was snatched by Alistair Maclean in a time of 52:46, with the first woman in the 4km being Leni Skelin in 58:52, an under 16 athlete.

Another young participant took gold for the 2km; Charles Simpson finished in 26 minutes flat, he narrowly beat overall second place Grace Nolan who was first woman across the line and such gets a gold and silver medal, she finished in 26:49.

First across the line for the 1km event was Peter Welsh in 17:38 and first woman was Under 16 Sara Sari in an impressive time of 17:45.

It’s the second year that Exmoor Open Water has put on the 1km event, which attracted almost 200 participants.

Somerset County Gazette: Wonderwoman made an appearanceWonderwoman made an appearance

The swim has raised over £10000 for various charities including: Somerset Wild Life Trust Chill Therapy CIC, Plastic Free North Devon, Children’s Hospice South West, and Breast Cancer Charity UK.