Pardoe breaks 26-year old Windermere End-to-End Swim Record – British Swimming

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5 Sep 2023
Tokyo 2020 Olympian Hector Pardoe has set a new record for the fastest swim from end to end of Windermere, solidifying his position as a growing force in the world of marathon swimming and raising money for charity in the process. 
In a remarkable feat of endurance and determination, 22-year old Pardoe’s impressive achievement took place on Saturday 2nd September, as he embarked on a gruelling swim of Windermere, the largest natural lake in England. 
Battling challenging conditions, pushing his physical limits, and negotiating a busy lake, Pardoe completed the 10.5-mile (16.9 km) swim in an astonishing 3:40.28, surpassing the previous record, set by Justin Palfrey in 1997, by eight minutes.

“I am absolutely thrilled to have broken the Windermere end-to-end swim record. It was an intense challenge, but the stunning scenery and the support from my team and fans kept me motivated throughout,” said Pardoe.
“This accomplishment is a testament to the hard work and dedication I’ve put into my training. I hope to inspire others to pursue their dreams, no matter how daunting they may seem.”
Setting off just after a field of 500 participants in the Aquasphere Chillswim swim event from Fell Foot at the southern end of Windermere, Hector’s achievement was monitored by representatives of the BLDSA (British Long Distance Swimming Association) who administer the record for this swim.
The achievement was recognised and celebrated those swimmers who had achieved their own personal goal in completing the challenging 11-mile swim. Hector hopes his accomplishment will inspire even more swimmers and outdoor enthusiasts to take on challenges that test their limits and showcase their talent.
Pardoe was also using the swim as an opportunity to raise funds for the Lake District Foundation to support projects to sustain its spectacular landscape, wildlife and cultural heritage.
“As someone who competes in lakes, rivers and seas around the world, I am acutely aware of the impact of pollution of these bodies of water. I was really keen to support work to maintain the quality of water in the Lake District which is globally recognised for its amazing lakes, meres and tarns. I’m happy that I can draw attention to, and support the work that the Lake District Foundation do in this area.” Hector said ahead of the swim.
Forthcoming competition plans for Pardoe will see him target heading out to Doha in early 2024 for the World Aquatics Championships to contest the Men’s 10km marathon swim, which will act as the qualification event for the Paris 2024 Olympics – set to take place in the river Seine with the iconic backdrop of the Eiffel Tower.
Hector Pardoe’s GoFundMe page in support of the Lake District Foundation can be viewed at
Seven British swimmers will set foot onto the pontoon for the 2023 LEN European Junior Open Water Championships in Corfu, Greece at the end of September.
Great Britain rounded off their time at the first-ever LEN European U23 Swimming Championships by taking a total of 13 medals – including a quintet of European golds – and gaining valuable experience ahead of an Olympic year across three days of exciting competition in Dublin.
British Swimming are deeply saddened to hear of the death of Olympian Helen Smart (née Helen Don-Duncan).