Loch Ness is a large, deep, freshwater 37-kilometer (23-mile) loch in the Scottish Highlands. It is is part of the Still Water Eight and is best known for the alleged sightings of the cryptozoological Loch Ness Monster, also known affectionately as "Nessie". Loch Ness is one of a series of interconnected, murky bodies of water in Scotland; its water visibility is exceptionally low due to a high peat content in the surrounding soil. Loch Ness is the second largest Scottish loch by surface area at 56.4 km2 (21.8 sq mi) after Loch Lomond, but due to its great depth, it is the largest by volume. It contains more fresh water than all the lakes in England and Wales combined, and is the largest body of water on the Great Glen Fault, which runs from Inverness in the north to Fort William in the south.
Triple Crown of Lake Monster Swims
Loch Ness is part of the Triple Crown of Lake Monster Swims due to its alleged sightings of the cryptozoological Loch Ness Monster, also known affectionately as "Nessie" It appears its distantly related creature is the Memphre in Lake Memphremagog that borders the State of Vermont, U.S.A. and Quebec, Canada in the Northwest Kingdom, and Tessie (or Tahoe Tessie) in Lake Tahoe that borders the states of California and Nevada in the western United States.
Open Water Swimming
Loch Ness was the site of the August 1977 Loch Ness Monster Swim, the third of three match races between Des Renford and Kevin Murphy. It was first crossed by Brenda Sherratt in 1966 when she finished the crossing in 31 hours 27 minutes.
Crossings & Attempts
- 1966 Brenda Sherratt, 31 hour 27 minute one-way solo
- 1970 Ron Fletcher 14 hour 1 minute one-way solo
- 1974 Michael Read, 14 hour 23 minute 46 second one-way solo on 17 August
- 1974 Kevin Murphy went unconscious 10 hours after start
- 1976 Kevin Murphy, 10 hour 30 minute one-way solo on his second attempt
- 1977 Kevin Murphy in The Great Duel: Nothing Great is Easy DNF in the 8°C water after 9-10 hours
- 1977 Des Renford in The Great Duel: Nothing Great is Easy DNF in the 8°C water after 5 hours
- 1981 David Morgan, 12 hour 19 minute one-way solo at the age of 18 on 22 August while also completing crossings of the English Channel and Loch Lomond all within the span of 4 days
- 1983 David Morgan, 23 hour 4 minute two-way crossing with 9 hour 57 minute first leg, 13 hour 7 minute second leg
- 1984 Kevin McIntosh, 15 hour 31 minute 4 second one-way solo
- 1995 Rachel Godburn, 9 hour 25 minute 37 second one-way solo
- 1997 Colleen Blair, 14 hour 32 minute 7 second one-way solo
- 1999 Tammy van Wisse, 9 hour 6 minute one-way solo
- 2004 Liane Llewellyn, 9 hour 49 minute 24 second one-way solo
- 2005 Julie Bradshaw, Dee Llewellyn, Liane Llewellyn, Pip Spibey, Andrea Gellan, and Lucy Roper, three-way relay in 34 hours 36 minutes
- 2008 Michael Cross, 12 hour 9 minute 15 second one-way solo
- 2010 Serpentine Ladies, 13 hour 23 minute one-way relay
- 2012 Lucy Moseley, Kim Stewart, Laura Stewart, Ewan Stewart, and Alison Kelly, 11 hour 40 minutes one-way relay (wetsuit)
- 2013 James Leitch, 10 hour 50 minute 9 second one-way solo
- 2014 Georgina Jenner, Kay Hughes, Kirsten Jenkins, Paul Bloomfield, Melina Abbott, and Susan Derbyshire, 12 hour 49 minute one-way relay
- 2015 Elaine Howley, 13 hour 21 minute 41 secondone-way solo on 22 August
- 2015 Sarah Thomas, 10 hour 52 minute one-way solo on 22 August
- 2015 Craig Lenning, 13 hour 47 minute 24 second one-way solo on 22 August
- 2015 Marcy MacDonald 11 hour 59 minute 8 second one-way solo
- 2016 Helen Beveridge, 18 hour 22 minute 16 second one-way solo
- 2018 Joe Zemaitis and John Zemaitis, 11 hours 22 minutes tandem one-way solo
Loch Ness is part of the Stillwater 8, a solo marathon swimming challenge created by Michelle Macy:
- Loch Ness, Scotland
- Lake Zürich, Switzerland
- Lake Tahoe, USA
- Lake Taupo, New Zealand
- Lake Ontario, Canada
- Lake Titicaca, Bolivia
- Lake Malawi, Malawi, Africa
- Sea of Galilee, northwest Israel
Completion of the Still Water Eight can be recorded in three categories:
2. non-wetsuit (i.e., FINA approved swim suits)
3. channel-standard swimwear (i.e., traditional swimming briefs for men and no arm or leg coverage for women)
If the swimmer chooses to swim one of the Still Water Eight swims in a wetsuit, they would fall into the wetsuit category. Likewise if they swim in a FINA-approved swimsuit, they fall in that category. If they swim across all the lakes in channel-standard swimwear, then they fall into the channel-standard category.
Every swim attempt must start and finish on dry land.
1. Loch Ness (Scotland): 23 miles/37K, water temperature averages 50°F/10°C in season. Known for its deep black and chilling waters.
2. Windemere (England): 10.5 miles/16.9K, water temperature can be as low as 55°F/13°C in season. The largest natural lake in England.
3. Lake Zürich (Switzerland): 16.4 miles/26.4K, water temperature 66.2–75.2°F/19-24°C. This lake has an annual international competition.
4. Lake Tahoe (USA): 21 miles/35.4K, water temperature is 50–58°F/10–14.4°F. Difficult due to cool water and air temperatures and high altitude.
5. Lake Baikal (Russia): 7-10 miles/11-16K or blaze a course of equal or greater distance,water temperature can be as low as 50°F/10°C. The world’s oldest and deepest lake is also a UNISECO World Heritage Site.
6. Lake Taupo (New Zealand): 21 miles/34K, water temperature 51–73°F/11–23°C. The largest lake in New Zealand is located on the North Island.
7. Lake Ontario (Canada): 31.5 miles/51K, water temperatures are variable in a matter of hours due to wind (50–72°F/10-22°C. Difficult swim due to unpredictable wind and currents.
8. Lake Titicaca (Bolivia–Peru): Temperature is 56-58°F/13-14.5°F and is highest lake in the Americas.
Loch Ness is part of the Triple Loch, a swim across the three longest lochs in Scotland (Loch Lomond, Loch Ness and Loch Awe).
Loch Ness is one of the global locations of the Vampire Swims, a series of open water swims held on 31 October.
Vampire Swims are also a great way to kick off the cold water, winter swimming season in those locations where swimming continues year round. Entry fee for these swims will include proof that the swimmer has donated blood within 6 weeks prior to the swim. Some venues are arranging a blood mobile to collect donations immediately after the swim. Those who cannot make a donation of blood for medical reasons can make a cash donation to the Red Cross or some other similar organization. A US$10 registration fee will also be expected of each swimmer to cover the cost of a custom, bloody-toothed swim cap and other incidental expenses with any remainder also to be donated to the Red Cross or other equivalent organizations that collect and distribute blood.
• Newport, Vermont (Lake Memphremagog) (Phil White)
• Boston, Massachusetts (Greg O’Connor)
• New York, New York (Jaimie Monahan)
• Westport, Connecticut (Liz Fey)
• Ottawa, Ontario (Nadine Bennett)
• Kingston, Ontario (Deborah Durbin)
• Loch Ness, Scotland (Helen Beveridge)
• Loch Lomond, Scotland (Chris Sifleet)
• Flathead Lake, Polson, Montana (Mark Johnston)
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