London 2012 Olympic gold medallist Tim Baillie will be the star of the show at the Weymouth Ecover Blue Mile taking place off the resort’s main beach on 19-20 July.
Tim and his canoe slalom C2 partner Etienne Stott gloriously claimed gold for Britain, just pipping GB team-mates David Florence and Richard Hounslow in a thrilling finale to the event.
Tim will be taking part in some of the water sports activities on both days of the Ecover Blue Mile in Weymouth, which is part of the town’s Festival of Sports to mark the second anniversary of the Olympic sailing events off Weymouth.
People who sign up to take part in the event will be able to race against Tim in the kayak and stand up paddleboard races. And he will be at the event all day on each of the days – a great chance for the public to chat with an Olympic winner.
The Ecover Blue Mile features timed open water swims; kayak and SUP events; a team challenge; and the gruelling aquatriathlon. There are also taster sessions in kayak and SUP, which proved hugely popular with families at the 2013 event.
The Festival of Sports is organised by Weymouth and Portland Borough Council as part of the town’s Olympic legacy. Tim says London 2012 has made a difference for water sports in the UK: “When we chat to people at grassroots level they say that things have picked up and there are a lot of really good initiatives.
“Creating a lasting legacy by getting more people involved in sport is massively important – it’s what London built their Olympics bid on. In my sport, we have a phenomenal legacy and that’s our Olympic venue at Lee Valley. It’s the best course in the world and a lot of people can benefit from it.”
The Weymouth Ecover Blue Mile aims to get more people active on the water and is great for both experienced participants and people who want to try out something new.
For Tim, it’s his first visit to the resort – and he can’t wait to take part in the mass participation event: “On a sunny day, there’s nothing better really than being on the water, it’s a great environment.
“I didn’t manage to get to Weymouth to see any of the Olympic sailing events and I’m really looking forward to seeing what facilities they’ve got there and to see what opportunities there are for members of the public to try water sports.”
All of the Ecover Blue Mile events are in support of the UK charity, the Marine Conservation Society. The kayak events feature Fatyak Kayaks and the SUP races are part of the Naish N1SCO SUP race series.
People can sign up to take part by visiting the website: www.thebluemile.com