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feeding tammy as she swims

Swimming and Racing on the Loch

Loch Ness is really too cold for a casual swim.  The average temperature is 50°F, and it's never lukewarm.  But it's a challenge that competitive swimmers and boaters enjoy.

Most recently, Australian "Superfish" Tammy Van Wisse set a new record for swimming the 24 mile length of the Loch in 1999.  Her time of 9 hours and 6 minutes was 15 minutes faster than the previous record.

"People always want to know how I keep my mind together. Sometimes while you’re doing a swim you start to think ‘Why am I here?’ Your arms feel soooooo heavy and you just feel soooooo bad and you really do hit rock bottom. I try to listen to a lot of music before a swim and I memorise it. I find I have the ability to switch on tapes in my mind and then when I get low I can just go with a beat and it picks me up again.

"I have the crew to thank too – my brother John is always with me and because he’s a swimmer he understands what I go through. Sometimes he’ll write jokes on a board to keep me laughing, or he’ll give me information on how many strokes-per-minute I’m doing and what the weather’s like. The crew have to live through the experience with me."

The picture above shows Tammy's crew feeding her.

John Rhodes Cobb raced both cars and motorboats. On Sept. 29, 1952, John broke world speed records for a motorboat  while racing on Loch Ness. As he surpassed 200 mph, his boat disintegrated.  He was pulled alive from the lake and died later that day at Inverness, Scotland.  His record didn't count because the standards for setting motorboat speed records require the boat to break previous records going opposite directions.  A memorial for John Rhodes Cobb stands near the southern end of Loch Ness.

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To learn more about Tammy Van Wisse:

Permission to use picture of Tammy Van Wisse:

Scotland on Line, Gateway East, Technology Park, Dundee DD2 1SW
Tel: 01382 429014
Mob: 07771 610191
Web site:

To learn more about John Rhodes Cobb:

John Cobb speedboat record setter memorial: