Martyn Webster - Lake Annecy

Annecy to Doussard

13.5 km (8.4 miles)

4 hours, 8 minutes on 6 July 2020

Observed and documented by Catherine French



  • Name: Martyn Webster
  • Gender: male
  • Age on swim date: 53
  • Nationality: Great Britain
  • Resides: Rapperswil, Switzerland

Support Personnel

  • Jean Christophe Marcel - pilot
  • Catherine French - observer / feeder
  • Lousianne Marcel-Fortin - crew / 2nd pilot

Escort Vessel: powerboat (unnamed) out of Saint Jorioz

Swim Parameters

  • Category: Solo, nonstop, unassisted.
  • Rules: MSF Rules of Marathon Swimming, without exception or modification.
  • Equipment used: Textile swim briefs, silicone swim cap, goggles, watch

Route Definition

  • Body of Water: Lake Annecy (Lac D’Annecy)
  • Route Type: one-way
  • Start Location: Boat ramp just south of Société des Régates à Voile d’Annecy (45.894395, 6.134859)
  • Finish Location: Just west of Plage du Doussard public beach (45.793095, 6.218714)
  • Minimum Route Distance: 13.5 km (8.4 miles) (map)

Swim Data

  • Start: 6 July 2020, 07:46 (Europe/Paris).
  • Finish: 6 July 2020, 11:55
  • Elapsed: 4 hours, 8 minutes, 51 seconds.

Summary of Conditions

Feature Min Max
Water Temp (C) 22 24
Air Temp (C) 18 24
Wind (kph) 0 20

GPS Track

Trackpoint frequency: 15 minutes. Download raw data (CSV).

Click to expand map.

Speed Plot

Nutrition: UCAN: hourly for first 2 hours, then every 30 minutes

Observer Log

Download PDF


by Martyn Webster

A few years ago I spent an evening in Annecy and fell in love with the old town and the beautiful lake it sits on. From that point I looked around to see if anyone was offering any swims in the lake that I could maybe use to support a swim, but could only find one company to support, as part of a holiday package. Charging an arm and a leg for a swim of 14km. Then during lockdown this year I start to look again and through a great app called Click & Boat I found a couple of pilots with boats. The first I contacted was JC, my eventual pilot for the day. He was intrigued and had never heard of anyone swimming the lake end to end (although I am pretty sure it has been done many times and not documented)

We struck a deal over the phone and I explained my routine and then met up 3 nights before for a beer a to go through the plan for the day – my feeding plan, which side of the boat I swim on, how far from the boat I swim – my expectations of the pilot and observer/support crew etc. Also I wanted to discuss the route and ensure he took the most direct route, to understand a little more about the boat

The plan 3 days out was to swim south to north but the night before it looked like the wind would be blowing North to south…so we decided to switch the swim to north south. Also, the Annecy waterfront is pretty busy during the day with pedalos and ferry boats and we thought it would also be good to start early in Annecy when things were quiet and finish at the quiet end of the lake….and just enjoy the trip back.

The swim itself went to pretty much according to plan from that point onward and was a complete pleasure to swim. It has been nice to swim some smaller swims this year – circa 4 hrs. You can really appreciate what is going on around you. There are beautiful chateuxs along the way and the backdrop of the mountains wither side was stunning

The lake is divided into 2 - Lac D’Annecy and the Petit Lac. There are some great visual sighting point along the way that

  • Le Palace De Menthon – a fantastic white hotel 7.5km… can see from 4 km out
  • Chateau de Duingt at the turning point is pretty stunning and marks about 9km done.

And the Port de plaisance de Doussard you can see from 12km so you know you are nearly there.

The only issues I had was feeding. I have been experimenting with UCan in training but cannot get the stuff to stop clumping when hot, even after mixing with tepid water to start. My first bottles were Ok as I pre-made them, but from the third feed onwards the feed nozzle just kept getting blocked and I ended up unscrewing the lid each time. No big issue, just a little lost time.

Just before I reached the end a sailing school decided to start a training day. So the area immediately in front of the finish was full of sail boats. Fortunately for me the pilot spoke with someone in control and they stopped to allow me through to the finish.


Click to enlarge.