Race organisers Take £1 Million Insurance To Protect Swimmers

Over 100 fearless athletes are to be insured for up to £1 million against the possibility of being bitten by the Loch Ness monster as they brave the chilly waters of Loch Ness this month.

Insurance company NIG is providing the cover for competitors in a major international adventure triathlon being staged in and around Loch Ness, Scotland on Saturday 23 July.

Teams from the UK, France, South Africa, Italy and Germany will all be required to swim two laps of the notorious Urquhart Bay in Loch Ness – scene of many of the most famous sightings of Nessie.

Ex-TV Gladiator Ali Paton, formerly known as Siren, will also be required to take the plunge as she fronts television coverage of the event for Channel Five.

The race is being organised by Nova International, the company behind the Great North Run. Nova’s Communications Director David Hart said:

"With so many top athletes in the water of Loch Ness at one time, we couldn’t take the risk of one of them being attacked by Nessie, so decided to find insurance. These competitors will all be very psyched up and very driven so there’s going to be a lot of noise and a lot of splashing going on – just the sort of thing that might annoy a prehistoric lake monster. Or even worse…give it an appetite."

NIG, the company insuring the race’s participants, is the sister company of Direct Line and Churchill Insurance. NIG’s head of commercial insurance David Parker said:

"From an insurance perspective, this is a very unusual risk and a lot of insurers wouldn’t want to deal with it. We’re providing up to £1 million of cover in case any competitor sustains injuries that can be proven to be the result of an attack by the Loch Ness monster."

The Visit Scotland Adventure Triathlon includes a 1500 metre, morning swim in Loch Ness; a 19km, afternoon mountain bike race and an evening 10km trail run.

Any prospective competitors in the adventure tri or the separate 10km trail run should visit www.greatrun.org to enter on-line.

28 Apr 2006