The "Bassin de la Villette" was created during the Napoleon years with the idea of offering drinking water to the Parisians and to supply water to "Canal Saint Martin" for example. Originally it was surrounded by green space, a few decades later industry took over … and other drinking water resources were fortunately made available. (You can read more about the Bassin de la Villette and the Canal Saint Martin in some of my previous posts, e.g. here, here, here and here.)
The water in the Bassin is now again clean enough for bathing and swimming. It will probably be open for public bathing in 2017, but in the meantime the French Swimming Federation has this summer organised some races. Three races took place last Sunday, the longest being 5 km (3.1 miles).
The Seine River is not yet open for bathing, but continued water quality improvement is going on and, if Paris gets the 2024 Olympics, some competitions will take place in the river.
Thus last Sunday I watched the 3 km (1.9 miles) morning race, which meant making three tours around the red buoys in a 25°C water (77°F).
Security and organisation staff took their places…
… the swimmers were getting ready...
… and jumped into the water, heading for the starting line.
The ladies started a few minutes later.
A few views of the swimmers, almost all crawling.
Everybody did not participate in the race - nor did I. :-).