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Last Updated: Monday, 11 October, 2004, 07:01 GMT 08:01 UK
Lake hosts 'final' speed records
Lake Windermere is hosting the annual speed records
Lake Windermere is hosting what could be its final Speed Records Week, as 10mph restrictions come into force in March 2005.

Speedboats have come to the Low Wood Centre for 34 years to try to set new records for their class. The current record on Windermere is 154mph.

The new limit is designed to restore tranquillity to the lake.

Organisers say next year's event could move to Coniston, if permission to hold the races on Windermere is denied.

The four busiest areas of Windermere have a 6mph limit, and there will be a 10mph limit elsewhere.

Worldwide interest

Campaigners, including some businesses, say the rescriction will devastate the local economy, which has struggled to recover from the foot-and-mouth crisis of 2001.

Event organiser, Tim Berry, said this year's Speed Records Week is proving more popular than ever with 28 competitors already signed up.

He said of the speed limit introduction: "A lot of people think it is a crying shame, not just for Cumbria but for the rest of the world, because Record Week has worldwide recognition.

"It creates interest from the rest of the world for the Lake District."

He said one option for next year's event was to hold it on Coniston, where organisers can apply to use the lake for world and national record attempts.

Mr Berry said: "We already applied for dispensation to operate next year on Windermere and it was denied, but that was a good few years ago.

"We will reapply for Windermere, but also apply for Coniston - so record-breaking might be back in Coniston next year."

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