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There’s something for everyone at this weekend’s Ecover Blue Mile in Weymouth, with open water swims, water sport races and taster sessions, an Olympic gold medallist, and Octonauts activities for fans of the hit CBeebies show.

The Ecover Blue Mile on 19-20 July kicks off the Dorset Festival of Sport and follows the hugely successful inaugural event in 2013. Just like last year, the event on Weymouth’s stunning main beach is in support of the Ecover Blue Mile’s charity partner, the Marine Conservation Society (MCS), who will have a stand in the event village.

Star of the show is one of GB’s 2012 heroes, Tim Baillie, who will be at the event throughout the weekend. Tim will be on the beach signing autographs and chatting – and he’ll be taking part in the stand up paddleboarding (SUP) and kayak racing. After winning gold with Etienne Stott in the C2 canoe slalom event, Tim will be the man to beat in the kayaking!

Tim says he can’t wait for the action to start: “On a sunny day, there’s nothing better really than being on the water, it’s a great environment.”

For children and families, there’s the chance to have a go at kayaking and SUP and to take part in some fun Octonauts activities. SEA LIFE Weymouth will have a stand in the Ecover Blue Mile event village all weekend where children can grab themselves some Octonauts stickers and activity sheets and take part in a competition that could win them the chance for a VIP meet & greet with members of the Octonauts’ crew, including Captain Barnacles, Kwazii and Peso, who are at  SEA LIFE Weymouth this summer.

The Octonauts – whose motto is ‘Explore! Rescue! Protect!’ – are an international TV hit and are working with MCS and SEA LIFE Weymouth to encourage children and their families to learn more about our oceans and creatures in them, as well as how to protect them, all through exciting animated adventures and fun activities.

If you’re heading for Weymouth Beach, here’s what’s happening over the Ecover Blue Mile weekend.

Saturday 19 July:
This year sees the introduction of timed open water swimming events to the programme. People can choose between 750m or 1 mile. The action starts at 10am with the start of the 750m swims; the 1-mile swims start at 11am.

At 1pm, the teams take to the water for the team challenge where each of the three members tackles one of the three disciplines – swim, SUP and kayak.

The gruelling aquatriathlon gets under way at 3pm. In this event, participants do a mile of each of the three disciplines.

Sunday 20 July:
The paddlers take centre stage on the second day of the Weymouth Ecover Blue Mile, with the SUP and kayak 750m races starting at 10am. The sprint heats are at 11am, with the finals taking place at 2pm. The weekend’s programme concludes with the 1-mile SUP and kayak events at 3pm. The SUP events are part of the 2014 Naish N1SCO SUP race series.

Throughout the weekend, there are taster sessions in SUP and kayak, with qualified trainers from Canoe England and Naish UK. The equipment is provided by Naish and Fatyak Kayaksand people can have a go for just a £3 donation to the MCS. These sessions are absolutely perfect for families and they went down a storm at the 2013 event.

The MCS will be at the event village, together with their Sea Champions. They’ll have some top tips on what we can all do to protect our seas, shores and wildlife and if you’d like to become a volunteer, here’s your chance to sign up.

There’s no need to pre-register for the taster sessions. To sign up for the races, visit the Ecover Blue Mile website.