Surf photographer hidden in cold waters to photograph cyclists

No public was allowed at the World Cup cyclo-cross and so many photographers could not shoot action images of the world top.

However, that was expected without Maarten Van de Velde. He was in the water for an hour and a half taking pictures. “A last-minute inspiration,” Maarten tells HLN. “When I was watching the Women's World Cup on Saturday from my warm seat, I immediately noticed how close some of them were to the waterline. They actually even cycled in the sea. ”

And so Van de Velde forged a nice plan. “From the water this could only produce unique photos, I immediately thought. When I saw on TV that no other photographer was standing in that water, it only started to itch more and more. It was of course already much too late to apply for accreditation as a photographer for the men's competition the next day. ”

The man appeared regularly during the live broadcast. “Beforehand I had gathered some information here and there and was told that the beach would be off limits, but the sea itself was considered a free zone. Which meant they couldn't really make me much. I then entered the sea 500 meters next to the course and swam towards "my position". "

When he got out of the water, the police were waiting for him. “After about 45 minutes on the spot, I swam back a meter to my starting point 500 meters further, some 'blue friends' were there waiting for me. But fortunately without any harm, I got away with an admonition ... ”

How were the water conditions, compared to the most difficult situations you have faced in your photographer experience? 

It was one of the coldest days I’ve ever been in the water! I think the air temperature was about 2-3 degrees, and the water about 5-6 degrees. And then this strong easterly wind, the coldest wind we have in winter, cutting through everything. But apart from the cold, the sea was very nice. Waves were nice to me, compared to other days I’ve been swimming.

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