About 1000 swimmers aged 7 to 82 are gearing up to be legends of the lake in Rotorua this weekend.

For the third year, Tikitapu (Blue Lake) will play host to the four course event with distances designed for swimmers of all abilities including children, those looking for a personal challenge and the more competitive long-distance swimmers.

Event director Scott Rice said the event was one of the most popular in the seven-swim season, attracting people from all walks of life to the only freshwater swim in the series.

"This year we have a huge range of swimmers, from youngsters who are setting their sights on their first big swim, to those smashing a personal goal, to some more seasoned swimmers who do it every year and that's the great thing about this type of event, anyone who puts their mind to it can cross that finish line," said Rice.

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The Banana Boat Ocean Swim Series runs from November 2017 to April 2018 and includes the Harbour Crossing (Auckland) on November 18, Duke of Marlborough Hotel Bay of Islands Classic (Paihia) on December 16, Interislander Capital Classic (Wellington) on January 28 and this Saturday's Donelley Sawmillers Legend of the Lake.

Still to come are the Generation Homes Sand to Surf (Mt Maunganui) on March 10, Interislander Big Tahuna (Nelson) on March 31 and the King of the Bays (North Shore, Auckland) on April 14.

Donnelly Sawmillers Rotorua Legend of the Lake

When: Saturday, staggered starts from 10.30am – 1.05pm
Where: Tikitapu (Blue Lake)
Distances: OceanKids 200m, 500m 'Give It A Go', 1km 'Step It Up', 3.3km 'I'm Going Long'
Fastest 2017: 3:26mins – OceanKids, 9:07mins – Give It A Go, 13:42mins – Step It Up, 40:28mins – I'm Going Long