This year we have been involved in a couple of new events involving “wild water swimming”. Wild water in this case being the sea! The first one was our Wild Water Swim Working Holiday. This was in early August and 12 hardy individuals booked up for a week of conservation and 4 open water swims along the North Devon Coast. We had full safety cover, provided by South West Outdoors, a local surf/coasteering company, and given the weather conditions this gave all the participants peace of mind. The swimming was challenging because of the swell but every one gave it a go and we had some great swims from Baggy Point back to Croyde beach, from Ilfracombe around the headland to Hele Bay, from Putsborough towards Woolacombe having first to get beyond some big breaking waves and lastly a rather sedate swim with the tide from Instow to Fremington. I’ve had some great feedback from the group which will be used to help plan and deliver next years Swim Working Holiday.
The other event was the Woolacombe Surf Life savers Club Open Water Swim. This was held on the 15th September and involved a 2km and 500m race from Woolacombe Beach. The National Trust were involved this year as one of the sponsors and also in my case one of the participants! The following is an extract taken from the Surf Life Safers club website race report..”A cold wind, choppy 2-3 feet swell and strong drift towards Putsborough meant the conditions were particularly challenging and made the course a lot longer than 2km…” This was a bit of a understatement in my case, and a few others. I must have zig-zagged up and down Woolacombe Beach for an hour and half, eventually running out of time and taken back to the beach by the supporting RNLI safety crew! A little bit disappointed not to complete the course but also a bit relieved! Congratulations to Connor Devine and Cathy Larcombe for coming 1st and 2nd in the 2km race and Mathew Tobin and Jess Surridge for 1st and 2nd in the 500m race, all in amazing times.