The 13th annual Solent Swim, from Hurst Castle to Colwell Bay, in aid of the West Wight Sports & Community Centre took place last Sunday (August 27).
More than 40 swimmers set off from Hurst Castle just after 7am, arriving on the slipway at Colwell Bay from 7:30am, escorted by volunteers, kayakers and a flotilla of small boats creating a swim corridor, alongside the Freshwater Independent Lifeboat crews ensuring the safety of everyone in the water.
A large crowd of family, friends and supporters gathered on the beach at Colwell Bay, cheering the swimmers to the finish as they arrived on the slipway where they triumphantly donned their commemorative t-shirts (sponsored by Yarmouth Harbour).
Kim Jennings, from East Cowes, took part in the event for the first time and said: “An absolutely magnificent swim and event! Thank you to everyone who made this day so special. Congratulations to everyone!”
Centre manager, Clare Griffin, thanked everyone who made the swim possible after it had previously been postponed due to the weather. She said: “Thank you to the 32 kayakers, boat crews, Freshwater Lifeboat, Captain’s Cabin, Yarmouth Harbour, Needles Pleasure Cruises, Blackhouse Quay Aggregates and all the beach crews – we couldn’t do it without you.”
The Solent Swim event is the main fund-raiser for West Wight Sports & Community Centre, which relies on grants, donations and fund-raising to provide sport, wellbeing and social activities for the community. More than 450 people have swum the Solent, raising over £240,000 for the charity.