Over 700 swimmers joined us on the 14th June 2018 for a Bantham Swoosh at dawn, and what a swim it was! With bright blue skies and crystal clear waters, many of the swimmers just wanted to keep on swimming past the finish line. The swim was also a family affair this year, with camping at Bantham and a mini swoosh event for children, which, along with the weather, made the weekend so much more than just a swim.
The River Avon was at its best for the Swoosh, with a balmy temperature of around 15.8°C and the clearest, most settled water we could imagine – every shell, leaf and branch were on show, and the wonderful sandy bottom (one of the wonderful attributes of this swim) was sparkling away – conditions we normally only dream of! The first swimmer came in after just over an hour, and as the tide dropped swimmers swooshed in with huge smiles on their faces, asking if they could do it all again. The addition of camping and our mini swoosh were a particular hit:
“It was great to be able to bring along the family – my 16 year old did his first open water event while my two younger ones loved the mini swoosh (especially riding on the back of the jet ski!)” – Sophie Hill.
“Despite the warm conditions swimmers still headed to the warming tent after the swim, with skins swimmers saying just how great it was to know you could warm up at the finish line: I took a visit to the warm-up tents and was treated like royalty. Very grateful for their services!” – Tracey Hall.
“Lovely swim and super slick event. Love to all the smiley volunteers, you guys made this event! My face aches from smiling back. You’ve won the heart of my Mini Swoosher” – swimmer
“Terrific event. Glad to have been part of it. What a smashing swim.” – swimmer
“Absolutely awesome. Thank you for such an amazingly organised event, brilliant location, fabulous volunteers, great water safety, fantastic weather! Loved it” – swimmer
(Thanks to the OSSTeam from a swimmer who arrived late on Friday night to find she didn’t have her swimbag in the car). “I have been a part of loads of running, cycling / triathlon races but never a swim similar to the Swoosh and nothing by OSS. I was so incredibly amazed by everyone’s openness and friendliness as well as your own and friends’ willingness to lend belongings. Thank you so much. You absolutely made my weekend! The Swoosh was amazing, I loved every second and would love to join again next year. The organisation and friendliness made it a memorable event. Please do let me know if I can help by volunteering, I would be grateful to return the generosity shown by the OSS.” ” – swimmer
For the first time we welcomed children to the Bantham Swoosh. These ‘mini swooshers’ got to enjoy the best bit without any of the hard work, getting picked up by a jet ski along with their parent, being whizzed up the river, and then swooshing back to the finish line to an applauding crowd. Children of all ages joined in, and all beamed away as they enjoyed a high speed adventure!
Golden ticket holders, who are swimming all three of the Outdoor Swimming Society events this year, were gathered together for a barbecue on Friday evening, hosted by our directors, Kate, Tim, Kari and Oli, to welcome them to their summer of swimming. With a mix of seasoned OSS regular swimmers and some who had just set themselves a challenge, the golden ticket holders spent an evening eating good food, chatting about the adventures they were about to have and swapping tips on events, all to a backdrop of a setting sun over Bantham Beach.
‘I’ve never been to an event where so many people leave the water smiling’, one of our volunteers mentioned as they were helping people out of the water, and our photographer, Vivienne Rickman-Poole, photos suggest that was true! The swim had a great atmosphere and we can’t wait until next year (provisional date 5th of July 2019), especially with plans afoot for a longer swim – watch this space!
Our charity swimmers also did an amazing job of fundraising for our chosen charity partners. Swimmers who swam for Level Water raised an awesome £35,000, which will be used to teach 70 children how to swim, through 3,500 lessons in 7 towns, for a year! Six swimmers also raised a brilliant £2000 for Aveton Gifford Community Pool. Countless other swimmers also swam for their own personal causes, such as Charlie Wylie raising money for the charity she recently founded, the Callum Wylie Foundation, which aims to raise awareness about Aspergers/high functioning autism. Amazing effort by all!
Whilst all of us at The Outdoor Swimming Society had a great time, we do understand some people may have suggestions for future improvements to the event.We are already looking into how we can revise our registration system for 2019, in a continued year on year effort to reduce traffic issues, but if you do have any feedback we would love to hear it: please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The full photo gallery can be seen on Facebook here. Full gallery on our website to follow soon.
Check the results for the 2018 Swoosh here.
We’re already looking forward to seeing you next year!
A massive thank you goes to all those who made the 2018 Swoosh so brilliant: swimmers, volunteers, water safety team, charity partners and supporters. Special thanks to Alpkit, with huge thanks going to Dryrobe; Clif Bar; Clipper Teas; Swimcap; Warren’s Bakery; Salcombe Brewery, Bantham Estate & Aveton Gifford Parish Council.
Thanks to our friends at Dryrobe, anyone who ended up in the rewarming shelter, wasn’t cold for long.
Thanks to Clif Bar, swimmers were given a Clif bar along with a hot drink on the finish line.
Bantham Swoosh swim cap supported by Swimcap.com