Swimmers Stoked For Solent Swim

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

21 swimmers will take the plunge in the Solent Swim Challenge on October 5th from Stokes Bay to Ryde in aid of the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust.

The swim was originally planned for August 17th, but Mother Nature had other plans.

The swimmers, whose initial plans were squashed due to strong winds, come from across the south of England.

They have raised more than £24,000 for the Isle of Wight-based charity which takes young people aged between 8 and 24 sailing to help them regain their confidence on their way to recovery from cancer.

Anna Wardley and the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust have teamed up to organise the charity swim. “We’ve been watching the weather really closely over the last few days with expert advice from our meteorologist, Simon Rowell, as there are two low pressure systems approaching that will bring with them high winds. However, according to the latest forecast it looks like we’ll just get the window between the two to run the swim on Sunday so we’re all set with a huge volunteer support team and 21 swimmers raring to go after months of training,” explains Wardley.

The swim is a long time coming for more than one reason.

Some of the participants could not swim more than a few lengths of a pool before they began their training. The charitable pod is now regularly swimming several miles a week in the waters of the Solent.  Others are seasoned open water swimmers who are looking forward to adding the Solent Swim Challenge to their swimming resumes. The 2.5-nautical mile course from Stokes Bay, Gosport, to Ryde Sands on the Isle of Wight, across the busy shipping lanes of the Solent, is a classically challenging open water swim courses.

Clare Ryan from the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust said, “We want to say a big ‘thank you’ to the swimmers for their amazing fundraising efforts. They have done such a fantastic job. I’m very impressed by the level of commitment they’ve shown to training for the Solent Swim Challenge and we’re so pleased that it looks like we’re going to get the weather window we need this weekend for the swim to go ahead safely.

It’s shaping up to be a fantastic weekend and I hope members of the public will come out to support the swimmers. The best vantage points will be Stokes Bay, Ryde Pier and the finish point at Ryde Sands, just to the east of Ryde Harbour.”

Wardley warns, “The Solent Swim Challenge is weather dependent. This event will take place if weather conditions are deemed safe. If it is too windy, the sea state is too rough or there is thunder and lightning then we will make the call as to whether to run a swim of an equivalent distance in Stokes Bay or in an inland body of water.”

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