New Scilly Swim Challenge Takes To The Water Tomorrow

Nick Lishman (right) and Dewi Winkle

Nick Lishman (right) and Dewi Winkle

After a year of planning, a major sea swimming weekend starts today. And it’s hoped that the Scilly Swim Challenge will become an annual fixture.

Islander Nick Lishman, who operates Adventure Scilly with his wife Bryony, has teamed up with Dewi Winkle of swimming holiday company Swimtrek to arrange the swim between all the inhabited islands.

Around 150 people are expected to take part.

Nick’s goal was to create a sporting challenge that showcases the islands’ beauty and encourages new people to Scilly. And he feels he’s achieved that.

He says it’s been a lot of work to organise but he’s been pleased with all the support he’s had from residents and businesses on the islands.

Some rough calculations show the event will generate tens of thousands of pounds in extra income over the weekend, he says.

Dewi says participants will be encouraged to get into the sea and acclimatise to the water temperature as soon as they get off the Scillonian today.

And there’ll also be an opportunity for younger swimmers to get involved with a safe, 400m course for 8 to 18-year-olds. That’s taking place from 6.30pm this evening and any local or visiting youngsters who want to take part should register at the gig sheds at Porthmellon at 6pm.

Nick says the adult swimmers will be starting the inter-island swim early tomorrow. They’ll be walking to Bar Point from Porthmellon at 6am, ready for the first crossing.

The event is set to finish at 7pm and Nick says he hopes locals will welcome the participants ashore at Porthcressa, because they’ll need plenty of encouragement after such a long day.

Dewi says they’ve arranged for souvenir clothing and merchandising, including T-shirts and badges, so entrants have a memento of the special event. But Nick thinks many of the swimmers will use GPS technology to record their achievement, plotting their progress on a map to show friends and family back home.