Scilly Swim Challenge ‘Tough But Enjoyable’

scilly swim challenge 2015138 people entered this weekend’s 15km Scilly swim challenge between the islands.

And while joint organiser Dewi Winkle says Saturday’s swim was “gruelling,” on Sunday many swimmers arrived onto a sunny Porthcressa Beach “sporting massive grins.”

The age of swimmers ranged from 16 to 67 and the event was enjoyed by a mix of nationalities including Americans, Germans and a Kiwi entrant.

Dewi says some people on holiday elsewhere in the West Country made the trip over to Scilly as part of their break, because they wanted to take part.

And he’s expecting a high number of those participants to return in 2016. 22 swimmers who completed the circuit in 2014, the event’s inaugural year, have come back for another go.

One of the returning swimmers was Beth French. She made the headlines when she swam the 26 miles from Cornwall to Scilly in around 17 hours last July.

Beth is now the event’s ‘swimming ambassador’ and she swam ashore with the last swimmer to finish yesterday – St Mary’s resident, Rachel Easterbrook.

Rachel stepped onto the beach to massive applause from the large crowd of spectators who had gathered. She was one of five locals taking part.

The event was intended to finish on Saturday but the final leg from St Agnes to Porthcressa was rescheduled to Sunday morning.

Joint organiser Bryony Lishman said they were running late because of the water conditions, which meant they missed the favourable tides needed for the entrants to complete this stage.

Some of the swimmers who entered last year felt the event was more difficult this time, but they still enjoyed it.

Bryony says it’s always intended to be a challenge and the strong wind and swell did make it tough.

The organisers say the event was a success and will definitely happen again next year.

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