The Breakwater Swim – keeping traditions alive

The annual 'Breakwater to Plymouth Hoe' swim has a long history according to the organiser of the present day event, David Squires. "Some of our current swimmers remember their grandparents doing this," he says, "and the other day one swimmer told me how much she dreaded the event as a youngster."
Back in the days of course wetsuits didn't exist but the organisers are relaxed about their use in today's format, although a number of swimmers choose to go without.
The 2012 runnning of the event in August saw 106 swimmers make the crossing: "the most in many, many years," according to Squires, "despite the fact we deliberately kept the event low-key this year as we wanted to ensure all our safety and operating procedures worked smoothly, but we're hoping to expand to perhaps 200 next year."
This is a point-to-point swim and participants are delivered to the start by boat before swimming the 2.2 miles back to Plymouth Hoe. In 2012 the conditions were described as 'perfect': a calm sea and no wind to speak of.
The event is organised by two local charities the Chestnut Appeal for Prostate Cancer and Children's Hospice South West and in 2012 raised over £20,000.
For more information, contact David Squires on

01 Cover November

Issue 43 November 2020

  • The Ice Man - meeting Dutch extreme athlete Wim Hof
  • Cold water swimming - why do it, how, and what are the benefits?
  • Our new monthly columnist, Sarah Thomas
  • Olympian Keri-anne Payne on how to make the most of limited pool sessions
  • Elaine Howley on the first Asian woman to swim the Channel, Arati Sah

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