Entries are now open for the annual Swim the Solent in aid of the Samaritans. The 1.5-mile swim from the mainland to the Isle of Wight will take place on Sunday 26 July.
Last year 42 swimmers took part in the swim from Hurst Castle on the mainland to Colwell Bay on the Isle of Wight. Although the 1.5-mile distance is relatively short, strong tides can make for a challenging swim. “We set off at slack water and tides can work to advantage if navigation is on target, but swimmers who take more than an hour and ten minutes can find themselves working hard to avoid heading towards The Needles,” says John Trotman, chair of the Isle of Wight Samaritans. “Last year the amazingly quick first finisher was in on the half hour mark but mostly come in between fifty minutes and one hour and ten minutes.”
Safety cover is provided by RIBs and the two Freshwater Lifeboats. Kayak support is also provided, with one kayak for every two swimmers.
The swim is free to enter but swimmers are urged to raise as much money as they can for the Samaritans charity. Swimmers will have to stay on the island on Saturday night to attend a safety briefing and will then be transported by RIB to Yarmouth on the morning of the swim.
Wetsuits are allowed. In the event of poor weather, the swim will be rescheduled for 9 August.
For more information and to enter the swim, see: www.samaritans.org/samaritans-isle-wight-swim-solent-2015