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The Lyme Splash 2023 Water Polo Sea Championship is back!

The Lyme Splash is now fully supported with both events – the Water Polo Sea Championship and the Lyme Regis to Charmouth Challenge Sea Swim – returning for 2023. 

The Lyme Splash 2023 Water Polo Sea Championship (5-6 August) and the Lyme Regis to Charmouth Challenge Sea Swim (3 September) are finally going ahead this year. 

Last year’s event was sadly cancelled due to weather conditions, so there’s a real sense of excitement over this year’s championships. “It was so upsetting last year to have to cancel due to the weather,” said Karen Durham-Diggins, Chair of Lyme Splash. “But other than Covid that’s the first time we’ve had to – so we are hoping this year will be glorious! Our swimmers seem hopeful too as we’ve already sold over half the places! “ 

A truly unique event

The event is not only the UK’s largest (and perhaps only) Sea Water Polo Championship, it’s also only the fourth time the event has taken place in the Dorset seaside town. This year, 18 teams from around the UK will compete.

“Most teams don’t get to play in the sea,” said Karen. “Lyme Regis had a fine heritage of both sea and pool water polo, and we are gradually bringing that back. As we now have a fledgling water polo team forming, who train with Bridport Barracudas, we are hoping to also have a junior exhibition match too.” 

A 3.15K swim from Lyme Regis to Charmouth

Also this summer, the fifth Lyme Splash Lyme Regis to Charmouth Challenge Swim will take place on Sunday 3 September, attracting up to 200 swimmers from all over the UK. The event attracts both competitive swimmers and those after a fun adventure. 

“While some are focused on their speed, for many it is taking it at their own pace and making it a personal challenge,” said Karen. “Swimmers free from Covid and its aftereffects, back in the water and training to build up stamina and fitness to manage the 3.15K will be ready for the challenge!”

Lyme Splash is a not-for-profit organisation, which aims to raise money for charities and provide opportunities for local young people. The event also aims to celebrate the water facilities the coastal resort has to offer to both help locals get involved on what’s on offer and also to bring more business into the local economy. Charities supported this year include: Ghost Fishing UK who recover fishing nets from wrecks and the seabed; Powder Monkeys; B Sharp and Plastic Free Lyme Regis.

The event is supported by volunteers, both in the water and on shore, plus many local businesses that provide equipment, sustain the Lyme Splash crew and offer prizes for the raffle. This year, the event also has support from the local Powder Monkeys Explorer Sea Scouts, young people who meet weekly to develop skills with a nautical theme. “It’s great to be able to include, give opportunities and be supported by such a growing group of great young people interested in our ocean,” added Karen.


The Lyme Regis to Charmouth Challenge Sea Swim takes place Sunday 3 September 2023, bookings are now open. The Lyme Splash Water Polo Championship takes place 5-6 August 2023; register now. Buy raffle tickets online. Lyme Splash 2018 photos: Dave Boughton.

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Jo is the Gear Editor for Outdoor Swimmer and also writes news and features for the website. A keen open water swimmer and long-distance walker, she loves seeking out lakes and lidos close to her home in the Mendip Hills, Somerset. She is the author of The Slow Traveller, editor and founder of independent magazine, Ernest, and has previously tested outdoor clothing and kit for BBC Countryfile Magazine, BBC Focus and Ernest Journal.