About the Swim
Swim the Solent 2013 will place on July 21st 2013 starting from Hurst Castle on the mainland at 9.40 am.
Swim the Solent for Isle of Wight Samaritans began in 2007 when the director of Isle of Wight Samaritans at that time, swam from the island to Hurst Castle on the mainland and raised £3,500 in sponsorship for IW Samaritans. It has become an annual event and in 2012 30 swimmers raised £30,000. For Isle of Wight Samaritans the money is absolutely vital, it is half our income and enables us to keep the centre running and phone lines open.
The swim takes place each year at the end of July as the national Samaritan fundraising day is Sunday July 24th to emphasise that Samaritans are open 24:7. The swim date is when the tides are most favourable nearest to that day, and it takes place in the morning when there is least traffic on the Solent. The distance is a mile and a quarter, so swimmers must be fit and able to swim that distance in not a great deal more than an hour. Should the weather be unfavourable, i.e. strong winds, an alternative date has been set, Saturday August 3rd starting at 9.20am.
The two Freshwater Lifeboats and some Ribs (Rigid Inflatable Boats) accompany the swimmers, and there are also kayaks to guide the swimmers who are paired up according to how long it takes them to swim the distance in the pool, 90 lengths of a 25 metre pool. The Lifeboats and Ribs take swimmers over from Yarmouth and drop them in at Hurst and they swim from there. There are free breakfasts and tee shirts waiting for them at Colwell. Swimmers from the mainland must be on the island the night before, within easy reach of Yarmouth so that they can meet up for the rendezvous and be taken over all together to Hurst. It is wise to book accommodation well in advance as it is limited in the area.
Each swimmer is asked to raise at least £500 – £1,000 in sponsorship as this is IW Samaritans’ chief fundraiser of the year and we are very short of funds. This can be done from through the JustGiving site for the swim and/or a paper form with GiftAid boxes to tick.
STOP PRESS We now have our quota of 30 Swimmers and 15 Reserves so are unable to take any more applications for the 2013 Swim. Thank you.