Frequently Asked Questions about Swim the Solent
Should I wear a wetsuit? Up to you, entirely what you feel comfortable in. Last year about half did and about half didn’t. One word of warning, try out a wetsuit in the sea before the swim. One guy didn’t try it out one year and had to be hauled out by the lifeboat so that he could strip off as he couldn’t raise his arms when wearing the wet suit!
Should I wear a swimming cap? We will provide each pair of swimmers with colour coded swimming caps which make it easier to match up with the kayaks at the start and make it easier to identify you even if you don’t stick together all the way.
Do you rub down with goosefat? You can…Some did last year.
What happens if I get very cold? If the guiding kayaker thinks you are struggling they will tell the lifeboat and you will be hauled out. Most people get cold after the swim so we insist that you have very warm clothes to change into at Colwell, and there will be hot tea and breakfast.
How long did the swimmers take last year? It varied from 35 minutes to an hour and five minutes. Conditions were very favourable!
What happens if I’m slower than everyone else? As long as you can do the distance in not a great deal more than an hour, you’ll get there and your kayak and a lifeboat will stay with you. In 2008 a guy got taken down to the next beach along, Totland, but made it and was brought round to Colwell in the lifeboat.
How do I know which direction to head in? Your kayaker will guide you, a friendly face on the same level as you.
What do I do if I can’t raise £500? You will, provided you work at it! Set about it good and early, email all the people you can think of with the address of the JustGiving site and take a paper form about with you wherever you go. People are incredibly generous, and it’s such a good cause.
What temperature is the water? Round about 60-61 degrees Fahrenheit, 16 degrees Celsius.
How do I get to Hurst? The Lifeboats and Ribs (Rigid Inflatable Boats) take you over from Yarmouth and drop you in.
Can I meet you at Hurst? No We all have to start together so you have to be in the Isle of Wight the night before. That means that you have to arrange accommodation in Yarmouth in good time. The Wightlink ferry,www.wightlink.co.uk, leaves from Lymington and crosses to Yarmouth.
Can I talk to someone who’s done it before? Yes, you can ring Judith on 01983 524775 and/or come to the pre-swim gathering the night before when there will be several people there who’ve done it before.
Do you swim breaststroke or front crawl? Whichever you like, feel comfortable with and/or have trained with. Crawl is faster and perhaps more economical, you can of course do a mixture. It’s not a race.
Do I have to train? Yes, it would be foolish not to. The distance, a mile and a quarter, is 90 lengths of a 25 metre pool, and you have to be sure you can do that distance reasonably easily. It’s a good idea to do some training in the sea too if you can manage it, as it’s very different swimming in the sea.