CLEVEDON ANNUAL LONG SWIM
SATURDAY 6TH JULY 2013 (see entry form for details)
This event has been running for 84 years and has always been a successful, happy and enjoyable event.
The long swim has been an event every year since 1928 except the war years.
Competitors take part for many reasons:
- To win the race
- To swim it in a record time
- Just to take part
- Or to see it as a challenge and completing the swim is the reward
Whatever the reasons it is a good atmosphere with an enjoyable social time at the end of the presentations in the Clevedon Sailing Club.
The swim is approx. 1 mile from Ladye Bay Clevedon to the Pier beach - photos below looking towards the pier from Ladye Bay
As you can see from the photos the sea can be like a mill pond or quite rough and challenging - the swim will only take part if the weather is suitable but not always calm as you can see!!
Clevedon has the second highest tide in the world and at certain times and distance away from the shore line the currents can be very strong.
The youngest age to compete is 12 years up to any age - there have been many over 80’s that have enjoyed the challenge.
Len Hurley a member of CASC has achieved his 55th consecutive long swim - he swims in the sea every day throughout the year.
From 1928 the long swim course used to be:
Competitors were taken out by boat to just passed the start of Old Church hill where the men and boys started the race by all jumping off the boat together - then a few minutes later and a few 100 yards nearer the ladies and girls jumped off the boat.
The finish line was under the pier with the judges on top trying to place the swimmers in order of finish - this may seem a simple task but on an incoming tide competitors used to swim under the pier very fast and if not careful were way up the channel before the rescue boat could catch them.
In October 1970 the pier collapsed so the finish point became the slip way on the beach. The pier was rebuild and partially re-opened May 1989. A final re-opening was in May 1998.
The course was changed in 1996 because it became very difficult to obtain two boats to take the competitors out for the start of the race, and to collect the competitors after swimming under the pier. The course was then changed from Ladye Bay to the pier beach where it does not involve using boats for the start or the finish. The swim starts just after high tide so the current is going the right way to swim with.
FORMAT OF THE LONG SWIM - THE BEST VIEW POINT OF THE SWIM WILL BE ON THE VICTORIAN PIER (normal charges to be paid) - THIS YEAR THE PIER WILL BE CLOSED TO SPECTATORS FOR THE SWIM
We use the Clevedon Sailing Club and their facilities after the swim.
Registration will be at Walton St. Mary Church Hall, Walton Road near Ladye Bay BS21 7BT
The briefing will be given at the bottom of steps at Ladye Bay and the swim will start very shortly afterwards, making sure that the tide has turned.
For safety cover we have many canoes and either the CSC rescue boat or the RLNI from Portishead who will be in attendance.
You will be advised at the briefing about swimming under the pier, you can swim under any span but it is advisable not to go any further out than the third as the current may be stronger out further as the swim is held on an outgoing tide, there will be a flourscent sign displayed on the pier for guidance.
The race finishes on the shore line at a designated area which will be very visable as advised in the briefing.
After the race we use the CSC Club facilities to shower, present the trophies and have an enjoyable social time - there is a licenced bar, and hot and cold drinks will be available for the competitors and helpers.
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