18 Aug 2008

Swim the Wight 2008

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On Saturday 30th August, 28 swimmers met at 7.30a.m. in Newport to ‘swim’ across the Isle of Wight visiting 6 pools and 2 beaches on the way. It was a day out with a difference, a day just for fun, not a competition and not a fundraiser like the annual Walk the Wight held here on the Isle of Wight.

Thank you to all the pools who made it possible to arrange the day and to our three lifeguards who travelled with us.

Thank you also to our coach driver from Wightbus who had to cope with a very complicated schedule zigzagging across the Isle of Wight and was so helpful when the unexpected happened.

I would also like to say Thank you to all the people who said that although it might be crazy idea they would like to try it and then paid me good money to make it happen.

We visited

West Wight Leisure Centre in Freshwater where we had our photo taken as we assembled in the car park – before our smart blue T-shirts became crumpled and wet. A lovely pool with plenty of room to swim lengths and only 2 bemused regular lane swimmers to interrupt.

Totland Bay. This looked perfect, the sun was out, the water was clear and with hardly a ripple but of course at 9.00am it was definitely chilly. Once in it was a perfect swim – but it took a bit of courage to get in. The Pier Café had opened early for us and supplied hot chocolate and a breakfast of bacon sandwich for some.

Brighstone Holiday Centre. A very different experience, a smaller pool with seaside holiday postcard pictures painted on the wall. A real old fashioned holiday camp experience.

Gurnard Pines Leisure Centre. Two pools here, inside and out and both to be sampled. (Some people even tried the children’s pool and I have a photo to prove it). The new changing rooms were very luxurious and I thought some people might be late back to the coach as we enjoyed it so much.

Waterside Pool in Ryde. More lanes to swim in and a roof part open to the sky.
Ryde beach. A real contrast to Totland Bay in the morning, quite a breeze and waves in the sea. Back to the beach for a slightly gritty picnic lunch as the wind was whipping up the loose sand.

The Heights Leisure Centre. A very familiar swim for most club members and for those who visit us for the Meet held each year in February.

Medina Leisure Centre. A last swim to be taken at leisure before the pool closed at 5.00pm. We had a picture taken of the group to put with the one at the start.
Although not a competition some people swam a considerable distance over the day. Lindsey totted up an incredible 8000 metres and went on to swim the Sandown to Shanklin Pier swim the next day coming in first in her age group.

We finished the day with a meal at Medina Quay and presentation of certificates beautifully designed by Duncan with a map of the Isle of Wight showing all the places visited.

Click here to view the gallery of photos

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