Bantham Swoosh 2017

By Talyn Williams

Another weekend and another fun-packed event for Alpkit. With the van loaded up with Swoosh towels, we couldn’t wait to get down to the cosy little village of Bantham, Devon to join the Outdoor Swimming Society for the 6km swim down the estuary. There were two swims scheduled; one at dawn and another at dusk. The retreating tide creates a ‘swoosh’ where the river narrows towards the finish line, meaning swimmers are catapulted along at up to four times their usual speed. We had the chance to jump in and try it out for ourselves and can confirm that it’s great fun (wetsuit recommended)!

It was a little windy, but the Alpkit gazebo managed to stay grounded

After getting the Kangri set up, we managed to sneak a brew in before the sun set

With registration for the dawn swimmers opening at 4:30am, we decided to get up, join them for a coffee, and watch the sun hit the Bantham shore. Unfortunately the weather had other ideas, but nonetheless we were up and about despite the wind and rain, ready join the excited swimmers who seemed unfazed by the conditions on land. After all, if you’re going to be jumping in the river for a swim in your nice warm wetsuit, does a bit of rain really matter?

Wakey, wakey, rise and shine! The sun was there somewhere behind the mist and cloud

The Brukit Wolf had us brewing up in a jiffy despite the howling wind

Dawn swimmers patiently awaiting their breakfast

The first of the swimmers waiting for their lift to the start line

It was great to catch up with a few of the swimmers once they returned to dry land. Despite the weather being rather grim, the water remained clear and plenty warm enough. Many participants spotted crabs scurrying around on the sandy bottom and one or two were accompanied by inquisitive fish along the way. As lunch time approached, a brief moment of sunshine gave us the chance to take in some of the stunning scenery surrounding the village.

The stunning view of the village and the sea from behind the estuary

The Alpkit gazebo makes for a great place to chill out

The clouds were rolling in again as the dusk swimmers began to arrive, nonetheless we headed over to the finish line to catch up with the swimmers.

The path to the finish line was lit up to help guide supporters

On route to the finish line | Photo: Graham Wynne

Friends and families gathered and were eagerly waiting for swimmers to start appearing

One of the first dusk swimmers emerging from the ‘swoosh’ of the river

Swimmers were rewarded with an Alpkit & Outdoor Swimming Society towel

They went down a treat!

Happy swimmers with their towels | Photo: Graham Wynne

Nothing but smiles all round | Photo: Graham Wynne

The light up ‘swoosh’ sign looked great and proved a very popular place for photos

We had a fantastic time this weekend and we’ve loved meeting all the outdoor swimmers at the event. Although the Alpkit gazebo seemed seemed like it might take off at times, it held its ground and welcomed anyone wanting relief from the weather. We’ll be at the Swoosh next year, but for anyone wanting to join Alpkit and the Outdoor Swimming Society before then, come down to the Dart 10k in September and get involved. See you there!