Swimmers brave September sun for charity in new Boat Show event

·2-min read
Some 80 swimmers took part in the show's first open water swimming event.
Some 80 swimmers took part in the show's first open water swimming event.

SWIMMERS braved the Solent waters to raise cash for charity during the Southampton International Boat Show.

Some 80 swimmers took part in the show's first open water swimming event on Sunday.

It involved a 1.25km lap past tall ships, sailing yachts and motor cruisers.

The event, hosted by Rees Leisure, raised more than £5,000 for the Rose Road Association, a Southampton charity supporting young people with disabilities.

The first swimmer out of the water was Ashley Hogg, who said it was "warmer in the water than outside".

He said: “It was lovely, such an amazing setting, and it was much warmer in the water than outside. There was a little current, but luckily it was heading in the right direction.”

The chief executive of Southampton City Council, Mike Harris, was also one of the swimmers to brave the 19-degree water.

He said it was "great fun", adding: “It couldn’t have been better. The sun was out, the water was a lovely temperature, perfect for sea swimming.

"It was a great opportunity to swim in a piece of water that you usually can’t swim in. I thoroughly enjoyed it.”

The area is usually closed-off to swimmers because of boat movements.

Brothers Chris and Dave Paterson also took part. They said they often take part in cold water swimming and said that Rose Road is "an amazing local charity".

Back on dry land, they said: “That was quite warm. It was fantastic swimming past the amazing tall ship Morgenster.

"The water was incredibly clean, there was such a relaxed atmosphere and lots of space, we would definitely do it again.”

Chris Rees, director of Rees Leisure, said: "It has been a massive success.

"This year we’ve literally put a toe in the water to test it and everyone has thoroughly enjoyed it.

"We’d like to give a massive thanks to British Marine and the Southampton International Boat Show and ABP for their help both on the pontoons and on the water and we look forward to hopefully welcoming everyone back next year for an even bigger and better event.”

Boat show organisers rewarded swimmers with a free ticket to the show to enjoy a well-earned day out.

The International Boat Show is closed on Monday for the state funeral of Her Majesty The Queen, but will return on Tuesday, September 20.

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