We are delighted that our first Solent Swim of 2020 was finally able to take place, following delays due to Covid-19. On Saturday 15th August, eight swimmers swam from Stokes Bay in Hampshire to Ryde sands on the Isle of Wight, raising over £8,400 to support people with spinal cord injuries.

Swimmers on the beach before the swim

Due to current social distancing requirements, it wasn’t possible for everyone to board RiBs at Haslar Marina and be taken to the start point as usual. Instead, swimmers met at Stokes Bay for a health and safety briefing, making sure they maintained a safe distance at all times, particularly for the group photos. All crew on the support ribs wore masks and on the trip back so did the swimmers.

Swimmers in masks on the boat

First time Solent swimmer Jo said, "I'd forgotten what it's like to swim with a kayaker serving as a guide, visibility help and gentle motivator to up pace all in one.  It was so nice to not have to worry about staying on course, or think about the route, but to just keep next to my yellow kayak and that would guide me across the Solent.

"It's brilliantly organised and wonderfully managed so that every swimmer gets a kayaker and they are super accommodating about all speeds and types of swimmer. And Aspire does incredible things for the people they support."

Kayaker and swimmer in front of the Isle of Wight ferry

Andrew Ogierman, Events Manager, says “I would like to thank all of the swimmers, not only for their fabulous fundraising efforts, enabling Aspire to assist people with Spinal Cord Injury but for their diligent preparation and flexibility in this difficult year. Near perfect sea conditions was a wonderful reward for their efforts.”

Swimmers on the Isle of Wight after their swim

Solent Swim


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