Bude Sea Pool didn't appear to exist when we arrived. Stormy seas and the high tide meant surf was breaking over the surrounding rocks and into the pool. A minor inconvenience! The 7am start was postponed a little until the tide had dropped slightly, allowing people to swim up and down rather than being washed out of the pool and turned into mincemeat on the rocks.
The aim of the event is for teams of swimmers to swim the distance of the English Channel in teams. So that's 22 miles or 440 lengths per team.
I participated in a team of four meaning we each had to swim five and half miles over the course of the day. Team sizes varied and I think there was even one massive one with each swimmer completing a mile each!
I know this is supposed to be a post about a swimming event but I was so impressed by the sheer volume and quality of baked goods that it couldn't go unmentioned. The weather for the swim event started out foul and stayed that way for much of the day. Luckily there was some shelter to be had and hot drinks and cakes were provided to participants in order to provide sustenance for the mind and the body. I have to admit that this wasn't really so much a swim event as a cake eating festival interspersed with occasional swims.
Friends of Bude Sea Pool
The sea pool is managed by Friends of Bude Sea Pool (FoBSP), a local charity which aims to preserve and maintain the sea pool in order to keep it as a free amenity. This fantastic resource allows for safe sea water swimming and is of benefit to the local community and to many of the 60,000 visitors that Bude receives each year. It costs some £40000 per year to maintain the pool and this is all raised by the fundraising activities of FoBSP.
If you visit Bude be sure to pop by for a swim. Although there's no admittance charge perhaps consider putting something in the collection box. It's a fantastic facility.
I'd really recommend getting a team up together for this event. It was friendly, well organised and you can eat your body weight in cake without guilt. What's not to like? Next year's Challenge date is set for 30th September. Visit the FoBSP website or you can book online.