Blue skies, no wind and calm seas bode well for the start of the 2015 Pier to Pier Heart Foundation swim on 9 August. A different scenario to the rough conditions and high winds that led to the cancellation of the original date set in July.
David Kendrick from Bournemouth who took part in the race said, “At 10am, after a safety briefing from the lifeguards, the first session (the yellow hats) sprinted into the sea on the east side of Bournemouth Pier. The crowds assembled on the beach were treated to a bobbing mass of ‘Minions’ as they carved their path through the water towards Boscombe Pier. Apart from the obstacle of arms and legs there was, for the first time a few schools of jellyfish, but nothing harmful. However, my closest encounter was a plastic bag. The RNLI lifeguards did a sterling job, as always, of making sure that everyone finished safely.
“The second session (the red hats) plunged in at midday as the earlier swimmers glugged water and warmed through with free coffee and tea. The turnout was amazing from both swimmers and supporters. This really is a swim for all; any size, any shape, and any age. It doesn’t matter where you finish because everyone who takes part is a winner. All you need to have to complete the swim is a heart. The proceeds from all the swimmers that took part are furthering that cause, so that everyone has a better chance of a healthy heart. Roll on 2016, which I’m sure will be even bigger.”
According to the British Heart Foundation, the event is the biggest charity swim in Europe. Starting at Bournemouth Pier, it is a 1.4 mile open water swim in the English Channel along the coastline to Boscombe Pier.