A fun day had by all at the first Big Bay Dip in Torbay
With the Olympic 10k open water swim finals due to start on 9th August, Surf Life Saving GB brought their own open water swim to The English Riviera this weekend. Broadsands in Paignton, Torbay hosted the first Big Bay Dip charity swim on Sunday 29th July, in which 65 swimmers took part.
The inaugural Big Bay Dip gave inexperienced swimmers as well as those who enjoy open water swimming regularly, a chance to take part in a unique event for charity. With distances ranging from 200 metres to 1600 metres, there is something for all ages and swimming abilities. The flat water sea conditions ensured a fantastic environment for the swim, and Broadsands beach acted as a great natural amphitheatre for those who came to watch.
On a sunny but showery day in Torbay, the 400m open water swim race was won by local boy Luke Foster from Torquay whilst Josh Surridge (Woolacombe SLSC) and Charlotte Hewitt (Portreath SLSC) took the 1600m crown.
The Big Bay Dip also featured races for children, something quite unique for open water swimming. The 8 to 12 years category, who swam 200m was won by Isabelle Hatton (St Ives SLSC) and Zac Surridge (Woolacombe SLSC). Jessica Surridge (Woolacombe SLSC) and Charlie Haynes (Portreath SLSC) were triumphant in the 400m race for 13 to 16 year olds.
The swim ran alongside the launch of the brand new Surf Life Saving Club, Torbay Surf Life Saving Club. The new SLSC is based at North Sands Kiosk in Goodrington and will operate Torbay’s first volunteer lifeguard patrol service on Sundays.
Esther Pearson, Chief Executive of Surf Life Saving GB and also secretary of the newly created Torbay Surf Life Saving Club, said: “We were delighted with the first ever Big Bay Dip. Surf Life Saving GB aims to make 20,000 people a year fitter and safer by the sea, and wanted to create a sea swim to encourage more people to get in the water. It’s great that we had a combination of local competitors and swimmers from SLSGB clubs all over the country.”
The Big Bay Dip was a great success and had people of all ages and swimming abilities taking part in the fun open water swim despite the showery weather conditions. SLSGB are hoping the swim will become an annual event for Torbay, encouraging more people to be fitter and safer by the sea.
Surf Life Saving GB’s next open water swim will be part of Swell, a weekend of beach and water sports at Boscombe in Bournemouth on 29th and 30th September.