My awesome dip in Southampton Docks in the first Boat Show charity swim

Lorelei Reddin completes the first Southampton International Boat Show swim

I was one of the swimmers enjoying a swim around Southampton Docks, which raised over £5,000 for the brilliant Rose Road Association, this weekend.

Around 80 of us took part in the inaugural Southampton International Boat Show open water swimming event, involving a 1.25km lap in front of tall ships, sailing yachts and motor cruisers.

As a regular swimmer, it wasn’t a difficult distance for me, but the thought of diving somewhere normally closed to swimmers and with cruise ships towering above me was just too good an opportunity to turn down.

READ ALSO : Southampton International Boat Show 2022 – all you need to know

On a sunny morning we gathered for a safety briefing before heading to the pontoon where we would enter the water, which measured a balmy 18.5 degrees, much warmer than the air temperature at 9 a.m. in September.

We set off, some in wetsuits, some in skins, some ducking our heads to storm the front of the peloton with their fastest crawl, others taking it all in with a head-up breaststroke.

The water was perfectly calm with only waves from other swimmers as we set off, until a brief visit to the Isle of Wight ferry at nearby Town Quay shortly after we left.

Daily Echo:

Daily Echo:

Visibility was short, but the water was clean and there were plenty of fish to see.

There was some current, luckily in the right direction, and it was great to pass the incredible Morgenster tall ship.

Swimming was a breeze and a brilliant experience in a relaxed atmosphere.

Daily Echo:

Daily Echo:

As they descended the steps, each participant received a medal and a bag of goodies. We could also spend the rest of the day at the lounge and take a great boat ride with the Wetwheels Foundation, which helps people with disabilities access the sea.

The event, organized by Rees Leisure, will return bigger and better next year.

The Rose Road Association provides care services to over 300 young people with physical disabilities, learning difficulties and autism.

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