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Menai Strait Swim

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Saturday 22nd August 2020

Entries Open
Wednesday 15th January 2020 at 20:00
Entries Close
Saturday 15th August 2020
Entry Fees
Entry Fee   £72.00   
Event Organiser - Chloe Rafferty

The Menai Strait Swim

£69 per person (+£3 entry fee)

Swoosh for 5km down the stunning Menai Strait, the channel of sea that separates the Island of Anglesey from mainland Wales! We'll guide you safely through the bubbling ‘Swellies’, under the two historic bridges & show you stunning views and a variety of wildlife in this beautiful & special area.

The Menai Strait

The Menai Strait, or Afon Menaias it is known locally, is the 16 mile long sea channel that separates Anglesey from mainland Wales. It is connected to the mainland by Thomas Telford’s Menai Suspension Bridge built 194 years ago. It is grade one listed and a candidate to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Robert Stephenson’s Britannia Bridge also connects the island, by road and by rail, a little further along the straits.  

The Strait varies in width from about 400m to three quarters of a mile. The name ‘Menai’ comes from Welsh main-aw, meaning ‘narrow water.’ The central region (between the two bridges) is known as the ‘Swellies’; this is a unique environment with strong, reversing tidal flows (sometimes reaching speeds of 4 metres per second), rapid currents and swirling whirlpools. The Strait also has many small, offshore islands, and rocks close to the surface of the water that. need to be navigated. It is a very dangerous place to swim without expert guidance!

It's not a race!

This is a guided, sociable swimming challenge, not a race, so there will be no medal for you at the end, but you will take away with you some fantastic memories, some new friends, and a big smile! It is imperative for safety that we all stay together and move at the same pace. You will not be allowed to swim off ahead and no one will be left behind!

We will provide the following:

  • Qualified Guides:You’ll have no worries about getting lost, just relax and enjoy your surroundings and the swim!
  • Transport to the start:We will bus you to the start of the swim and we will swim back to the location of your cars.
  • Water safety & support: We will have a power boat driven by crew experienced in negotiation the waters of the Strait. We will also have an experienced safety kayaker who will guide you through the tricky sections and a tail end guide to keep an eye on everyone and make sure we all stay together. If you get too tired or too cold to finish the swim you will be able to get into the support boat to finish the journey.
  • First Aid:Guides are fully first aid trained and will be carrying first aid kits.

Pace, Ability & Experience

You MUST have previous experience of sea swimming and be a very confident and strong swimmer. 

To take part in this swim you should:
- Be able to swim 1km in a pool in 20 minutes.
- Be able to swim a minimum of 2km in one go with minimal rest.
- Have experience of swimming in rough sea conditions or fast flowing water.

Being used to sea swimming is important - the salt water, low water visibility, waves and strong currents. The tides in the straits are very strong and fast so you need to be a confident and strong swimmer. At times you will be required to navigate across the channel of water, sometimes fighting currents and whirlpools. This requires reasonable speed and strength. There is no opportunity to stop and rest in the swim (other than get in the boat), so you need to be able to swim a good distance non-stop.

Although it is a 5km swim the fast current will carry us a long way so it will actually be more like half the distance. BUT, you do need to swim, you can't just float along!

The is a sociable swim and the swimming speed of the members of the group will vary so please be aware that you may not be traveling as fast as you might if you were swimming alone! The emphasis is on keeping going, not speed! The pace will be dictated by the guide, taking into account the ability of the group as a whole. You will need a good level of fitness to take part and will need to keep moving at a good pace to keep warm.  If you struggle during the event and this begins to impact on the well being of the rest of the group we may politely ask you to get into the support boat.

Equipment required:

Wetsuit and tow float are compulsory - NO EXCEPTIONS

Compulsory kit:
- Wetsuit: Full or shortie (we recommend full as we could be in the water for a while and there may be jellyfish)
- Brightly coloured swimming specific tow float
- Brightly coloured swimming hat (red/orange/yellow/pink)

We recommend you wear/carry:
- Thermal/insulating layers underneath: rash vests or neoprene vests
- Neoprene accessories - gloves, socks, hat
- Googles
- Energy gel

Further Information

Further information on kit and logistics on the day will be available once you have entered.

Covered by Refund Protect

This event offers the option to purchase Refund Protect. Participants can choose to cover their inability to attend with Refund Protect.

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