Published: July 27, 2008
Crowds line seafront to watch Burnham's annual Stert Island Swim

Almost eighty swimmers raced into the sea at the start of Burnham-On-Sea's annual Stert Island Swim on Sunday afternoon (July 27th).

Dazzling sunshine greeted the 79 swimmers, which was in stark contrast to 2007 when high winds and heavy surf led to the event's cancellation.

When Sedgemoor District Council said it could no longer afford to run the event in January, it appeared that the swim's days were numbered - but West Country Tri-Athletes came forward to take over the organisation in February and it was hailed a resounding success on Sunday evening.

The unique 2,400m race, which this year started at 1.30pm at the same time as the high tide, sees participants swim from Burnham beach to Stert Island and back.

A large crowd of several thousand spectators lined The Esplanade and jetty to watch as Cllr Neville Jones, a long-time supporter of the event, officially started the race, as pictured below.

Organiser Sara Hudghton of West Country Triathletes, who took part and was the first lady to cross the finishing line, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "It couldn't have gone better. We're delighted it went so went and that all the swimmers and spectators enjoyed a successul event. We thank everyone who helped us make the event run so smoothly."

The swim was won by Malcolm Greenslade of Lyme Regis [click here for results], who has taken part in the event four times before. He told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "It's my best ever result. I usually finish in the top four but am delighted to have won today. The hardest part was wading in and out on the island itself, but the conditions were ideal."

This year's event was supported by Burnham and Highbridge Town Council, BARB, the RNLI, Natural England, Taunton Canoe Club and Wessex Ambulance Service.

After swimming across the estuary, the participants waded onto Stert Island

Disabled participant David Cooke finished the swim in an incredible 43 minutes, 42 seconds

Taunton Canoe Club provided safety cover for Sunday's event

Burnham RNLI lifeboats laid out a line of huge buoys to mark the swimming route

Crowds watched the swimmers on the beach from the jetty and Esplanade

The event's winner, Malcolm Greenslade, celebrated his victory

BARB's Spirit Of Lelaina hovercraft flew organisers and their supplies out to the island

Burnham-On-Sea Mayor Peter Clayton and Mayoress Jo Burridge handed out T-shirts to the finishers

The marshalls directing the swimmers to the finishing line

First woman home (and event organiser) Sara Hudghton of West Country Triathletes was held aloft by winner Malcolm Greenslade and second-placed Simon Lawrence

RELATED LINKS:

Athletics group comes to the rescue of Stert Island Swim
High winds cancel 2007 Stert Island Swim
Online video of the 2006 Stert Island Swim

2006 Stert Island Swim Results
2005 Stert Island Swim Results
2004 Stert Island Swim Results
2003 Stert Island Swim Results





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