August 28, 2014
Future of Burnham's Stert Island Swim threatened by EU water rules

The future of Burnham-On-Sea's Stert Island Swim is in jeopardy due to the EU's new sea water regulations.

The annual 2,400m race takes place this Sunday (August 31st) during Burnham's annual emergency services day, but organisers fear it may have to be axed altogether in the future.

The spectacle, which this year starts at 10.10am, sees over 80 participants race into the sea and then swim across the estuary from Burnham to Stert and back in front of crowds of spectators.

Celia Miall from organisers West Country Triathletes told this week: "We are worried that this could be the last year we can hold the Stert Swim if the EU's new sea water regulations result in a ban on swimming here."

"This is a big issue for the event which we are watching closely. It would be a terrible shame to see it go after so many years."

She added: "It's a very popular event and we have had a lot of interest from swimmers again this year. We have 80 places and are over-subscribed with a waiting list of people wanting to take part."

Sunday's race will start just after the 10am opening of the rescue services day on the seafront and is timed to coincide with high tide.

Burnham faces having to put up signs marking its beach as unfit for paddling or swimming unless more is done to improve its water quality once the new EU bathing water regaultions come into force in 2015. We recently reported here that a project is underway to tackle the issue.

West Country Triathletes took over the organisation of the annual summer event in February 2008 after Sedgemoor District Council said it could no longer afford to run it.


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