Burnham-On-Sea’s 2007 Stert Island Swim was cancelled on Sunday morning (August 19th) after strong winds whipped up big waves, making it unsafe to proceed.
The event was cancelled for the first time in its short history by disappointed organisers after Sedgemoor District Council, the RNLI and BARB agreed the conditions were too dangerous for the event to go ahead.
Wind speeds of 37-40mph had been recorded on the beach, next to the jetty, at 9am where the 80 swimmers were due to start the race 90 minutes later.
Organiser Nigel Rodderick of Sedgemoor District Council, pictured, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “The strength of the onshore wind has unfortunately made it impossible for the race to go ahead. There’s a heavy swell in the bay and several of the safety boats have not been able to launch. We are all disappointed, but I hope the event will return again next year bigger than ever.”
Two swimmers – pictured here – took to the water for a quick dip and said organisers had done the right thing.
Anne-Maree Redwood, who won last year’s women’s race, who is pictured alongside fellow swimmer Paul Jones, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “We’re all disappointed, but safety has to be the first consideration in events like this. The organisers made the right decision.”
The event is often very popular with spectators, attracting more than 3,000 people along The Esplanade.
This year, the maximum number of 80 swimmers was due to take part in the 2400m race to to Stert Island and back.
A street market on The Esplanade went ahead, as pictued here, with entertainment from the BEES, The Monarchs Gymnastic Team and a roving Minstrel.
Burnham Tourist Information Centre also ran children’s activities, including its popular Esplanade Quiz and a word search.
The event is organised by Sedgemoor District Council and supported by Burnham and Highbridge Town Council, English Nature, the Burnham Hovercraft (BARB), RNLI and Somerfields in Highbridge and Burnham.