July 30, 2006
Big crowds watch Burnham-On-Sea’s 2006 Stert Island Swim

A crowd of up to 3,000 people lined Burnham’s seafront to watch the annual Stert Island Swim on Sunday morning (July 30th).

Dozens of intrepid swimmers from all over the South West participated in the 2,400m sea swim to Stert Island and back.

The challenge is not so much the distance, but the water conditions, which include tricky currents, cold water and the nearly nil visibility that the swimmers have to brave. The weather held warm and sunny for the event.

Stert Island Swim 2006The event was won in a time of 29 minutes and 44 seconds by 33-year-old Weston-super-Mare man Mark Dunstone (pictured above). Mark told Burnham-On-Sea.com he was “delighted” to have won, having taken part in the event twice in the past. He said conditions were “ideal”.

Second was Matthew Cockill from Shepton Mallet in a time of 29 minutes 59 seconds, and third was Jo Beament from Bristol. Fourth was Malcolm Greenslade from Lyme Regis; fifth was Andy Dutton from Bath; sixth was Tom Fisher Bristol; seventh was Lee Portingale from Bristol. Full results are available by clicking here.

First lady home was Anne-Maree Redwood from TivertonFirst lady home was Anne-Maree Redwood from Tiverton (pictured below) in a time of 33 minutes, 43 seconds, who told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “I found it great – I thought it would be a lot more difficult than this. I’m really pleased to be the first woman.”

The oldest participant was 72 year-old Roger Venner from Burnham-On-Sea.

Dozens of craft and charity stalls were also set up along The Esplanade throughout the day.

Sedgemoor District Council, which organised the event, thanked Burnham and Highbridge Town Council, King Alfred Sports Centre, BARB – The Burnham Hovercraft group, Wessex Ambulance Service, Burnham RNLI, English Nature, Somerfield and KwikSave for their help.

The oldest participant – 72 year-old Roger Venner from Burnham-On-Sea – completed the swim for the seventh time and told us it was his “easiest yet”.

The event’s two winners, Mark Dunstone and Anne-Maree Redwood, celebrated.

Winners Mark Dunstone and Anne-Maree raised their hands in victory!

The first three men home celebrated.

Disabled participant David Cooke from Taunton completed the swim in under an hour and received one of the loudest cheers of the day as he finished.

Time keepers from Sedgemoor District Council kept tabs on the finishers.

Big crowds lined Burnham’s jetty to watch the swim.

The beach and jetty were filled with spectators from across the area.

A wide range of stalls along the seafront selling cards and crafts were busy throughout the morning.


Online video of the start and finish of the 2006 swim

2006 Stert Island Swim Results

2005 Stert Island Swim Results

2004 Stert Island Swim Results

2003 Stert Island Swim Results

More information about Stert Island

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