Eighty swimmers sprinted into the sea at the start of Burnham-On-Sea’s annual Stert Island Swim on Sunday (July 18th).

The unique 2,400m race saw the participants swimming from Burnham beach to Stert Island and back in front of large crowds of spectators lining The Esplanade.

The event was won by Steve Ferguson from Plymouth Triathletes in a fast time of 29 minutes and 24 seconds, with his team mate Darren Walker in second place – both of whom are pictured above. Full results are available here.

Steve told Burnham-On-Sea.com on the finishing line: “It was quite choppy out there and you couldn’t see a thing in the water, but it was a fantastic swim. I’m delighted to win on my birthday.”

The biggest cheers of the day were for disabled swimmer Dave Cooke, pictured, who finished in 53rd position in an impressive time of 48 minutes and 8 seconds.

Dave, who was the 2009 European Para Triathlon Champion, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “It was a challenging swim but I loved every moment of it. There was a bit of swell and visibility was very poor, which meant it was easy to get disorientated, but I was pleased with my time.”

There was disappointment, though, for Burnham-On-Sea pensioner Roger Venner, 76, who failed to finish.

Roger was taken onboard a lifeboat and brought back to the beach after being in the cold water for over an hour. Cold and tired, he received a check-over by the St John first aiders.

Organiser Sara Hudghton from West Country Triathletes, who also took part and was third overall, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “It’s been another great event – we’re delighted with how it’s gone. We had a big crowd of spectators and dry weather.”

“A big thank you goes to all those who took part, plus the Mayor and Mayoress for presenting the prizes, the Town Council for its financial support, and BARB, the RNLI, Taunton Canoe Club and St John for making it such a safe event.”

Mayor and Mayoress Michael and Maria Clarke with Cllr Neville Jones sounded the horn to start the event

The swimmers raced into the sea at the beginning of the gruelling swim

The competitors rushed into the sea next to the jetty at high tide

The eighty swimmers attempted to make the crossing to Stert and back

Determined winner Steve Ferguson from Plymouth Triathletes heads for home

Organiser Sara Hudghton also took part and finished third overall

One of the five entrants who didn’t finish was taken back to shore by lifeboat

Burnham’s Spirit Of Lelaina hovercraft also provided safety cover

Roger Venner, 76, retired from the race and was taken ashore by the lifeboat

Organisers helped the tired and cold pensioner back up the beach

One competitor was delighted to find her goggles after losing them in the sea!

Mike Gardner gave a running commentary about how the race was unfolding

The organisers presented a special Stert Island Swim towel to the Mayor and Mayoress to thank them for their help

Photos by Burnham-On-Sea.com and Al Crook


2009 Stert Island Swim Results

2008 Stert Island Swim Results

High winds cancel 2007 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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