Hundreds take part in the RNLI Castle to Castle swim across the River Fal
More than 300 brave swimmers took the plunge into the River Fal yesterday (Sunday 3rd June) to take part in the annual RNLI Castle to Castle swim. Participants from across the south west donned their wetsuits and swimming hats all in the aid of the charity that saves lives at sea, and it’s hoped their collective efforts will raise more than £25,000 for the RNLI.
The swim was won by 40-year-old Hadden Page, a web designer from Redruth, in a time of 21 minutes and 37 seconds, narrowly missing the course record set last year by less than 20 seconds. Hadden, originally from Northern Ireland, swum competitively in his youth and after turning 40 decided to take the sport back up again. He said:
‘I thoroughly enjoyed the swim, it was good fun but also very tiring because of the weather conditions.
‘I decided to do the Castle to Castle swim as I live in Cornwall and do a lot of surfing and swimming, as well as work for a coasteering company. You never know when you might need the RNLI so I wanted to raise money for the charity, as well as take part in my first competitive swim for several years now I’ve turned 40. I’ll definitely do it again next year.’
The first woman across the finish line was Emily Hoey in a time of 26 minutes and 16 seconds. First junior male to finish was Matt Lee in 23 minutes and 28 seconds; and the first junior female was Natasha Mundell in 27 minutes and 11 seconds. The last swimmer of the 310 participants stepped onto the beach at St Mawes after one hour and five minutes in the water.
The event, now in its fourth year, takes competitors on a one mile route from Pendennis Point to St Mawes and this year was started by BBC Radio Cornwall’s presenter Laurence Reed. Laurence and the real Betty Stogs were also at the finish line to hand out the trophies and medals to every one of the successful swimmers.
Event and charity supporter Eastenders star Steve McFadden sent his best wishes to the swimmers as he was unable to take part this year. Instead he was flying the RNLI flag at the Diamond Jubilee Pageant on the Thames.
The RNLI’s Legacy Manager in the south west Kate Ireland, and Events Coordinator Sarah Cheers were among the swimmers. The event was the first open water swim they had both taken part in.
Kate said: ‘I am so delighted that Sarah and I both completed the swim. We were both very nervous, especially when we lined up at the start, but the atmosphere was great and everyone was so supportive in spurring us on to finish. It was a tough swim as the weather conditions made the water very choppy, and I’m so pleased we completed it!’
The 2012 event also included the optional 10 kilometre cross-country run. Following a circular route, the cross-country run started near St Mawes Castle and followed the coastal footpath to St Just in Roseland, before climbing up over the peninsula and back down the Percuil River to the finish line in St Mawes harbour.
Dave Nicoll, RNLI Area Fundraising Manager, says:
‘I’d like to thank all our supporters and the local community for helping to make the event such a success. We had a huge army of volunteers providing safety cover, including many RNLI lifeguards who patrolled the swimmers as they crossed the river, the Falmouth lifeboat crews and numerous volunteers in safety boats who also played their part in keeping everyone safe.
‘We anticipate this year’s event will raise in the region of £30,000 for the RNLI which is fantastic - thank you to all the participants for being involved and supporting this year’s event.’
Notes to editors
There are two pictures attached with this news release and they are as follows:
- The start of the 2012 Castle to Castle Swim. Please credit RNLI/Holly De Roy.
- Betty Stogs with some swimmers at the finish line. Credit RNLI/Simon Culliford.
More images are available on request.
RNLI media contacts
For more information about the swim and the 10K run that some of the competitors went on to do, please contact Dave Nicoll, RNLI Community Fundraising Manager for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, on 07901 517615 or Emma Haines, RNLI Press Officer on 07920 818807 or Emma_Haines@rnli.org.uk