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Reports of previous Padstow to Rock Swims

2013 swim

The swim was once again a huge success, despite the deceptively difficult swim conditions. So far over £47,000 has been raised, with more money coming in.

This year saw the introduction of a new, corporate challenge. A swim team of three from Sharp's Brewery battled it out against a team from The Seafood restaurant. It was a close contest but Sharp's managed to pip their rivals at the post, congratulations to them!

We understand that next year there will be a third corporate challenger to take on the mighty Sharp's. Who could that be?

See our Facebook page for pictures - feel free to post your own!


Raising £50,059 in a tough economic climate is a massive achievement for a brilliant swim. Beating the 2011 total by such a margin is even more impressive. 

The 2012 Padstow to Rock swim shows how popular this event has become; the non-elite category was increased for the first time from 200 to 250 swimmers. And it filled up faster than ever, with many applicants held on a waiting list hoping to get a place. The elite category also filled up so in all 370 swimmers made the crossing.

The weather was kinder than last year, the organisation was even slicker this year and the event was a huge success.

The atmosphere before the swim built steadily with many emotions on display from excitement to trepidation. 

2011 Swim
The 2011 swim broke all records, raising a staggering £40,382.44p for the Marie Curie.
It was also the first swim to fill the Elite category with 120 swimmers, and had a further 200 non-elite swimmers.
It was, quite honestly, one heck of an event. The weather was unkind indeed: cold, rain, wind, choppy seas.

But the organisation was brilliant. All swimmers went off on time, were shepherded by the safety boats, borders and canoes across a rough Camel estuary, and all arrived at the other side to applause, water, pasties, T-shirts, hot drinks, chocolate brownies and certificates. And optional beer and BBQ food. Fab!

Quotes from participants:

'Well done for another very successful event.  Yesterday was my third year of swimming and probably the toughest!  But that won't put me off swimming again!'

'Well done on a great event (Padstow to Rock swim) on Sunday.  Can't actually say I enjoyed it much (3rd time) but I will be back again!!' DM

"I did the Padstow to Rock swim for the first time this year and really enjoyed the challenge of it.  Before the first buoy and the sand bank I saw deep below me a very large fish, probably 5 - 6 ft in length... Suffice to say, the sighting made me swim a bit faster, and not look down!" RC
At the end of this page are some the pictures taken of the day - click on them to enlarge - and underneath them is a wonderful reflective poem of the swim that really captures the event.
And if you have any pics you'd like to see published please send them to:



The Hawkins Trophy


Letitia Annand-Beanse, who won the 'Hawkins' trophy this year, seen here with her mother, grandfather and founder of the swim, Sarah Hawkins.


Letitia is from Wadebridge and is in remission after being treated for Hodgkin's lymphoma last year.  She trained in Wadebridge pool with her father, who did the swim with her.  The Hawkins Trophy is awarded annually to the person whom the Swim Committee considers has made the greatest endeavour for the swim.

Some brilliant young entrants
William, 14, from Milton Abbey School came down for the day having raised more than £1,000 and completed the crossing in about 30 minutes.
Nervous at the start and cold, he surprised himself with his achievement and loved the friendliness on the day with everyone supporting each other.
Henry Bell, who has Asperger's syndrome, completed the swim in just 25 minutes.  The 11 year-old from Oxfordshire raised over £650.
This was his first open water event and he is now totally hooked. Coached by his father Nigel, who said: 'To start with his swimming wasn't that great but he improved quickly.'

His delighted mother said: 'It was such a proud moment. Henry has been completely euphoric since. This has given him a huge boost as he is behind in most subjects at school and finds a lot of things hard. This was something that he's better at than most.'

The Padstow to Rock Swim 2011 Gallery

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A poem from the 2011 Swim



I went the coast, to do my best
to swim the river, as did the rest.
I donned my wetsuit, and put on the hat,

wrote on my numbers and stood looking fat.

I booked in quite early at the old cadets hut -
I could see by the weather, and the seas near the cut,
that winter, come early, at least by the squall,

perhaps they'll abandon the swim from the wall.

Then at 12.30 in a car we depart,
straight into Padstow, right there in the heart
we hear the announcer, and listen with glee

as he tells of the route for you ‘cross the sea.

Then its the moment, the red hats are gone;
the better, the faster, the fitter, the strong.
Now wait for a time and then we are told,

its time for the creaky, the unfit, and the old.

Down the old slip way we stumble and trip,
and into the estuary, for a freezing cold dip.
Why did I do It?  Why did I agree?

To make this event, one right for me.

And then in the water, the nerves frayed and taut,
a sweet camaraderie, started from nought.
The others the same, some pensive and tight

And can we all please, finish the swim before night.

Let’s go says the starter, and set off we flee,
front crawl and breast stroke, doggy paddle for me!
Past the first marker 10 yards from the shore

and out in the channel looking for more.

Now past the boats rocking at rest,
Up in the front, the ones that are best.
A group in the middle, still nervous, unsure,

and us at the back, still close to the shore.

As the time goes, its further afield,
and hats starting bobbing, refusing to yield.
It’s not for the money or glory or gain,

It’s just for the challenge, younger again!

Now past the half way and thoughts turn to end,
Follow the markers, right round the bend.
Keep to the pattern, don't panic or yell,

Just swim on safely, praying like hell!

The cold waters bite, the salt splurges in
And if you make it, you can wash it with gin!

The man in the boat, says “come on you’re fine”
The lad on the surfboard encourages time.

Now the foreshore is sighted, there's friends there for you,
They’re shouting and waving, and all calling too.
You put on a spurt. You summon up strength -

Just keep it going, just one more length.

Now at the finish, and quick up the ramp
Taking the water to ward off the cramp.
Into the boathouse for pasties and cake,
And oh what a difference your efforts will make.

For you there’s the glory, forget what I said,
But there's even more, for those laying in bed -
There's support, and some comfort, from skilled artisans,

There's love and commitment, between the bedpans.

And so who's the winner? Well its plain to see -
Today for a change, you did real good you see.

You made yourself better, you improved your lot,

And you've given comfort, to those who have not.

Padstow to Rock is a wonderful swim,
And thanks the team, who all led you in -
You made a difference, you led your way

But yes you did good………. Just for today.





© Padstow Rock Swim Organising Committee 2017