About the Swim

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The Padstow to Rock Swim has been running continuously since the 1970s. Today it has become a major Open Water and fund-raising event.
How it started

Local enthusiast Sarah Hawkins decided to raise money for charity by persuading friends and family to swim across the Camel estuary from the harbour wall in Padstow to Rock in the early 1970s. 


Popularity for this successful event grew rapidly with numbers rising year on year. Sarah managed the event until 2006.

With Health and Safety regulations having an increasing impact on the organisation of the swim, a small group of local people took on the challenge. A new swim committee now shares the task of administration of the swim to meet all Health and Safety obligations.

The swim was relaunched, with Sarah's blessing, in 2007, with the Marie Curie as the partner charity since 2011.
The Hawkins Cup, donated by Sarah Hawkins, is a trophy which is awarded annually to the person who is considered by the Committee to have contributed most to the swim in that particular year.
How successful is it?
The Swim continues to grow in popularity and support. In the period 2007-2012 it has attracted elite competitors, hundreds of entrants, and raised over £150,000 for charity. 

With the involvement of Padstow Harbour Commissioners, Padstow Town Council, Padstow Sailing Club and Rock Sailing and Water Ski Club, and the support of local RNLI volunteers, the swim had become even more successful. In 2017 both the Elite and Non-Elite swim categories were full.
The swim takes place annually, on a suitable afternoon high tide. Please note:  the 2018 swim will take place on Friday 27 July 2018 on the midday tide.


The Swim's organising committe comprises:
  • A group of enthusiastic local people from Padstow and Rock who have extensive skills and experience and who take responsibility for control at Padstow, on the water and at Rock. 
  • Representatives of Padstow Harbour Commissioners, Padstow Sea Cadet Unit and Padstow Sailing Club. 

  • Representatives from the chosen charity.


Letitia  Annand-Beanse,  winner of the 2011 'Hawkins' trophy, with some representatives of the Padstow to Rock Swim Committee

© Padstow Rock Swim Organising Committee 2017