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Wild swimmers head to ‘Excellent’ Eastbourne for open water fundraiser

1 July 2016

Marine Conservation Society’s popular event stays on the south coast for a fifth year 

The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) is bringing its open water swim event back to Eastbourne for the fifth year in a row.

Big Sea Swim in Eastbourne, photo by Graham Huntley

The Big Sea Swim takes place off Eastbourne beach where the bathing waters were rated as ‘Excellent’ last November under the European revised Bathing Water Directive, which classifies bathing waters from the highest ‘Excellent’ standard to ‘Poor’, where swimming isn’t advised.

Eastbourne is no stranger to top bathing water quality – it had consistently been given the ‘Recommended’ status when the MCS Good Beach Guide gave much stricter ratings than those handed down by the Environment Agency.

Since the Big Sea Swim began in 2012 it has raised nearly £12,000 for MCS, the UK’s leading marine charity, ensuring the organisation can continue its work on marine pollution, protection and sustainable seafood.

The Big Sea Swim is open to swimmers of all abilities who like to do their breast stroke and front crawl away from the confines of the swimming pool! Swimmers can register online now for the event on Saturday 16th July. There are two courses - 1km for first time or less experienced swimmers and a 3km swim for those up for a bigger challenge.

Last year over 100 swimmers took part in the event organised by MCS in conjunction with swim event organiser SwimTrek who will be there on the day to ensure the safety of everyone taking part. The event is supported by eco-fashion label, Rapanui, organic beauty experts, Green People, and organic food delivery company, Abel & Cole. They’ll all be at the event, treating swimmers to goodie bags and give-aways on the day!

Open water swimming is a rapidly growing adventure sport and the Big Sea Swim is becoming a regular feature on the calendar for swim challenge enthusiasts.
“The really great thing about this event is that you don’t need to be a serious open water swimmer; if you can swim 50 lengths of your local pool, you can get involved in the 1K swim. But if you are an experienced swimmer the 3K is a good challenge. Whatever your ability you can help raise funds to protect your seas,” says MCS Head of Fundraising, Ian Fraser.

Not only did last year’s event see more swimmers than ever taking part, but the Big Sea Swim also raised more money than previous years. “We’re really keen to raise more money than ever before and would really encourage anyone who’s interested in wild swimming or who cares about our marine environment for future generations, to give it a go.”

Mark Burgess from SwimTrek says: “It’s a pleasure to be part of the MCS Big Sea Swim, and it just seems to grow each year. Last year we saw over 100 swimmers take part, and we’re looking forward to many more joining the swim this year. The excellent water quality, clean beach and supportive seafront team make it a fantastic opportunity to experience open water swimming and Eastbourne’s sea in a safe environment.”

Places are limited so swimmers are urged to visit now to find out more about the event and book a place.


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