Behind the scenes at the Bantham Swoosh

July 10, 2024

Deakin & Blue at the Bantham Swoosh 2024

The UK's beautiful coastline never ceases to wow us. Only a short drive from Sadie's home in North Devon and Rowan's in Somerset, Bantham is an incredibly beautiful coastal village in the southernmost part of Devon.

Here, a world-class open water swimming event takes place every year organised by the amazing charity, Level Water who raises money to teach children with disabilities to swim. The Bantham Swoosh is a 6km swim down the Avon (Aune) estuary from Averton Gifford to Bantham. The pristine water is shallow and usually crystal clear, meaning you can watch crabs scuttle across the sandy bed most of the way.

But the real highlight is the 'swoosh'. A super-fun river rapid as the ebbing tide funnels through a narrow section of river, carrying you at four times your usual swimming speed to the finish line. No wonder its such a popular swim!

After the main Swoosh, children - including some of the brilliant children who Level Water has taught to swim - do the mini Swoosh, making the most of those fun rapids.

Behind the scenes at the Bantham Swoosh

Festival finish

At the end of the swim, there's a little festival. That's we had set up our stall. We had to be there early to catch the Swooshers as they finished their swim, and it was worth it. We met so many fantastic, inspiring swimmers including Hannah, who had just swum the Swoosh in her faithful Essential Swimsuit and Cait in her Swimbra Bikini.

With music, including a sea shanty choir, and fantastic food, the festival finish at the Bantham Swoosh is a true celebration of outdoor swimming. Kindness, joy and community characterises the people who train to swim and raise essential funds for Level Water.

Deakin & Blue at the Bantham Swoosh

There and back

The early start at the Swoosh is for a good cause. It's to fit in two tides, which are 12 hours apart. So, in the evening, the second wave of swimmers got ready to swim the Bantham Boomerang. In this crazy challenge, swimmers set off from Bantham, swimming as far as they can with the incoming tide and then turning and swimming back as the tide goes out.

Having waved off the formidable Amy, who was swimming up to 12km skins (no wetsuit) in her X-Back Swimsuit, Sadie had time to watch England beat Switzerland on penalties before the swimmers returned.

Finally, as darkness fell, we packed up our stand.

Huge thank you to every one of you who chatted to us. We love these opportunities to meet our customers. And congratulations to Level Water on running such a great event, and to everyone who swam the Swoosh and the Boomerang. Until next time!

Bantham Boomerang