Posted on September 30, 2012
On what could be described as the final weekend of the summer, Gyllyngvase Surf Life Saving + Triathlon Club hosted their 5th annual Endless Summer Swim at Gyllnygvase Beach, Falmouth.
The sea swim has grown significantly since 2008, when it was introduced to enable the local community to compete in open water swimming, as well as raising funds for new life saving and sports equipment for the club. The event last Sunday was the biggest yet, with 160 swimmers young and old entering the water at Gyllyngvase Beach.
“What a great way to sign off for the summer! Thanks to the Gylly team for giving us one last chance at swimming in the wild. A fantastically well organised event with a challenging and well marshalled course. I love the T-Shirt too! We at Tri-Mania will be returning on mass next year for sure.” Ian Hurley, swimmer.
The nipper race (7-13 years) started at 11am. The sun was shining, but the moderate southwesterly breeze was making the conditions in the sea slightly choppy. This didn’t put off the 45 children from local swimming and surf life saving clubs across Cornwall. There were also some newcomers to the sport taking part as well. Following a sprint into the sea, the first swimmers negotiated the first buoy with ease. They glided through the 400m course and before you you could say ‘Gyllyngvase’, were exiting the water, running up the beach to the finish. First across the line was Gylly’s own Nicholas Laws, closely followed by the second placed male nipper, Euan Dungavel (Gylly). Next out of the water were the first three female nippers – Abby Mundell (Gylly), Rosie Boultan (Gylly) and Sarah Wilson (Portreath SLSC). The 3rd male nipper home was James Drage, also from local club Gyllyngvase. There was a special prize for the first 7-9 years to cross the line as well, and this was awarded to Thomas Trebilcock (Gylly) and Milly Hardy (St Ives SLSC). All 45 entrants completed the swim, which was a fantastic achievement. Who knows, there may have been some Olympic stars of the future taking part?
An hour later, at 12pm, the adult and junior (13-17) competitors were lining up at the start line for their 700m race. A fantastic 115 swimmers were awaiting the challenge, including the winner from the past two years, Jacob Wood from Penzance. As well as the competitive swimmers, there were also a large number who had their sights on simply completing the course. The siren sounded, and there was a mad dash into the cool water of the English Chanel. As it was a spring low tide, the swimmers from a surf life saving background were able to demonstrate their skills, dolphin diving for quite some time before starting to swim. The field quickly spread out with a clear lead pack of around a dozen swimmers forming. All of the entrants were in safe hands, thanks to kind support of volunteer members of Gyllyngvase and RNLI Lifeguards of rescue boards.
With only 8 minutes of swimming, the leaders had navigated their way around three of the iconic yellow buoys off Gyllyngvase Beach, and were sprinting into the shore. First out for the third year running was Jacob Wood (Penzance SC), followed by George Hollis (Portreath SLSC) and Ellis Tonkin (Penzance SC). These three were also the first junior boys to cross the line. The junior girls race was won by Kerry Bridgman (Penzance SC), with Shannon O’Connel (Penzance SC) in second and Courtney-Lee Reid (Gylly) in third. Tom Blake earned the prize for first placed senior male. Jon Webb, who trains with host club Gyllyngvase finished second and James Rowe was third. The senior female title was taken by international para-triathlete Melissa Reid (Gylly) and her guide Alice Nicholas (Mounts Bay Harriers). The duo were using the race as their final swim before heading to the World Para-triathlon champs in New Zealand later this month. Lois Leonard and Gracie Dack, both from host club Gyllyngvase, were second and third respectively. The final age group was the masters (40+). The first three male swimmers to cross the line were Mark Danielson (Gylly), Keith Hollis (Portreath SLSC) and Paul Hills (Gylly). Julie Drage (Gylly) took gold in the female masters age group, with Catherine Ralph (Gylly) in second and Carol Mitchell third.
Every competitor received a t-shirt and bottle of water. There was also a raffle, raising additional funds for the club. We would like to thank the event sponsors for making all of this possible: Gylly Beach Café, Sessions Surf Shop, 2twenty2, Cornwall Property Paper, Miller & Son, Pure Blue water, Neuvya Swim School, Seasalt Cornwall, ASP Printers, Primal Fitness Cornwall and RNLI Lifeguards.
“Well done to everyone who took part in 5th Endless Summer Swim today at Gyllyngvase Beach. Over £1250 was raised on the day, which will go towards valuable equipment for the surf life saving and triathlon club. Thank you to everyone who helped out, it was a fantastic event and the club’s looking forward to seeing you again in 2013.” Matthew Stone, President, Gyllyngvase SLS + Triathlon Club.
Images by Karl Phillips.