After swimming Cook Strait in March I was looking for some shorter fun swims to enjoy over the English summer. Brownsea Island swim ticked all the boxes. Set in Poole harbour, by Bournemouth. The race starts and finishes at Brownsea castle, the swim setting could not be more iconic. It is a 6.5km around island current assisted swim, Brownsea offers plenty of interest, challenge and variety for an open water swimmer.
Registration is competitive and can be a turn off. This years 250 spots were booked within 6 hours of registration opening. It’s not the easiest system but 1. It works 2. It’s worth it ; what a beautiful island. Starting in front of this magnificent castle the field soon spreads out, there is only one marker buoy the entire way – the half way point. Navigation is your own concern, there are shallow sand banks which can make things fun , but plenty of deep water and some tidal assistance too. If you’re a right breathing you’d best get working on your bilateral breathing as the swim is anti clock wise around the island. There seemed to be more than adequate safety cover , plenty of kayaks and rescue craft to hand with water available to those who needed a drink . Watching the changing landscape of the island, checking out boats and often a nice view of the sandy bottom all help tick off time . Post swim there is a prize giving on Brownsea, a chance to socialise, check out the wildlife and spend some time drinking in the greenery and sea air. The Brownsea Island 6.5km sea swim gets a Big tick in the interest swim category and a highly recommended from Fit&Abel.http://www.rlss-poole.org.uk/brownsea2.htm