Pier to Pier Sunset Swim
A new event for 2019 - setting off from Bournemouth Pier, you'll brave the English channel for this incredible 1.4 mile swim as you make your way parallel to the shore to the finish line at Boscombe Pier.
A great introduction to open water swimming
Booking was easy via Find-a-race and the BHF website and, while the event Facebook page could have been updated more frequently, the pre-event pack - when it finally arrived (with one week to go, rather than the 4 weeks suggested) - was clear and digestible.
The navigation is easy (start at one pier, head towards the other, keep the beach on one side and the marker buoys on the other) and there are plenty of life-guards in the water to keep an eye on safety, as well as an electronic tagging system to track you into, and out of, the water. The beach is soft sand, which is easy underfoot, and there are numerous beach showers to rinse off after the swim.
There is plenty of parking in Bournemouth, although it is busy in the summer and quite expensive, the access roads into the town are quiet for the Sunset Swim (compared to the day-time Pier-to-pier Swim) and there is a wide range of places to eat for after-swim replenishment.
The only down-side? The sea water temperature off the UK coast in "summer"... although I suppose even the BHF has its limitations. I will definitely do it again... but in a better wet-suit next year! :-)