On Sunday (12 September 2021) 160 swimmers took part in the annual Castle to Castle Swim, across the mouth of the River Fal, to raise money for the RNLI.
The iconic one-mile open water sea swim started at Pendennis Castle in Falmouth and finished at St Mawes Castle on the Roseland Peninsula. Primarily organised by volunteers, the event has been running for over a decade and has raised over £200K for the RNLI during this time.
The first swimmer to reach St Mawes this year was Felix Hinton-Smith, who completed the swim in 23 minutes and 59 seconds. The first under 18 to finish was Tom Phillips, who came fifth overall and completed the swim in 27 minutes and 34 seconds. The last swimmer ashore took one hour and 18 minutes, still receiving one of the biggest applauses of the day from supporters.
Falmouth Lifeboat Station has worked closely with Cornwall Council and the Falmouth Harbour Commissioners, to ensure the Castle to Castle was Covid-safe. Usually open to 450 participants, this year’s event was carried over from 2020. Swimmers who were signed up were given the option to take part in 2021 or defer their entry until 2022.
A spokesperson for Falmouth Lifeboat said: ‘It was fantastic to see people coming together for the Castle to Castle Swim again on Sunday, having had to postpone it since 2019, due to the pandemic. It always promises to be a great atmosphere.’
‘Thank you to all of the volunteers, both ashore and afloat, who gave up their time to help with the event. This includes our lifeboat crew, RNLI lifeguards, fundraisers, volunteers from local lifesaving clubs, and a flotilla of private and commercial boats. We’d also like to thank English Heritage, Fal River Ferries, Falmouth Town Team and Bear Cornwall for all their support.’
‘We appreciate every single donation raised by this year’s swimmers. Over the years these valuable funds have gone such a long way in helping our local lifeboats and lifeguards to save lives at sea.’
Planning for next year’s Castle to Castle Swim is already underway and will take place early next summer. If you’re an intermediate or experienced open water swimmer, and over 14 years old, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.