15th June 2019

Bradford on Avon Slow Swim and Picnic

Price: ££15 per entry

In much the same way as fast food spawned an appreciation of and demand for slow food, it seems that some competitive sports are creating an appreciation for slower more leisurely pursuits.

What started off as a bit of fun for six friends has, over six years, grown into an event for nearly 500 swimmers and their friends and families picnicking along the Dedham Vale, on the Essex-Suffolk border.

This year the picnic at the end of the swim is coming to Bradford-on-Avon on Saturday June 15th, with a course along the River Avon from the Old Tithe Barn Complex at Barton Farm.

To emphasize the non-competitive nature the organiser, Stuart Hamilton said “this is not a race, it’s a picnic at Barton Farm. But, to get to the picnic you have to swim 1.8km along the River Avon.” He goes on to say though “But after saying it’s not a race – There is a starter and support kayaks and safety marshals as you would expect”.

Non swimmers are also welcome to come along to the picnic, to applaud the swimmers as they arrive back.

With four waves for swimmers to choose from, getting progressively more laid back, there should be something for everyone.

Wave one: Seriously Need More Cake (Known as Serious), start at 10.30am. Choose this wave if you would like to actually race, but be prepared for a bit of a scrum in the narrow sections.
Wave two: Relaxed ’cause we know where the cake is hidden (Known as Relaxed). Steady pace – no rush.
Wave three: Enjoying the Journey (Known as Enjoying it). Sculling along, maybe with a bit of paddling, smiling and chatting.
Wave four: Pooh Sticks. Basically it’s for people who want to really enjoy the scenery and float along using floaty things (nothing bigger than a lilo please) and stick out the occasional hand or foot to paddle. It could be as little as arm bands or a rubber ring.

Money raised goes to charities local to the swims with a primary interest in promoting a sustainable lifestyle and looking after the rivers to allow continued swimming.