Sea swimmers battle with powerful tide

Chloe Pollard
Chloe Pollard

Eastbourne hosted the Sussex 5km Open Water Swimming Championship on Saturday.

Swimmers aged from 13 to 67 raced in the sea from opposite The Langham Hotel towards the Pier.

The swim was four times round a rectangular course, marked by four buoys.

On the westward stretch, swimmers were carried by a powerful tide.

Many found themselves fighting to turn right, around the buoys, as they were taken towards the Pier.

The eastward stretch saw many local swimmers ‘groin hop’ along towards The Langham, trying to avoid the ferocious current.

First swimmer home was popular Eastbourne lady, Chloe Pollard, age 17, in a time of 1hour 19.07 minutes.

Chloe swims for East Grinstead Swimming Club and undertakes some of her training in the sea off The Lifeguard Beach.

Next to arrive at the beach, after a swim considered to be the equivalent of a half marathon in athletics, was Eastbourne’s Gary Brickley, age 49, in 1 hour 22 minutes.

Gary recently won the men’s veteran prize in the Brighton Pier to Pier race. He is a fast swimmer with amazing endurance. Close behind Gary was a group fighting for positions.

Second female was Maddie Drury, age 15, from Hailsham SC in 1hour 22.21 minutes and third female was 14 year old Bethany Stone from Portsmouth Northsea in 1hour 22.24 minutes.

Second male was Callum Lelliot, age 15, from Shiverers in 1hour 22.14 minutes, and third male was 36 year old David Kane from Erith in 1 hour 30.46 minutes.