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Inaugural Waveney River Swim is coming to Beccles

PUBLISHED: 15:35 27 March 2018 | UPDATED: 15:59 27 March 2018

The first ever Waveney River Swim will finish at Beccles Quay. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The first ever Waveney River Swim will finish at Beccles Quay. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2017

An inaugural river swim is set to be held in Beccles at the gateway to the southern Broads.

River Waveney.  PHOTO: Nick ButcherRiver Waveney. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

The 2018 Waveney River Swim will take place on Sunday, July 1, and coincide with Beccles Charter Weekend celebrations.

Participants will set off from the Waveney River Centre, in Burgh St Peter, and swim down the river for about 11.5km before finishing at Beccles Quay.

Organiser Melanie Holland, an avid open water swimmer, was inspired to start the swim after spending years travelling to similar events around the country.

She said: “We have such good waterways around here so I thought why not hold one here.”

The 43-year-old, who is originally from Australia but currently lives in Norwich, was determined to make this dream a reality.

She contacted the Broads Authority who in turn suggested the location of the point-to-point swim.

The swim is tide-assisted and divided into three legs of about 5km, 3.3km and 3.3km.

Mrs Holland said: “It is not for novices. At over 11 kilometres it is a near marathon distance for swimming.

“But it doesn’t matter if you are a fast or slow swimmer, all are welcome to take part.”

Swimmers who are somewhat daunted by the long distance are still encouraged to complete the swim as part of a team relay.

The Broads Authority are allowing swimmers to use two of its 24-hour mooring posts along the route as change-over points.

Entry is limited to 200 participants for the first year, with swimmers being released in waves of 50 from slowest to fastest.

Mrs Holland estimates the route will take slower swimmers five hours to complete and quicker swimmers roughly three hours.

She described the feedback following the announcement of the swim as “all positive and all excited”.

Mrs Holland added: “The event coincides with Beccles Charter Weekend so there will be other events and activities in the surrounding area if you would like to make a weekend of it.”

The river water will be tested one month prior to the event but previously received an excellent rating from Delta Simons environmental consultancy.

Organisers will be selecting a host of local charities to work with and benefit from the event.

For more information and to register for the inaugural event visit: www.broadswimming.co.uk

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