Blackpool Pier to Pier Open Water Swim returns this weekend for ‘extra special’ race

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Dr Julie Bradshaw MBE brought the race back to Blackpool in 2018 and she can’t wait to see it happen again after the 2020 postponement due to Covid

 

The Pier to Pier open water swim
The Pier to Pier open water swim (Image: Gregg Wolsetenholme)

A unique open water swimming event organised by a world record holder is set to take place in Blackpool this weekend.

The Pier to Pier open water swim will see swimmers make their way from North to South Pier in the seaside resort on Saturday (September 4).

Around 120 swimmers will head to the start of the event by travelling from South Pier to North Pier in one of Blackpool’s heritage trams before heading off on their 1.6 mile swim.

Since the annual event returned in 2018 it has been organised by Blackpool-born Dr Julie Bradshaw MBE.

Dr Bradshaw first swam the English Channel at the age of 15 and in 2002 did it again using the swimming stroke butterfly, which she completed in 14 hours and 18 minutes, breaking the previous record by over nine hours.

Although she now lives in Loughborough she was keen to bring back the Pier to Pier event as the route is the same she used as a young girl to train for swimming across the English Channel in 1979 when she completed it in a new British junior record time when she was 15.

The event is run in conjunction with Blackpool Council and Dr Bradshaw thanked Richard Williams and his Blackpool Beach Patrol team for their support.

“I am super excited to be running this iconic event, for the third year, since bringing it back to Blackpool in 2018,” she said.

Dr Julie Bradshaw
Dr Julie Bradshaw

“It is extra special in 2021 given the pandemic hit and caused postponement in 2020.

“I am always grateful for the volunteers who readily give their time and without whom this event would not be as successful as it is.

“While I lost some of the 2020 sponsors due to Covid and them going under, I am forever grateful to others who stepped in and to those stakeholders who continue their support including Swimzi, Blackpool Council, Blackpool Beach Patrol, Gregg Wolstenholme, Blackpool Transport, Sandcastle Waterpark and Max Spielman.”

The entry fee is £58 and the event will kick off at 8am with a safety briefing.

Swimmers will have will have 90 minutes to complete the course. Anyone who is unable to do so in the time will be pulled from the water by the Beach Patrol and escorted safely to shore.

The event aims to raise awareness for the LoveMyBeach charity which carries out work to maintain the cleanliness of beaches, bathing waters and wildlife across the UK.