River swimmers make a splash

By Mark Elson in Local People

A RECORD 82 swimmers made a charity splash when they dived into the River Wye for an annual race.

The fourth Great Wye Swim organised by Monmouth School Sports Centre on Sunday, May 21, raised £1,370 for Mesothelioma UK and the St David’s Foundation.

Swimmers raced over 1km and 2km distances from Dixton Church, blessed by good weather and low water levels and cheered on by a large crowd.

The event was the brainchild of Teresa Tranter, an admin officer at the sports centre, who took part for the first time this year and won the non-wetsuit female class over 1km in 14 minutes 10 seconds.

Fastest swimmer over 1km was Monnow Swimming Club’s Katie Cameron in 11 minutes seven seconds in the wetsuit class, who came in 24 seconds quicker than fastest man Matt Phillips.

Top 2km time went to Michael Lewis in a wetsuit in 17.45, with Kara Williams clocking 20.34 to take the women’s wetsuit class.

Heidi Brice in 21.28 was fastest woman in a swimsuit, beating fastest man Brian Phillips by five seconds.

Endeavour awards were presented to Leigh Watkins, Angela Whitehead and Teresa Tranter.

Sports club manager Iain MacDonald said: “The charities were chosen as MSSC had a couple of staff members whose mother and grandmother had recently succumbed to the condition and were looked after by the St David’s Foundation.

“It was great to have representatives from both charities – Christopher Slight from St David’s and Bob McLaren from Mesothelioma UK – to start the events, award the prizes and inform everyone about the work the charities carry out.

“The entire team at MSSC got involved in the organisation and many volunteered on the day, and I’d like to say a huge thank you to all the participants and the staff for making the event such a success.”

He also thanked the Forest of Dean Scout Group who manned the safety boats and said they will be their nominated charity for next year’s event.

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