Hopes for Reintroduction of Historic Sea Swim

By bellmannews / October 13, 2023
view towards Polbare from the boardwalk

A STONEHAVEN open water swimmer hopes to reintroduce an annual bay swim challenge that took place last century until about the 1950s.

Rachel Shanks has been enjoying the challenging and invigourating North Sea waters in Botany Bay since June 2021.

At Tuesday night’s meeting of Stonehaven and District Community Council, she reminded members of the annual swim from Cowie to the harbour, with medals awarded to those completing the mile-long challenge.

Dr Shanks said she would like to reinstate the event next year, as it will be an auspicious year for many of the town’s sea-related institutions – the RNLI will celebrate 200 years of service, the Sea Cadets 70 years in Stonehaven and it will be the 90th anniversary of the open air pool.

Open water swim challenges take place in other communities, notably in Kessock where the 1200m ferry swim has been undertaken by athletes since 1946. It is a fundraising event organised under the auspices of Merkinch Community Council. Last year over 200 swimmers took part, raising over £4,000 for local causes.

Dr Shanks told members she hoped SDCC, who have event insurance cover in place, could take on the Stonehaven bay swim in a similar manner.

‘A great idea’ – SDCC member

While SDCC had various questions about the impact on their insurance premium, the need for safety cover and other matters of organisation, there was sufficient interest and support shown by members that they agreed to try and take the event forward.

Lesley Burt - October 14, 2023

My husband George holidayed every year at Stonehaven as a youngster. He was a keen competitive swimmer and remembers being asked to take part in the Swim in 1965 or 1966, so it lasted into the 60s.

bellmannews - October 13, 2023

Hi Karen – you are right! And I’ve checked the Stonehaven information and they came into operation in 1854.
I’ll amend the article.

Karen Smith - October 13, 2023

The RNLI celebrates 200 years of service in 2024

Comments are closed