5k Across the Bay – Charity swim returns for 2024

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After a successful first year, the 5K Across the Bay open water swim is returning for 2024 and this time with a strong environmental fundraising theme.

Royal Cornwall Hospitals Charity in partnership with SureSwim Kernow and this year, Cornwall Wildlife Trust, will run the event on Saturday 13th July with the route stretching across the waters of Falmouth Bay. The charity, non-commercial event, will take place with thanks to local surf life saving clubs and local volunteers giving their time in support. 

With places limited at 50, the event is not just a chance to take on a personal challenge, the main emphasis is to raise funds and awareness for two Cornish charities.

Swimmers, who must be experienced open water swimmers, will choose from supporting Royal Cornwall Hospitals Charity, in which case funds will drive innovative research in sustainability at the NHS Trust.

“It is exciting that funds raised will be used to drive research that focuses on innovation in sustainability across our NHS Trust. The role of healthcare in creating waste is clear and so anything that can be done to look at ways to reduce waste, whilst still maintaining clinical standards, has to be a huge win for everyone – the patient, the Trust and of course our fragile planet,” said Karen Murrish, Fundraising Manager, Royal Cornwall Hospitals Charity.

The charity has special permission from Dutch artist Maria Koijck to use her image to illustrate the scale of the impact and emphasise the importance of research in this area. The artist is photographed lying in the middle of the vast quantity of surgical materials used for her single breast cancer operation.

A lady in a green theatre gown - Maria Koijck - in the middle of a circle surrounded by hundreds of items used in her operation

New event partners, Cornwall Wildlife Trust, will use money raised to boost the Ocean Emergency Fund, helping to secure the future of the fascinating – but fragile – marine habitats and species around the Cornwall coast.

The Trust are fitting event partners as the challenge route takes place exclusively in the Fal and Helford Special Area of Conservation, an international designation afforded to protect the marine environment,

Matt Slater of Cornwall Wildlife Trust explains the importance of the area, “Both habitats are critical nursery areas for many familiar and commercially important fish species, including bass, scallops, rays, and cuttlefish. They are also invaluable in the fight against climate change due to their extraordinary ability to store ‘blue carbon’. As the swimmers pass Stack Point, they will be passing over one of the UK’s best examples of the incredibly rare and ‘irreplaceable’ maerl beds.”

Credit to Matt Slater

Matt goes on to explain how funds raised through the event will support his fragile environment,

“By participating in this event for the Trust’s Ocean Emergency Fund, swimmers will help us to create a future where Cornwall’s marine life can thrive, through funding a varied range of marine conservation work,” said Matt Slater, Cornwall Wildlife Trust.

Starting at Rosemullion Head, the route passes in front of the beaches of Nansidwell, Maenporth, Swanpool and Gyllngvase, before ending at Silver Steps on Pendennis Head.

“This event is a unique opportunity to swim this distance across the beautiful area of Falmouth Bay whilst raising vital funds for relevant local causes. We are hugely reliant on support from local surf life savers and community volunteers to make the event a success,” said Clare Lewis of Sureswim Kernow.

“Our event team are also putting a call out to the local businesses that line the route to ask for their support in recognition of the importance of looking after our fragile environment,” Clare added.

“Last year, 5k Across the Bay raised over £15,000 and we hope to smash that amount for this year’s event,” said Karen Murrish, Fundraising Manager for Royal Cornwall Hospitals Charity. 

Credit to Laura Battersby

Places are limited to 50 swimmers. Registration is £50 per swimmer and in addition there is a requirement to raise funds for Cornwall Wildlife Trust or RCHT Charity.

Swimmers are asked to register here https://app.donorfy.com/form/5FUW7UWEY9/5KATBRCHTCHARITY  

Further information on the event organisers can be found in the links below:

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