Topsham preparing for estuary swim

Excitement is growing among local swimmers for the 2011 Topsham to Turf Swim.

The swim will take place on August 6, and already 26 people have signed up for the one-and-a-half mile course.

The swimmers will be raising money for the Estuary League of Friends, which is organising the event along with Topsham Sailing Club and Turf Hotel.

The traditional swim across the estuary was revived in 2005 by Topsham ferryman Mike Stevens, and has since become an annual event.

Mr Stevens said: “It’s fantastic that this swim has become a new tradition. It’s become part of the summer life in Topsham.”

Last year, the Estuary League of Friends raised �5,000 from the swim, but this year the charity is hoping to smash that total and raise �7,500.

To reach that target, the event will need to attract up to 150 swimmers - nearly double last year’s entry.

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The money is needed to keep the charity’s minibus running for the next 12 months.

The charity’s chief executive, Rachel Gilpin, said: “We use the minibus for outings and to transport people to our events and it’s a very important service for Topsham and the surrounding area.”

As well as looking for swimmers, the organisers also need skilled volunteers to patrol the course in canoes or kayaks.

Rachel said: “It’s a very pleasant day to be on the water and we hope to get as much assistance as possible to keep this tradition alive.”

To take part in the event, swimmers need to pay a �25 entry fee and also raise at least �25 in additional sponsorship.

The closing date for entries is July 29, and swimmers can register online at For details, or if you can help out, contact Estuary League of Friends on (01392) 879009 or email

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