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Sunglasses and Soggy Socks

By Talyn Williams
11, Sep, 2017

We joined swimmers on the Dittisham Ham for this year's Dart 10k

Graham Wynne

This weekend we left the bikes in the shed, packed our wetsuits, threw a few towels in the AlpVan (1,600 to be precise) and headed down to Devon to join the Outdoor Swimming Society for the notorious Dart 10k. Now in its 8th year, swimmers dive into the River Dart at Totnes and kick and paddle themselves 10km down river to the little village of Dittisham. We joined them at the finish line to wish them a congratulations.

The sun rising on to the river on Saturday morning

The sun rising as the lifeguards and volunteers began preparations

 

Lifeguards and volunteers loading on to the boats to begin preparations

 

We couldn't have asked for a nicer morning to set things off on Saturday. We got our Alpkit pop up shop ready in enough time to get the sunglasses out and enjoy the view over the river from the spectator area, where deckchairs were at the ready for friends and family wishing to watch the swimmers approaching the shore.

 

Deckchairs laid out with a view for spectators to watch the swimmers finnish

 

The sun shining on Dittisham Ham before people started arriving

 

Sunshine on the Ham with deckchairs ready for relaxation

 

Looking down to the finish line before the swimmers arrived

A peaceful finish line before the arrival of the swimmers

 

The River Dart in all its glory

 

Up at Totnes, the first wave of swimmers took the plunge into the murky waters. There had been fair bit of wind and rain in the run-up to the weekend so the water wasn't at its best. However, this didn't stop anyone from getting their head down and enjoying a jolly good swim - sometimes there's no better way to wake up in the morning than jumping into some wild water. We spoke to one swimmer whose New Years Day tradition was to go for a swim in their local lake, what a way to start the year!

 

The first wave of swimmers taking the plunge at Totnes

Swimmers getting started at Totnes | Photo: Graham Wynne

 

A sea of yellow swim caps as they head down the Dart

Photo: Graham Wynne

 

Lifeguards and swimmers heading down the Dart on a perfect morning for a swim

A perfect morning for a swim | Photo: Graham Wynne

 

Back on the Ham in Dittisham village, friends and family began showing up (and with them the clouds and rain) and before long, the weary swimmers emerged onto the shore. Live music, great food and a hot chocolate or two meant that not even the intermittent showers, a bit of wind and a few soggy socks could dampen any spirits. 

 

Spectators gathered on the Ham to watch the wild swimmers reach the shore

Spectators gathering to cheer on swimmers

 

As the tide slowly draws out to the sea, it brings swimmers to the shore

A view of the finish line | Photo: Graham Wynne

 

A sunny Alpkit pop-up shop on Dittisham Ham

 

With wet weather inevitably comes a little mud, but we don't mind

Photo: Graham Wynne

 

Although a little wet, it was great to be able to take the space maker sale on the road

Taking the Space Maker Sale on the road!

 

Sunday brought the worst of the weather, but the Alpkit gazebo provided us with enough shelter

Sunday morning wasn't quite as nice as the previous days sunshine!

 

Looking further down river, we couldn't help but wish we had a boat here too!

 

There was a great atmosphere throughout the weekend and everyone came out to support the swimmers

Photo: Graham Wynne

 

After completing the challenge, swimmers were greeted with a nice new towel to help keep them warm and dry.

 

All of the swimmers were greeted with towels and these two were chuffed to bits

Happy faces with their new towels

 

The big 10k sign to remind swimmers of the challenge they just completed

 

After such a great weekend, we can't wait to join in again next year. After all, it's a pretty good thing in a pretty nice place!

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