Skipton Swimarathon 2021 raises a record £80,000

Nick Guillemette, independent chairman of the organising committee, said that it was on course to reach £80,000, compared to 2020’s £71,000.’

‘Mr and Mrs Guernsey are generally very generous no matter what their income. It’s the same Guernsey public which is donating to all the other charities, too. Guernsey is a very generous island.

‘We’ve had even more teams this year, about 250 and that includes all the schools in Guernsey.’

A separate event was held at St Sampson’s High, where the students were able to make use of their own 25m pool.

Last year it was the only swimarathon to take place in the British Isles and after 45 years without a break, it is the longest-standing fund raising event in the island.

Organised jointly by the Lions Club and the Round Table, money is donated to several selected charities each year. The Priaulx Premature Baby Foundation is one of the charities chosen this year, and its teams were among the last in the pool when the closing siren went at noon yesterday.

‘We’ve got 20 people across three lanes,’ said Peter Beausire, one of the charity’s ambassadors, ‘and we’ve got nine premature babies in the team. In total we’ve done about 150 lengths so far.

This was the first time the charity had been selected as one of the beneficiaries, he said.

A few lanes’ across a team of eight from Betley Whitehorne was taking part: ‘We’ve done it for the last four or five years,’ said Phil Sweet.

‘We try and do lots of things from the corporate social responsibility point of view.’

Youngest member of the team was Stephanie Neethling, seven, who was taking part for the first time, but was a regular swimmer at Kings. She was more at home in the pool than the sea, however, and said she had not swum in the sea this year. ‘It’s too cold,’ she said.

Yesterday marked the conclusion of Mr Guillemette’s five years as independent chairman of the organising committee and he said he was delighted to be going out on a record occasion.

‘It’s really thanks to all the people who have supported us and all the swimmers,’ he said.

Organising committee member Roy Bisson gave a public vote of thanks to Mr Guillemette as the event ended.

‘Working with him on the organisation of the Swimarathon has been an enormous pleasure and in all the years of the Swimarathon we have never seen anybody as dedicated.

‘Hard luck John Stuart,’ he announced to the swimmers and supporters, ‘because he’s got to follow him.’

One of Mr Guillemette’s last jobs as chairman will be to go through all the data, and work out who has won the various trophies on offer.

These will be presented on Wednesday 13 October.

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