Longest, hardest, fastest swim i have ever done. Set in the beautiful backdrop of the foothills of Snowdonia Nataional Park, Dovey 13 km swim is the longest estuary swim in the UK. Not an expensive one to enter ( forgotten how much as originally meant to happen in 2019 but was deferred for 2 years owing to Covid pandemic) Not the easiest trek up from North Devon - could take you as little as 5 hours or could be longer if you get stuck on the M5 car park ! 3 members of NDT set out to achieve this challenge.
Registration at Pennal Pub, very simple affair & quick on the morning of the swim. There were only 85 entrants so not a massive field. You certainly could spot all the dry robes. Most people were doing it in wetsuits as sea temp 16 degs getting colder as you headed up river. Bag drop at registration to meet you at the end of the swim. Double decker bus trip for 8 miles down to Aberdovey, at the mouth of the River Dovey. A rather large estuary indeed. Gathered on the beach with a very simple brief to swim upstream. Having studied the map & previous You Tube videos it looked very different from the beach area.
The tide was coming in but on this occasion it was not a nice spring tide so there were going to be some sandflats to contend with. Good safety cover from SUP's and Kayaks all the way though there were some occasions when you felt you were on your own. Following the northern aspect of the estuary for 4 miles did see a bit of walking as it was so shallow. The hardest part was crossing the estuary to start the narrower part of the river. Round the U Bend and then the pleasant site of the railway bridge which was the 10 km mark - quick stop for some food & a drink. It was hard to hold onto the boat as the tide was definitely following now. Only 3 km to go along the meandering river. Exit from the river was via a ladder.
2 hours 21 minutes for me / 2 hours 14 mins for Alex / 2 hours 57 minutes for Sharon.
Will definitely want to do this one again. Yes it was long, but what an achievement. Not many people can say they have swam 8 miles !