Solent Swim Challenge

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(Redirected from Cross-Solent Swim)

The Solent Swim Challenge or the Cross Solent Swim or Aspire’s Solent Swim Series is a 2.5 nautical mile (4.63 km) open water swim in Hampshire, England between the British mainland to the Isle of Wight, from Stokes Bay, Gosport, to Ryde Sands on the Isle of Wight.

Cross Solent Swim

The Cross Solent Swim was organised by the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust and Anna Wardley and her team at Seagrass Communications as a solo swim originally scheduled to be held on 17 August 2014. But due to high winds, the charity swim was delayed until 5 October 2014.

Aspire’s Solent Swim Series

Aspire’s Solent Swim Series is a series of 2.5-mile charity swims from Gosport to Ryde, Ryde to Gosport, and a two-way crossing of 5 miles.

Fastest Known Time

The Fastest Known Time (a bioprene FKT) was accomplished by Rory Fitzgerald during his Gosport to Ryde Swim across the Solent on 7 September 2015 with Kate Steels as his escort kayaker in 1 hour 25 minutes from GAFIRS to Ryde Beach west of the pier. GAFIRS is the Gosport and Fareham Inshore Rescue Station at Stokes Bay.

Charity Events

There are several charity swims (Wessex Cancer Trust, Ian Pratt MND, Isle of Wight Air ambulance, etc.) that do, or have previously, organized Solent crossings either at the east end (from Gosport to Ryde) or the west end which is somewhat shorter from Hurst Castle to Colwell Bay. These organized swims have seen several hundreds of swimmers completed the crossing. The Swimming the Solent for MND has been running since 2013 with between 50 and 80 swimmers per event.

2016 Solent Swim Dates


Since 2013 over 100 Aspire swimmers have successfully crossed this iconic stretch of water.


With challenging tides and swims taking place in wind conditions of up to force 4, safety is paramount. Each swimmer will be accompanied by a kayak, with a support vessel in attendance for each group. Swimmers can choose to wear wetsuits although the water temperature is expected to be a balmy 18°C.


External links