Wye Wye Wye Delemaah – A review of the inaugural Wild Wye Swim – Nick Murch #TeamSelkie

#TEAMSELKIE  1st December 2017

Nick Murch - Wild wye swim

Wye Wye Wye Delemaah – A review of the inaugural Wild Wye Swim

I saw the swim advertised online and applied in the window
I saw the condition a wetsuit must be worn
She was my wye swim
As I found out skins were not fair I went out of my mind
My, my, my, Delemaah
Wye, wye, wye, Delemaah
I know the wetsuit is no good for me
But I wanted to meet with my friends and swim free
At start of the swim when the minibus filled, I was waiting
I travelled in the vehicle with my friend Charlie, who opened the door
We stood there laughing
I felt the cold of the water and we laughed no more
My, my, my Delemaah
Wye, wye, wye Delemaah
So before the open water purists break down the door
Forgive me Delemaah I just couldn’t wear skins any more

[insert trumpet solo here]

We lay there swimming
I felt the rocks under my hand and we laughed no more
My, my, my, Delilah
Wye, wye, wye, Delilah
So before the open water purists break down the door
Forgive me Delemaah I just couldn’t wear skins any more

Forgive me Delemaah I just couldn’t wear skins any more


Sorry for the earworm, but this song sprang to mind when considering a write up of the inaugural Wild Wye swim (https://wildwyeswim.org.uk/) on the border between England and Wales. The swim was planned for September 24th 2017 and was located near Symonds Yat.

Despite being an ardent skins swimmer for the past several years, as this was the first event, wetsuits were mandated for safety reasons. So I dusted off the suit (which has shrunk again since I last wore it…) and travelled down to meet my friends in South Wales. I had hoped to see if my shoulder would be able to complete the course after my lingering injury from the 69km Geneva swim in 2016.

The registration and finish was in a field at Huntsham Bridge (with a bbq, changing tents and impromptu rave going on) and the swim passed through privately owned land with beautiful views.

Nick Murch - Wild wye swim2

Minibus shuttles ran the swimmers to the start of their swims – there were planned 12km, 7km and 1 km swims. I’d opted for the 12km (which some people measured at less on their GPS, and the website now reads as a 10.5km swim). Following a mass start (not sure how many people waited). I decided to swim with my University and Waterpolo friend Charlie as I knew we’d swum together on the Thames marathon a few years ago. We took it in turns to lead by finding the fastest flow of the river and following each other. Intrinsically lazy, we both aimed for minimum effort! The course was so fast that we missed all the feeding spots and finished in World Record Pace… (approx 1hr 25 from memory) apart from the one chap (Paul Smith) who finished in front of us. We’d caught everyone else and overtaken them, but Paul kicked on again when we caught him and I was worried about my shoulder, not helped by the finish having to sprint across the flow of the river to finish just in front of Charlie and grab a rope to avoid missing the finish…

Lunch followed at a lovely pub at Symonds Yat.

This new event was raising money for the Severn Area Rescue Association (SARA) who provided the safety support. I can honestly say this was the most comprehensive and visible safety support I have ever seen at an organized event.

Official photos are available on the facebook page set up for the event.

The plan is for this to become an annual event. It sold out in 3 days thjs year so clearly there is an appetite – I’ll aim to be back next year if skins are allowed, as I’m sure my suit will shrink further in the next 12 months… and i hope I get rid of that ear worm…

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