• Our 2011 swimmers before going on stage...
  • One of the swimmers gliding through the sea...
  • Debut swimmer Doddy before the big jump off!
  • Another happy swimmer...
  • Limbering up!
Laura Cowper

Laura Cowper


Hey hey hey!!

My name is Laura, I live in Southampton and after the past 2 years at Bestival I've realised that the only way to get there this year is by swimming there. I'm not sure why I decided to do this, I have a massive fear of deep water so I'll probably end up getting lost as I'll be swimming either with my eyes shut or on my back...

I currently work as a manager of a leisure centre so really have no excuse for training as the pool is free to use! As well as this I've signed up for the majority of the British Gas Open Water Swim series to try and get some experience in open water, I'm far too used to swimming in 29 degree water and I've been told the Solent is a bit colder than this.

This swim is pushing me well outside of my comfort zone but it's an opportunity of a lifetime for me and I'm so happy that the guys at Swim2Bestival have given me this chance to raise money for Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) who screen people under 30 for free to check for any heart issues and also Island Youth Water Activity Centre who do a brilliant job encouraging kids to take part in all things watery!

I can't wait to jump in, get swimming and enjoy every second of this swim. Please feel free to sponsor me at:

http://www.virginmoneygiving.com/LauraCowper

Thanks for reading and see you all at the best festival getting your groove on! Xxx



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Nick Bennett

Nick Bennett


Thanks for stopping by... I'm kinda new to this, but I'm Nick and I like long walks along the beach, laughing, Sunday roasts, travelling, going out with my friends, writing poetry and looking after vulnerable cute furry animals. I guess I'm looking for a partner in crime to..wait....that's a different profile. Let's start again.

When not swimming I'm a rock-climbing-wakeboarding-snowboarding-ad-man. I like all types of music and have been to more gigs than I've had hot meals. Considering my undeniably un-ghetto up-bringing I'm probably a bit too obsessed with hip-hop - it just don't stop apparently.

Basically I learnt to swim really quickly because whenever I'm in the sea (like everybody else in the world) I imagine there's a big shark swimming behind me with danger on its mind. This swimming technique, as we pro's call it the 'SharkySharkySwimSwim' technique, has allowed for a life of water-sports based fun and 2014's the time to dial it up a notch. Time to join the big fish and get real - big swim style.

So along with my other equally awesome elite swimming compadres (including my inspiration, my rock and best mate - Alison Vargas) I'm going to be swimming to Bestival this year. I'm going to be donating wheelbarrows full of cash to Cancer Research UK and Island Youth Waters Activity Centre (both pretty awesome charidees right there) and singing all of Outkast's back catalogue in my summer training. See y'all on the main stage at Bestival for perhaps the most poorly choreographed dance-off you've ever seen.



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Elliott Caen

Elliott Caen


I enjoy bubble baths, long walks on the beach and Die Hard. I am often a liability for those around me, however I will be stretching before I swim and wearing Suncream throughout the weekend, so there is no need for anyone to be alarmed.

I am very excited to struggle into the snuggest of wetsuits and scale the clear blue waters of the solent in support of the Multiple Sclerosis Trust who support people across the UK living with MS.

Peace, Love and Disco



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Alison Vargas

Allison Vargas


Hello my name is Alison and I’m a trier.

As a small person I feel I am often underestimated in my physical capabilities. I once told an ex-boyfriend of mine that I wanted to do a triathlon and he laughed in my face (and spat a bit of his drink in my left eye for affect too). Needless to say he is no longer around (he is alive but no longer within spitting distance of my face) and I have since completed numerous triathlons.

I wasn't a born swimmer but self taught to front crawl for my first tri and ever since I spend my summers swimming in dirty London open water and wouldn't have it any other way. As well as being small in stature, I am also awkward in personality. I like a good challenge.

My chosen charity is Spinal Research. With the amazing developments in spinal cord injury research, we could be looking at people with these injuries in the not so distant future regaining function and improving their quality of life. My mum suffered a C5 spinal cord injury after surgery went wrong in 1990. Sadly she passed away in 2006, aged 58, after suffering respiratory problems as a secondary complication to her injury. But with recent research into spinal cord injury shows a hopeful promise for those affected. Mum isn't around to see these breakthroughs but hopefully with ongoing work people with SCI will have the chance of a brighter outlook.



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Liam Ivory

Liam Ivory


My name is Liam. After my health assessment at my gym the other day, my instructor declared me overweight, so oddly this swim seems like a sensible thing to do. I’m scared of open water, fish, and I can’t actually swim yet, also did I mention I’m clinically overweight? On a lighter note (no pun intended) I enjoy a challenge, some would say I like being thrown in at the deep end (pun intended). One of the reasons why I’m not as fighting fit as the rest of the young whipper snappers out there is simply because other than writing puns, I write music, in a shed in my parent’s garden. So I don’t get much exercise. This time spent in the shed has somehow become my career, which has led to me playing a gig at Bestival. So I figured I’d chuck in my hovercraft ticket for a pair of speedo’s and attempt to lose some weight. Best-of-all (last one), I can raise some money for people less fortunate and less heavy than me along the way.



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Linday Konieczny

Lindsay Konieczny


It seemed like such an easy idea when I thought I'd never be picked... Yikes - time to get the onesie out!

Mega excited to be on the Swim2Bestival team this year, I just hope the Solent sharks don't nibble at my toes and I make it to the island in one piece...

Hopefully just knowing the beautiful Natty is playing, the thought of the magical party vibes on the other side and of course fundraising for a good cause close to my heart, will fingers crossed - see me paddle over to the little white island safe and sound and ready for a jiggle.

I'm raising awareness and support for The Alzheimer's Society this year, if you feel you're able to sponsor me then please do, you can find my details here: www.virginmoneygiving.com/LindsayKonieczny Much love and see you on the Main Stage! xXx



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Joanne Weaver

Joanne Weaver


Hey! I'm Jo & I'm from Hitchin, Hertfordshire….possibly one of the few places in the UK that is furthest away from any open water! But that's not stopping me!!!

I love swimming (albeit generally in swimming pools in hot countries..) I love festivals. I love a challenge. I love doing things where people's main reaction is 'what the **?!' Therefore, I thought Swim2Bestival - I would be stupid not to right?!! Not the response I got from most people when I told them my application had been successful!! But, oh well. No backing out now :)

As well as being a perfectly mental challenge, a story to tell the grandkids & the only way of getting on the main stage, other than being Nile Rodgers or finally learning to play an instrument other than the clarinet… the main reason I'm doing this is in memory of my Mum, who lost her battle with Lymphoma cancer last year- I know that she would have been first to apply for something like this, so I thought it's got to be done!

Throughout the Summer, I have also set myself the challenge of taking part in a couple of other challenging events, all with the hope of raising lots of money for the Lymphoma association, with Swim2Bestival being my final one! I just couldn't think of a better way to celebrate finishing other than by attending my favourite festival in the whole wide world, dancing in a field with a cider in each hand…along with the soundtrack of 'Ms Jackson!'… PERFECT : )

See you in the Solent!



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Joely Brammer

Joely Brammer


I'm Joely and I'm raising money for charity Guy's Trust who create educational opportunities for young people in developing countries. I went over to Nepal with them last year to help build one of the school and it was a fantastic experience to be involved with and see just how the money is being put to use. We're hoping to start a new project over in Cambodia so I'm swimming to Bestival to help fund this.

The trust was set up in honour of my friend Guy who passed away; he loved Bestival and we had a great time there together in 2011 before he passed. I hope he'd be proud of me making this mammoth journey across the Solent!



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Thom Cromar

Thom Cromar


Hello! My name is Thom and I will be 33 by the time the swim starts! Have done a couple of half marathons and like a challenge, so when my friend asked me if I wanted to go to Bestival I said "yes please", when she asked me if I'd like to swim there is said "HEL YEAH!!!" Haven't swam that far before in the sea but can’t wait!!! Some people think we're crazy for doing it, we think they're crazy for not!! What better way to start what will be an unforgettable weekend?!!!

As a former teacher I learned a lot about the NSPCC and the value they bring to the lives of young people as well as the training they provide for teachers and carers, so I decided I'd like to dedicate the swim to them and the amazing work they do, and what a fantastic way to raise money for them!

Can’t wait to meet all the other legends swimming to Bestival

Boomshanka!



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Tom Caen

Tom Caen


A picture of me on one of my better days…

Anyway. I’m Tom and I’m from sunny Milton Keynes so I’ll be looking to make the most of being by the seaside. I’m swimming to Bestival with my brother (I got my 100m badge first) and I’ll be making sure he is looked after and has plenty to drink over the course of the weekend.

I feel my front crawl will be my strongest method to help me complete this challenge, however, I do lack strength in depth and, if a change is needed, my doggie paddle could ensure an anxious finish. It will all be worth it though as I’m swimming in support of the Meningitis Research Foundation.

Disco, Love, Peace



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James Edwards

James Edwards


I can’t believe I’m Swimming 2 Bestival! I met the fantastic swimmers last year and personally thought it was a crazy idea. However after witnessing the great spirit of the event and the lengths everybody involved went to for their given charities, I found myself joining up this year (plus having a few ciders helped the decision on its way). As you can see from the photo I have already begun a strict diet and exercise regime. One thing’s for sure, as I doggy paddle my way to the Isle of Wight I shall be holding onto the thought that at least it beats queuing for 4 hours for a ferry!

The proceeds raised will be sent to Naomi House Children’s Hospice and the Island Youth Water Activities Centre on the Isle of Wight. Any money you can spare would be greatly appreciated by both myself and these wonderful charities... and of course will provide me with an extra incentive to do well when I begin to sink half way across The Solent!

Please sponsor me at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/JamesEdwardsSwim2Bestival


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Will Platt

Will Platt


Now then, my name is Will and this September I will be fulfilling my childhood dream of swimming to magical Isle of Wight!

I grew up Northampton (which by the way is nowhere near Southampton) and almost every half term, Easter, summer and Christmas holidays my parents would ship me and my brothers off to the Isle of Wight to stay with our grandparents. I've been on countless hovercrafts, ferries and catamarans but no more! Sorry Wightlink, sorry Red Funnel, this time I'm making my own way there.

I am raising money for the Island's Youth Water Activities Centre and Marie Curie Cancer Care. You can visit my Virgin Money Giving page here:

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/WillPlattIsSwimmingTheSolent



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issy Arnold

Issy Arnold


Some say I was adopted from a family of wild seals and maybe this is why I felt the need to respond to the call of the ocean and apply to Swim2Bestival as soon as I found out about it. What better way to return to my roots than to don my bejewelled disco goggles and wetsuit/mirror ball hybrid (still figuring out how to make one of those) and swim to the GREATEST PARTY OF ALL TIME. I cannot wait to watch Outkast and pretend I know all the words to Ms Jackson knowing that I have swam all the way there like some kind of hip hop pilgrimage.

Along with my bezzie mate Saskia, I’ll be raising money for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices who do amazing work with terminally ill children where we both live.



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Saskia Martindale

Saskia Martindale


HEY!

I’m Saskia and I’m swimming in a team with ma main gal Iz. We’re raising moniez for EACH, a fab charity that Issy’s been volunteering with, who help terminally ill Children. I spend ma time drawing ballet dancing Baboons and thinking of ways to customise my swimming costume (art student) … so far it’s the full diamonté look. Allllll my friends went to Bestival last year and I was so so jel of them. Swimming is my fave thing, so I’m super duper excited to be splashing my way to my first ever Bestival as part of Swim2Bestival (as long as we don’t get eaten by sharks)

See ya thuuurrrrrrrrr guys! XXX



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Nick Porter

Nick Porter


Hi Everyone,

I’m a sport addict from Wimbledon, enjoying everything from skiing to tennis to swimming. As soon as I saw the Bestival swim last year I knew I had to take part. With only two weeks to the festival I had to be patient and hatched a plan to enter for 2014 (I never usually plan more than a few weeks in advance, so a whole year is fairly exceptional!)

After a bout of manflu, I had a lot of time to think about my Swim to Bestival application. Somehow, the crew took kindly to my delirium-fuelled efforts and I received my acceptance by email late one evening.

Absolutely no sleep later, the reality hit me – I would be going heading to the Isle under my own power this year. Roll on the early morning laps, chilly open water preparation sessions and an awesome challenge followed by some smashing tunes and smashing some beers. Look forward to seeing you all out in the channel!

Can’t wait!

PS sponsoring is good for the sole http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/NickPorter



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Alistair Hopson

Alistair Hopson


My name’s Alistair, I’m 21, and I’ve just finished studying English in Belfast.

I can’t say I’ve always liked endurance sports – or likewise that I’ve always liked swimming. I was never good at either - and I was always a terrible swimmer! And so fairly recently I decided to see if it was possible to not be so bad at it, and sure enough I’m now quite an enthusiast! Preparing to swim to Bestival has thrown up other interesting challenges and episodes with getting used to outdoor swimming.

I’ve wanted to do swim to Bestival for a long time now – and I’m grateful to finally have the time to do it. The proceeds I raise from my swim will be going towards Cancer Research.

See you there!



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Tiki Muir

Tiki Muir


Hi I’m Tiki! I'd been looking for a new event to do this summer to raise money for charity. As a lover of swimming and the ocean, Swim2Bestival seemed the perfect opportunity to not only raise money for a charity that promotes these values for young people (Island’s Youth Water Activities Centre), but also raises the profile of swimming itself.

As a 'local', from West Sussex, the Isle of Wight and the challenge of crossing the Solent are never far from sight or mind - a home game of sorts! After Bestival I will be returning to University in Edinburgh and so this is a great way to aptly affirm my southern roots before returning to the cold, distant north!

I’ve chosen to raise money for Cancer Research UK alongside IYWAC. Find my sponsor page here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/TikiMuir and look out for me on the other side!



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Lauren Downie

Lauren Donwie


I’m swimming to Bestival mainly for the crazy personal challenge that it will offer me. I've never done anything like this before and am really excited about spending the summer preparing and training for it, not to mention the buzz and the sense of achievement when we walk up that beach on the Isle of Wight and manage to make it to one of the best festivals there is.

Over and above that, I will be raising money for a new charity was that started up last year by the sister of a close friend of mine. She was diagnosed with leukemia and it was touch and go for her for a long while. However, her brother underwent stem cell donation for her, a procedure which was traumatic and threatened the health of both of them. She is now recovering and although she'll always be weaker than she was before, is managing to build her life again. Her charity raises awareness and money for people in a similar situation, and I'd love be able to do something, no matter how small, to help them out.



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Mike Stacey

Mike Stacey


This will be my first significant sea swim. In recent years, I have dipped toes in various bodies of water, including the ponds at Hampstead, the lake at Blenheim, the lido at Tooting and the canal in Sangin. I usually support a good cause and this time the Royal British Legion will be the main beneficiary of my efforts.

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Daniel Hewitt

Daniel Hewitt


My only swimming achievement to date was being awarded my bronze swimming badge at the age of 7. Keen to build on this impressive foundation, swimming the Solent seemed like the next logical step. My athletic and sporting career are both sadly short and undistinguished. I may have to call upon my fear of failure to propel me there rather than any physical prowess. Delighted to be able to combine going to a festival with raising some money for charity. And I now possess a new found respect for drunken promises! See you on the Island.


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Hanna Downie

Hanna Downie


I’m Hanna. I’ve been pondering over a personal challenge for some time now. What could be better than Bestival being the finishing line?

I’m pretty scared but I’m sure I’ll make it. I’m lucky to have the support from fellow swimmers Thom, and Lauren (my wonderful sister).

I’m a bit of a crazy dog lady. I live and work with dogs so it seems right to raise money for a local charity of mine whom I visit regularly, Battersea Cats and Dogs home.

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/HannaDownie


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Abi Read

Abi Read


I was lucky enough to be given a last minute place on this swim, to join my best buds Hanna, Lauren, and Thom, and could not be more made up about it. I’ve been practicing my best mermaid swimming techniques with Hanna in the Tooting Bec Lido, and have almost got it perfected.

I’m raising money for Huntington’s Disease Association, a charity that in the last few years has become close to my heart, after my best friends mum was diagnosed with the disease. My just giving account is at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/AbigailRead and any contribution you could make would be received with a lot of very grateful love.

See you splishing and splashing my way across the Solent…


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Lee Livingstone

Lee Livingstone


Hi I'm Lee. My original thoughts upon swimming to Bestival was to swim as a mer-man with an elaborate single foot fin and a mankini. This could be classed as cheating so instead I've had to learn to swim. Last year I was privileged enough to work on the safety team and was overwhelmed by the excitement of achievement once swimmers got to the island, hence my decision to swim this year in 2014. I will be swimming in aid of two charities, firstly Plymouth Music Zone who make a huge difference through music in Plymouth. Raising money for them means more sessions can reach further into the community bringing positivity and wonderful musical sounds across the city. Secondly, I will be raising money for Devon and Cornwall Air ambulances for their outstanding work with coastal rescues come rain or shine. See you soon!


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Ben Goodall

Ben Goodall


Hi boys and girls, I have been persuaded to come to Bestial (my first ever festival) for a LADS-ON-TOUR style bender. Basically applied to Swim2Bestival to demonstrate my coconuts to the boys but there appears to be a horrible mistake in that I’ve actually been selected. Absolutely Kaking myself.

Used to swim better than the average bear but those skills have long since departed. To me, now days, endurance sport is putting on both socks without a break. For this swim, I take inspiration from the crabs you see on Attenborough documentaries, risking the perils of the ocean to reach a spawning frenzy and my preparation will consist of the arduous task of tidying my bikini line and reducing the temperature of my baths from a comfortable 32°C to what I choose to believe the Solent will be at around 24°C (ye right).


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