• 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!
Neil Boad

Neil Boad

So, I’m Neil and last year I think started my mid-life crisis!

As I couldn’t afford a Porsche or an affair I decided to enter Ironman Austria instead, at that time I couldn’t swim more than 2 lengths front crawl in a pool, hadn’t run a marathon or even done a triathlon!

So, I had some swimming lessons and loved it!

I’m also a drummer who’s played in various bands over the year; funk & soul, Motown and disco plus numerous original bands and I just love music in all forms, this year a group of us are heading to Bestival which is when I spotted the opportunity to Swim2Bestival, why not I thought! ;-)

Not only is it a great way (well, different!) to get to Bestival, it’s the opportunity to do something only a few have the chance to do, plus we get to raise money for some fantastic charities. Oh, and if we manage it, we get to walk onto the main stage at Bestival…… I may never get the chance to play there, but hey, at least I trod the boards! ;-)

See you all at Bestival…………


 Pip Jason-Ryan

Pip Jason-Ryan

I am Pip, Snip, Pips McGee whatever you want to call me (pretty much respond to anything) and I am swimming to Bestival!
Did I think I would get selected for this? Nope… Am I mad enough to do it? ABSOLUTLEY.

Family and friends would agree that I am a bit crazy – in the fun loving sense (I think!) I sing a lot (terribly) and dance around a lot not to mention my life does exist purely on asking would you rather questions; queue question: Would you rather swim to Bestival or take the Ferry there? Duh-Doy! SWIM of course!

I am far from a super fit athlete (…well) but my joy and passion for a challenge will certainly carry me through what quite possibly be the most tortuous part of this year!

My fellow crazy teammate Helen has been accompanying me for many evenings surrounded by cake and wine surmising the fact we probably wouldn’t get chosen so pre-empting the drowning our sorrows with food. When we found out, to our complete surprise and amazement that we had been selected we took the celebratory route of…(drum roll please) stuffing our faces with food (trust me it’s a regular occurrence).

In all seriousness however we are completely delighted for the opportunity and the experience, even if it means cutting back on cake to enable us to swim for great causes and have the ultimate celebration afterwards. Better quit the chat and get to swimming! See you at Bestival!


Elliott Caen

Elaine Lucas

Hi I am Elaine and I have just ventured into the world of open water swimming to get into shape for Swim2 Bestival! So far it has been great and I can't wait for the challenge of swimming the Solent!


Alison Vargas

Eleanor Reid

With the greatest apologies to the Chemical Brothers who I cannot WAIT to see this year....

Don’t hold back!
‘Cuz I wake up in the morning with initiative to swim
So I grab my towel
I don’t hold back!
‘Cuz I think about it I wanna swim,
Be cool man, to the Island
I won’t hold back!
And I don’t even care about the wind in the air
And the ferry fare
I won’t hold back!
‘Cuz there’s a party over there and I might as well be there
Where the love is shown
I don’t hold back!
Hey world…… it’s time to swim to….
Hey world….. it’s time to swim to….
Hey world…… it’s time to swim to……

I've spent my life looking across the Solent to the IOW and I'm overwhelmed to have this chance to swim to Bestival and raise money for a charity close to my heart. Thank you to everyone for your support and donations! See you there!!


Bella Hitchcock

Bella Hitchcock

I'm Bella Hitchcock and am 21 years old. I've just spent a year studying abroad in Canada and am now taking on the Rockies which is helping me get fit for Swim2Bestival! Cannot wait to end my summer with the S2B challenge and the reward of my favourite festival. More importantly however, I will be raising money for the charity CRY in memory of a good friend.

I'm also lucky enough to be doing this with my oldest pal Lucy Jenner who will be swimming for the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity. We are both hoping to raise lots for our respective charities. Bring on September 10th 2015!!


Linday Konieczny

Luke Hull


When I found out about Swim2Bestival, I knew I had to apply. I love swimming and have been a swimmer for the majority of my life, and I can't get enough of Bestival. Combining the two is just a dream, and to be able to actually complete this feat will make my September.

Hopefully I'll stick to my promise and complete the swim in my Speedos (what a sight that'll be!), but just know that at the end of the day, it's all for great causes.

Thanks for the opportunity!


Joanne Weaver

Olivia Loy

Hello there!

My name is Olivia and I am a student from Northern Ireland. I'm really excited, and slightly terrified, to be Swimming2Bestival with my no. 1 Geordie lass, Katherine. We decided to set ourselves the challenge because we've always wanted to go to Bestival and thought, "Why not arrive drenched and out of breath?"

We are raising money for the amazing charities Brain Research Trust and Ocean Youth Trust South. If the fantastic work they do is not enough to persuade you to donate, then do so for the sake of an Irish woman and a Geordie lass trying to swim over a mile in the sea!

N.B. for those of you who know us and are therefore concerned, fear not, as we actually plan to do some training...

Hoping to see you on the main stage!




Joely Brammer

Kai Fabianowski

Ahhhhhhhh my application to Swim2Bestival has been successful. Oh, bloody hell. Don't even like festivals. Actually as a matter of fact I don't even like water and I can't even swim, what am I doing here?

Nah jkjkjk already got my Speedo's on.

OH BTW, I'm Kai from the good old Gosport. Attended Bestival for the first time ever last year, I instantly fell in love with the place and to be making my own way there this year is going to be very exciting (and less stressful in terms of the bloody ferry queues) AND I am doing all this in aid of two local charities. I AM BASICALLY BONO.

Anywayyyyyy, it has been a pleasure, see you on the party island ladies and gentleman (if I don't pass out half way though the swim of course).



Thom Cromar

Amy Robinson

Feel the fear and do it anyway!

I can't quite believe I have decided to do this and I may regret it as my friends snooze their way across on a ferry while I push myself through the my first ever open water swim. But hey its my 21st birthday on 10th September 2015 (the day of the swim) and what better way to celebrate than completing a crazy new challenge, raising money for charity and pulling some funky freaky shapes for the rest of the weekend!

All my friends thought I was mad for applying but hey that kind of made me want to do it more. I am a bit of a water baby however I am definitely not a swimmer, in fact I fish scare me quite a lot, so this is going to be tough!

As a windsurfing instructor I am passionate about water sports so it would be great to raise money to help children less fortunate than myself have a go at sailing. This is a great opportunity for them to have fun and gain confidence and life skills.

It would be great if you could sponsor me even if it is the tiniest amount. Can't wait to see you at the Port where I will be pulling my best mermaid/jellyfish/shark attack dance moves.

Lots of Love Amy xoxo


Tom Caen

Nick Stiles and Georgie Burtinshaw

Having met at a very wet Bestival dancing to Human League in 2008 we thought returning to Bestival for the summer of love was probably appropriate. Both being keen swimmers, Swim2Bestival appealed as definitely the most stylish way to travel to the Isle of White. For an extra bit of fun we're going to be swimming as a team tied together...if one goes down the other is going too.

The Ocean Youth Trust South is a great charity to be supporting and our chosen charity is the Natalie Kate Moss Foundation. Natalie was a very close friend of Georgie's who tragically died from a brain haemorrhage three years ago. We're hoping to raise as much money as possible for the trust which helps support individuals who have suffered a brain injury through university life, and contributes towards the continued research into the prevention and treatment of Brain Haemorrhages.


James Edwards

Claire Parsons

I'm swimming on my 4th wedding anniversary with my husband Simon. I've wanted to swim to the Isle of Wight for as long as I can remember. I have a very early memory of being on the ferry with my Mum and saying, "but it's just there - why can't we swim there!"

Why not indeed? I literally cannot wait!


James Edwards

Flick Brighton

Hello I am Flick,

On my application form I mentioned that I had considered marrying my friend at the last Bestival and if I got in to swim I would actually marry him there this year. I guess I better bring a wedding dress with me!

I have chosen to swim for Parkinson's UK as my grandma was diagnosed while I was training to be a paramedic 4 years ago and since then they have assisted her and developed treatments that without them she wouldn't be the women she still is today.


Helen Anna Jones

Helen Jones

I'm Helen and I'm starting to think that I have gone completely crazy...

I love water, my swimming teacher told me I should have been a fish. However after the traumatic experience of failing my gold swimming badge at age 10, my drive to swim for a 'purpose' seems to have gone a bit downhill. Enter, Swim2Bestival!

A lot of people have laughed at this crazy challenge, so hopefully I won’t get lost, or drown, and can show everyone what I can do whilst also raising money for some fantastic charities. I have chosen to fund raise for Contact a Family, a charity for families with disabled children, and also Ocean Youth Trust South who provide personal development opportunities for young people aged 12-25.

My fellow swimmer - and mad-woman - Pip and I, have had many cake fuelled meetings, swimwear shopping trips and the all-important pool sessions to train our minds, bodies and souls for this swim. I am so excited to be part of the Swim2Bestival 2015 team, fingers crossed it’s not too cold!

See you at Bestival!! :D x



Tom Gane

Tom Gane

I'm Tom and I'm a final year politics student at The University of Bath; at least I am whilst I write this, fingers crossed I'll be a graduate by the time Swim2Bestival takes place... so if anyone out there wants to offer me a job or something that'd be grand.

I love music and festivals (Bestival will be my third of the summer, although the first one I swim to), and my ideal career path is a music journalist or producer on a radio or television music show. Apart from that I'm very partial to Netflix binges, I'm a vegetarian, and I'll be swimming to Bestival to raise money for a hospice in my home town of Caerphilly.


Saskia Martindale

Alex 'Dub' Strang

An elite festival goer, cut his teeth in the trenches of Bestival 2008 under the sea and mud - and been back every year since. The one year he wasn't able to go, found a ticket on Tottenham Court Road - meant to be.

Each year sees the design and flight of a new flag design, and this year is no different. Planning has begun and the 2015 flag is looking good to trump all previous years.


Nick Porter

Vince Luff

I hear that there are perfectly good ferries for getting to the Isle of Wight and that's the way that my friends will be getting there so I'm not sure why I'm doing it the hard way. This will be the first Bestival where I've felt exhausted, dazed and disorientated BEFORE the festival!

See you on the other side!


Alistair Hopson

Lucy Jenner

Howdy gang!

I'm Lucy Jenner and plan to swim to Bestival with my oldest pal Izzy. We're excited to be reunited in the water again after learning to swim together naked in a paddling pool, #freethenipple, and we peaked in our swimming credentials when we were crowned u11 National champions!! We decided to quit while we were ahead and take a quick breather... But 10 years later we are back for more.

We went to Bestival a couple of years ago and had alllll the fun so when we saw you could swim there it seemed like the obvious thing to do... Partly because I just cannot comprehend how it supposedly takes the same amount of time as the ferry?!? (And you get to skip the queues!) Say whaaaat.

Butttttt most importantly we're both super excited to be able to raise as much money as possible for causes that mean a lot to us both (CRY and The Royal Marsden) as well as OYT.

See ya on the flippers side !!


Tiki Muir

Felicia Hull

My name is Felicia Hull and I am currently studying BA Digital Arts at the University of Kent!

Swimming is a massive part of my life and I started from an early age competing locally, regionally and national level. Although the idea of Swim2Bestival was a challenge that I couldn't miss! Especially as its one of the easiest way to get an on-stage appearance!

My first festival experience was in 2014 and I can't wait to come back again and actually swim there because by chance, both my two older brothers are doing it too! I'm always up for a reason to beat them at a swimming race!


Ollie Armstrong

Ollie Armstrong

Howdy, I'm Ollie (commonly referred to as Jolly Ollie, due to my seemingly constant childlike energy and love for life). It's lovely to say hi to ya'll

I am a 26 year old music munch kin who is a member of a 'Three Musketeers' movement with my 'All Star' brother and sister. These two musketeers are my best friends. My hobbies include being active (playing Tony Hawks Pro Skater (and then acting it out with my totally ace boarding skills), playing tidily winks and geocaching), trying not to lose at 'Happy Families' and winding up those I can with my wonderfully brilliant and witty sarcastic ways.

I love to travel and have been to some fantastic places including, Alcatraz, Hobbiton, Chinatown(s), Rocky Steps and The Rocks. I enjoy meeting new people and having a laugh as well as embarking on new challenges, my biggest being making it across a stream without falling in.

When found on my own, I can be typically be busy listening to some sick tunes accomplying them with my awesomely in tune signing voice and bopping out with some cracking dance moves! I also know ALL the words to the 'Lion King Sing-Along' cassette tape.

Some of my more notable achievements are:

'96 - 5th place in the 80m dash
Unofficial Up record holder for the most submerged forward rolls
1 X Yr 3 Emerging Artist Nomination
1 X Water Boy
1 X Poster Boy
1 X Table Tennis Runner Up


Katherine Walton

Katherine Walton

“I’m fit, I’m flirty and I’ve got double F’s.”

That could not be more far from the truth... but I thought that might grab your attention. My name is Katherine and I’m a born and bred Geordie! (woo.) I’m in my second year studying Law at the University of Bristol.

When Olivia first approached me about Swim2Bestival, I thought, ‘yeah I really do love going into ice cold water, where you can’t see anything more than an inch in front of you and you get to play with all the really friendly fish.’

This also could not be more far from the truth but I thought I’d amuse my little Irish friend and sign up. We’re raising money for Brain Research Trust and Ocean Youth Trust South! Check out our page ->  http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/Walloy

Thank you!!


Daniel Hewitt

Mary McKeogh

Hellooo, I'm Mary a video editor from Shepperton in Surrey!

My friends don't seem to be impressed by my old 100m swimming badge anymore, so I've decided to show them I've still got it by swimming the Solvent. Training has comprised of gasping for breath at the edge of the pool and occasional quick blasts of cold water in the shower.

I will be raising money for Unseen UK, a charity founded to support female survivors of trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation.

...Does anyone have a wetsuit I can borrow??


Hanna Downie

Bill Brown

Swimming to Bestival was a joke thrown around last year when I went to the desert island disco, now it's the summer of love and I've found the best mode of transport to get there.

I've never participated in this sort of event before but I'm excited to start and meet some great people, not completing the swim will be highly embarrassing as I'm a lifeguard and should no excuses when it comes to a long distance swim.

I'm raising money for the giraffe conservation foundation, giraffes are the best and I cant live with myself knowing that future generations won't be able to enjoy the beauty and intelligence of such a magnificent creature.

Love everything and everyone other than yourself see you on the other side of the Solent.


Tom Becker

Tom Becker

Well hi there everyone!

I know that this year is the summer of love at Bestival but for me it seams to be the summer of fitness!! As I ran my first ever 1/2 marathon in April and have already booked up for another in June whoop whoop!!

So after seeing my best mate swim the Solent last year and raise money for a good cause it seamed like a cool challenge to complete and ending up at a Bestival after is not to bad either hey!! So can't wait to meet everyone and party hard after we all make those 1.3 miles :-)

Wooha Wooha !! One World One Love One Heart x


Lee Livingstone

Simon Gardiner

Hi, my name is Simon and I love adventures. Be they in open water swimming , rock climbing, walking or camping I just love being outside and getting to places a little less well travelled.

I am very fortunate to be married to Claire and the swim will be on our fourth wedding anniversary and we cannot think of a better way to spend it than on an adventure and Swim2Bestival will certainly be that.