AFTER a three-year hiatus, the Isle of Wight Marlins Pier2Pier Swim Challenge went ahead — the 68th edition — attracting 124 competitors from across the Island and beyond to swim from Sandown to Shanklin on Saturday.

Most swimmers had registered for the 2020 swim, which was cancelled due to Covid, then scrubbed again last year due to the weather.

In glorious sunshine and a warm sea, Alistair Bingham, of Wycombe, posted the swiftest time over the 2km race from Sandown Pier to Shanklin-Sandown Rowing Club. 

The fastest Islander to reach the site of the former Shanklin Pier, was Rob Johnson, of Smiles of Wight, who completed it in 36.03.

Champion Island-born triathlete, Millie Williams, was quickest Isle of Wight woman in 39.10.

The most senior finisher was Jenny Ball, a member of event organisers, the Isle of Wight Marlins, in 57.04.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Isle of Wight County Press:

The swimmers' safety was looked after by a flotilla of craft, led by Sandown and Shanklin Independent Lifeboat and Ryde Inshore Independent Lifeboat, supported by six members of the Shanklin Deep Sea Fishermen in their own craft, and 16 kayakers.

At the finish, staff at Shanklin-Sandown Rowing Club provided swimmers with hot soup and bread rolls and use of club facilities.

The first aid throughout was managed by Ryde Beach Lifeguards, but they were not called upon.

At the awards ceremony which followed, Shanklin mayor, Cllr Chris Quirk, presented the winners with a trophy and a framed illustration of the event, created by Isle of Wight artist, Maria Ward.

Isle of Wight County Press: Millie Willams was the fastest Island woman, receiving her trophy from Shanklin mayor, Cllr Chris Quirk. Millie Willams was the fastest Island woman, receiving her trophy from Shanklin mayor, Cllr Chris Quirk.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Isle of Wight Marlins chairman, Bob Cooper, who is the club's safety officer, said: "It has been a hard three years for the club with the cancellations due to Covid, but this year's event has made the wait worth it.

"To see 124 swimmers and their supporters all enjoying the best the Isle of Wight can offer, my team of Marlins members, and their families and friends, have worked so hard to make this, what is becoming, an iconic fixture in the sea/open water swimming calender."

                                                    ALL THE RESULTS

Fastest man — Alistair Bingham; lady — Katie Shepherd; Island man — Rob Johnson; Island lady — Millie Williams; breaststroke — Vince Fanning; Generation Trophy — Big Fish, Little Fish; lady U21 — Millie Williams; 30-39 years — Katie Shepherd; 40-49 — Michelle Laverick; 50-64 — Bridget Bewick. ‘Supervet’ lady — Helen Needham; wetsuit overall lady — Sarah King; man 21-29 — Alistair Bingham; 30-39 — Josh Ryal; 40-49 — Rob Johnson; 50-64 — Clive Benson; ‘Supervet’ male — Stephen Baker; wetsuit overall male — Piotr Meller; team — Ducks and Swans; most senior finisher — Jenny Ball.