1-mile sea swim




A wonderful one-mile sea swim from Port Gaverne Beach to Port Isaac Beach for those swimmers who are not in elite mode, but want a challenge. The swim passes gorgeous scenery and rugged coastline. You will leave the calmer waters of Port Gaverne, out into deeper water, turn left towards Port Isaac and then swim between the harbour breakwater into the famous ‘Doc Martin’ village to the beach where the finish line will be in view.

Bags will be driven to the Penhaligon Rooms at Port Isaac for when you finish the race.

A safety briefing will take place by our safety team on Port Gaverne beach. Please make sure you leave yourself enough time to park, walk to the beach and be present for the brief.

Markers will line the course, safety boats will be in close reach for anyone who may need to be taken out of the water. Medical assistance is on standby at all times.

We ask that sponsor forms and money raised be brought to registration on the day of the race OR you will be asked to pay the minimum sponsorship amount of £25. Cheques to be made payable to ‘The Big Swim’ please.

We are not taking any entries on the day of the swim.

Don’t forget to hang around for the live music and beach party afterwards. Enjoy your swim.


You will be asked to register before your race start time at Port Gaverne beach. There will be a ‘Big Swim’ team member to meet you, register you and answer any questions you might have.

It is essential that every swimmer is given a race number, safety visibility hat, an electric timing tag and signs the registration form.

Big Swim Car Park @ Port Gaverne postcode PL29 3SQ

The nearest train station is Bodmin Parkway. This is a 45 minute (18.5 miles) journey to Port Gaverne. You will need to get a bus or taxi. Buses are limited in Cornwall and run slower and less frequently over the weekends.

There are plenty of parking spaces available in the ‘Big Swim’ Car Park. Parking is available in a farmer’s field, a three-minute walk from Port Gaverne beach and a ten-minute walk to Port Isaac. It is a steep hill walk so take extra time with children. The car park is clearly marked from all roads that lead into Port Gaverne.

Please note that the roads will be closed on the day and you can only access the Car park from the A39 signposted towards ‘Port Gaverne’ NOT ‘Port Isaac’. Car parking will be at a small fee for the whole day and evening.

This course is one mile long, sometimes rough and heads out to sea. You will leave the calmer waters of Port Gaverne and head out to the headland, where you will turn left towards Port Isaac. Once you have swum along the gorgeous coastline, you will head left into the Harbour of Port Isaac, where you will head to the shore through the breakwater and to the finish line!!!

We will be using sports timing chips again this year. It is important that you run across the timing mat at the finish line. Results will be printed and posted on the day after the last swimmer has left the water and published on our website a couple of days later.

Your race chip will be given to you at the start of the race. PLEASE attach the chip securely to your ankle immediately as they cost money to replace, and it will be you who has to pay for it! Please DO NOT attach it to your wrist – the mats will not pick up the transponder and you will not be recorded.

The chips themselves are relatively expensive so we must get the chips back and we will collect the chips at the end of the race just after the finish line from our time chip removal team.

There will be an information point at the start and finish areas and our registration team will answer any of your questions.

There will be a cloakroom van which will take any belongings safely to the Penhaligon Rooms at Port Isaac, a two-minute walk up the hill from the finish line. You will check your bag in at registration to a manned baggage area, for you to leave your bags. The ‘Big Swim’ cannot take responsibility for lost or damaged baggage.

When you finish the race, you will have the opportunity to use the ‘Penhaligon Rooms’ as our pop-up changing room. Please note, there are NO SHOWERS. These are situated up the hill from the beach a two-minute walk.

We strongly recommend you wear a wetsuit. This helps with buoyancy and in a medic situation, keeps you afloat.

We strongly discourage the use of any equipment that acts as an impediment to hearing or concentration when competing. The Big Swim cannot be responsible for accidents resulting from racing with equipment.

Medical support will be present on the course and at the finish. You should be relatively fit and have no known medical conditions that would place your health in danger. Please note – do not swim if you are feeling unwell at all. This can be extremely dangerous. Please seek expert medical advice if you have any health concerns prior to the race.

Toilets are located at the start and finish area. They are both public toilets.

Water will be available at the finish line, although we encourage you to bring your own prior to the race.

You will be given a medal after the race.
Winners will this year be awarded a prize.

A variety of items will be available for purchase in Port Gaverne and Port Isaac. Shops and restaurants will be open all day but Sharp’s Bar will be open until late!

To register in person on the day.
Bring a full change of clothing.
Money for food/drink/parking/etc.
To eat a healthy meal and to avoid alcohol the night before the event.
To eat something light and drink plenty of water prior to the event.
To leave enough time to get there with plenty of time to spare.
If for any reason you decide not to swim, having already registered for the event that morning, it is essential that you let an Information Point or Registration Team know as we will assume you are missing at sea.

For more information, please contact [email protected]

* We ask that swimmers are over 13, are able to swim 1 mile and have a reasonable level of fitness. All 13 to 18-year-olds need to be accompanied by an adult for the swim and a signature from the parent or guardian will be required at registration. If anyone has any special requirements or medical conditions it must be declared in full confidence with Sarah Coates before registration.

There will be water and a free pint of Sharp’s beer for every swimmer at the end of the race!!!!




You can check the 2016 Not So Serious Swim times here.


Registration £24.50 – Min. sponsorship £25


Swim for FREE!

Should you raise over £100 in sponsorship, we will give you your swim place for free. Simply sign up, pay for your place, raise your sponsorship, and we will refund you on the day!

Please be aware, therefore, that part of these monies raised may contribute towards event costs.