Open House Festival revives the Pickie to Pier Swim – 6 July

On Saturday 6th July, the legendary Pickie to Pier swim will return to Bangor after a 30-year absence as part of the Seaside Revival Vintage Festival.

Following its introduction in 1910, the event was an annual summer staple on Bangor’s calendar, attracting hundreds of swimmers and spectators to the town. The original race, organised by the Bangor Amateur Swimming Club who swam the route weekly, carried on through two world wars, but met its demise in the late 1980s when a new heated indoor pool was favoured to the freezing cold, jellyfish-laden waters of Bangor Bay.

Open House Festival, who have organised the event as part of their second Seaside Revival festival, hope that the swim will prove to be just as popular as it was in its heyday. The 2019 swim will start at Skippingstone Beach, just past Pickie Fun Park, at 11am (registration from 10am) and finish at the RNLI slipway. The 650m route will be supported by kayaks, ribs and the RNLI lifeboat.

Supported by Ballyholme Yacht Club and Quay Marina’s Kevin Baird, the swim is open to members of sea swimming groups and triathletes, skins and wetsuits – over 16s only. Trophies will be awarded to the fastest male and female swimmers and presented by the reigning champion, Phillippa Wilson, who last won the prize in 1989 and will be taking part on the day.

“We are delighted to be working with Ballyholme Yacht Club to bring back the Pickie to Pier swim after a 30-year absence,” said Caroline McCoubrey, Seaside Revival Project Coordinator. “In addition to the 200 registered sea swimmers, we really hope the event attracts hundreds of spectators to cheer them on, perhaps even those who might have taken part during its long 80-year history. This is a wonderful way to celebrate both the resurgence of sea swimming along our coast line, and our own little piece of history here in Bangor, and we hope this will re-establish the famous Pickie to Pier swim as an annual summer event.”

For further information, please contact Lesley Richardson –

See also the following link

PRESS RELEASE – Pickie to Pier Swim (docx)

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