Sunday 8 Aug 2021 10:30 AM - 3:00 PM

Dedham Vale Mill 2 Mill Swim and Picnic

People swimming in the River Stour
River Stour

Dedham CO7 6DJ

The Dedham Mill 2 Mill Swim and Picnic isn't a race. It's a social swim and a picnic in the heart of idyllic Constable Country from Dedham Mill to Flatford Mill. The Mill 2 Mill is part of the Slow Swimming campaign, aimed at encouraging swimmers to take their time and enjoy the opportunity to be out fully immersed in nature. There are no timing chips or results sheets. Everyone who takes part is a winner equally. We are very keen to get children used to, and enjoying, swimming outdoors. This will improve their safety in and around water and should encourage them to be lifelong outdoor swimmers. There isn't an age restriction as such, but obviously we would be depending on your adequate supervision of anyone under 16. I would very much recommend that they wear a wettie, as children lose heat quicker than adults when in water, and unless they are very good swimmers a form of buoyancy aid.

To give everyone an enjoyable swim the event is split into waves. Each wave will go off at intervals from 10:30am.

Wave 1: Seriously Need More Cake (Known as Serious), start at 10.15am. Choose this wave if you would like to actually race.
Wave 2: Relaxed 'cause we know where the cake is hidden (Known as Relaxed). Steady pace - no rush.
Wave 3: Enjoying the Journey (Known as Enjoying it). Sculling along, maybe with a bit of paddling, smiling and chatting.
Wave 4: Pooh Sticks. Half the distance (1.2km) But still finishing at the picnic field.
Wave 5: Pooh Sticks. Basically it's for people who want to really enjoy the scenery and float along using floaty things (nothing bigger than a lilo please) and stick out the occasional hand or foot to paddle. It could be as little as arm bands or a rubber ring. Rather than specific start times for each wave, as a way of spacing swimmers out, we will be having wave intervals where you are encouraged to start within a time span. This will provide a safe and comfortable experience.