Cyprus

Military Swimmers Race In 'Bay To Bay' Event Off Cyprus Coast

A range of competitors took part in the event, from experienced swimmers to novices.

Military swimmers serving in Cyprus have taken part in this year's Bay To Bay event.

More than 150 competitors set off from Episkopi in the south-west of the island first thing on Friday morning - swimming one nautical mile around the coast, from Lemmings Beach to Tunnel Beach. 

Lieutenant Justin Craig, Platoon Commander, 1st Battalion The Princess of Wales' Royal Regiment (PWRR), won the race with a time of 26 minutes and 59 seconds.

Speaking after the race, he told Forces News: "Very pleased for PWRR, I think it's really good to represent them and get a win for the Tigers.

“I didn’t realise I was going to win it, just coming into the finish line, really, I had no idea where second place was but knew he was close behind, so just kept going right the way through to the end.”

The best time in the last five years was 19 minutes, though that was set by a semi-professional swimmer.

A range of competitors took part in the event, from experienced swimmers to novices.

The one-mile swim finished at Tunnel Beach.

"My first Bay To Bay - I've never swam more than 500 metres in my life," said Group Captain James Brayshaw from British Forces Cyprus HQ.

"A friend of mine entered me into the race late, so it was a little bit of a shock, but I'm really happy to finish and it's a fantastic experience and I'll be back next year." 

Among those who swam was the new Station Commander for RAF Akrotiri, Group Captain Nikki Thomas.

Event organiser, Warrant Officer Class 1 Wally Walbrook, told Forces News everyone who raced "need a pat on a back".

Despite the early start, the swimmers had to cope with soaring temperatures of 27 degrees, before heading to work for the rest of the day.