About Me .....
I founded Devon and Cornwall Wild Swimming in 2010 with the aim of setting up a network of swimmers in the two counties promoting open water swimming in all its different genres.The groups began with just 5 members and now there are over 7000.
The group operates mainly through it’s Facebook groups Devon Wild Swimming and Cornwall Wild Swimming where swimmers chat and organise to meet for swims. The two groups are separate only for Facebook purposes as there is so much going on the forums would be far to busy to follow if they were together ! Facebook Devon Wild Swimming Facebook Cornwall Wild Swimming
My passions have evolved into Ice Swimming, sea swimming and endurance swimming.
In 2014 I swam a ( 21 mile ) 2 way swim of Lake Windermere overnight which took me 16 and a half hours.
Between 2013 & 2016 I completed four English Channel relays and in July 2015 I attempted a solo swim. However due to tidal and weather conditions ( Force 5 winds ) the swim was aborted after 13 and a half hours as I had been swept too far North to successfully land in France. ( At one point I was level with Belgium ! ).
I have also swum a 4 person relay along the length of Loch Ness setting the UK record.
I swim without a wetsuit all year round and have taken part in the UK Cold Water Swimming Championships held at Tooting Bec Lido as well as PHISH ( Parliament Hill Ice Swimmers Hootenay) and the ChillSwim at Windermere as well as many international events.
I completed my first Ice Mile in January 2014 and in 2018 become the first woman in the world and one of only 3 people to have completed 10 Ice Miles. ( an Ice Mile is a swim of 1 mile in water temperature below 5 degrees wearing just a normal swimming costume, goggles and hat - no wetsuit).
One of my Ice Miles was swum entirely in butterfly and am the only person in the World to have completed an Ice Mile in fly. I am an ambassador for the International Ice Swimming Association and have competed in overseas Ice swimming events around the world. In 2015 I won the marathon Ice Swimming event in The Baltic Sea in Estonia by swimming 1200 metres in 1.7 degree water ( 28 minutes ) and in 2016 won the Polish Ice Swimming 1000 metres in a pool cut from the ice.
In 2017 I founded The Polar Bear Challenge to encourage swimmers to swim throughout the winter and this now has 500 people taking up the Challenge.
I organise several open water swim sessions in and around Plymouth where I live and I try to provide opportunities for those new to the sport to jump in and give it a go as well as encouraging more established swimmers to extend their swimming boundaries – safely of course!
I am always happy to speak with anyone wanting to find swims or swim buddies in Devon or Cornwall or to chat about Ice Swimming and you can contact me on Facebook or email firstname.lastname@example.org or PolarBearChallenges@aol.com
Pauline Barker ( MamaBear )