Alex Begg - The Wash

Hunstanton to Skegness

19.2 km (11.9 miles)

5 hours, 11 minutes on 24 August 2019

Observed and documented by Steven Riches

Course record, Hunstanton/Skegness (either direction)


  • Name: Alex Begg
  • Gender: male
  • Age on swim date: 29
  • Nationality: Great Britain
  • Resides: Gressenhall

Support Personnel

  • Rob Howlett - pilot
  • Miles Thomas - feeder
  • Martin Critchlow - crew
  • Steven Riches - observer

Escort Vessel: Meridian Prime (Sutton Bridge)

Swim Parameters

  • Category: Solo, nonstop, unassisted.
  • Rules: MSF Rules of Marathon Swimming, without exception or modification.
  • Equipment used: Swim trunks, cap, goggles

Route Definition

  • Body of Water: The Wash
  • Route Type: one-way
  • Start Location: Old Hunstanton (52.956337, 0.504914)
  • Finish Location: Beach between Skegness and Gibraltar Point (53.119701, 0.347872)
  • Minimum Route Distance: 19.2 km (11.9 miles)


LongSwimsDB: The Wash

Swim Data

  • Start: 24 August 2019, 11:49 (Europe/London, UTC+1).
  • Finish: 24 August 2019, 17:00
  • Elapsed: 5 hours, 11 minutes.

Summary of Conditions

Feature Min Max
Water Temp (C) 18.1 18.8
Air Temp (C)    
Wind (knots) 5 8.8

GPS Track

Observer Log

Download PDF


Alex Begg Swim summary – Saturday 24/08/19.

Alex swam the 12.2Nm from Old Hunstanton to Skegness in a new world record time of 5hrs and 11min, beating the previous record of 5hrs and 57min. As with all the swims we ask for previous swim experience and times which resulted in some raised eyebrows as it became obvious that we had an extremely fast swimmer looking to attempt the wash.

When we gave available dates to Alex he picked one of the only possible days that would allow us to put a swimmer from Old Hunstanton to Skegness (usually the other direction) which although we had yet been able to attempt, I had always believed to be the quickest route as the tides run with the swimmer for 7 hrs, following you as you cross the Wash.

With the date agreed I plotted the swim route with the tides and was estimating a 5hr 20min crossing. Although I did not publicise the possibility of a new world record, I informed Alex that it was on the cards if he went well and the weather was favourable. A couple of days before the swim and all the weather reports were giving an exceptional weekend.

On the day of the swim the conditions were ideal, and Alex looked up for the challenge. He had opted for 30min feeds which again was a new feed cycle for the crew but once the horn was blow and the swim became underway, we could see how effective a 30 min feed cycle could be. As soon as we called Alex in for the feed he had almost finished before we was able to give him the bottle and was gone before we was able to back underway, taking every drop with 10-20 seconds which was fitting for the energy being consumed to maintain a swim pace of around 1.22/100m.

I can only say that it was a pleasure to be apart of something that was so impressive, not only was the swim average impressive but he seemed to pick up speed overt the last hour of the swim as he charged on to towards the beach. A massive well done to Alex Begg for smashing the record and throwing down the gauntlet for others to chase… Can anyone break the 5hr window…