The most historic open water swim event in Brighton.

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Race Trophies

Brighton Swimming Club

Pier to Pier Festival

held under BLDSA regulations

Sunday 17th September 2023 (reserve date)

  • Experience check-in 07.30-09.30
    Start 10.00
  • Race Check-in: 10.00-11.15
    Start 12.00

The race event will be open to swimmers from 14 years and over.

All under 18s must be a current, Swim England registered, member of a swimming club. All under 18’s must be accompanied by an adult before and after the race. 

The Swim Experience is open to over 18s only.

Entries are invited to participate in one of our two events.

All swimmers will be provided with electronic timing wristbands & numbered swim hats.

The Pier to Pier Experience 

  • Open to swimmers age 18-75 in any swimwear (no fins)
  • Ideal for non-competitive swimmers, starting in small groups, and not swimming ‘for a time’
  • Finishing medal for all completing the course

The Pier to Pier Race

  • This is a ‘first past the post’ race where everyone will set off at the same time
  • Open to skins and wetsuit swimmers (no fins)
  • Minimum age: 14 (must be 14 by 15 July 2023)
  • Various trophy categories
  • Finishing medal for all completing the course
  • Max age: 75

Take part in one of the UK’s oldest swimming races hosted by the oldest continuously running swimming club in England.


Get ready for some fun

What to Expect.

An Iconic Race

1km open water swim from West Pier to Palace Pier

A Swim for Everyone

Open to all adults (and children in Swimming Clubs)


Fancy taking home some silverware?
View trophies

Now in its 87th year Brighton’s Pier to Pier race is a 1K swim hosted by England’s oldest swimming club, BSC, with safety support provided by Blue Response.

The swim starts adjacent to the infamous derelict West Pier and ends at the Iconic Palace Pier.

We welcome independent and club swimmers, swimming costume (skins) and wetsuit swimmers. Our aim is to organise a friendly, fun event, whilst providing a challenge for all swimmers.

The events are open to swimmers over the age of 18 years (swimmers registered at a Swim England club can be younger) and trophies are awarded for various categories. (Skins and wetsuit swimmers all compete in the same category) Every swimmer will receive a medal to commemorate their swim.

The entry price includes refreshments at the end of the race, a swim hat for the race, timing chip to wear during the swim,  event insurance, full lifeguard and medical support. Even a finishers medal!

87 years old

The History of the Swim

In 1936 Brighton Municipal Council donated a trophy for an annual Pier to Pier swimming race, covering the two thirds of a mile course, open to swimmers from the UK, and to be staged by Brighton Swimming Club.

Each year, with interruptions for wartime beach closures and one or two cancellations due to rough seas, the race has been a highlight of the seafront event calendar.

Starting as a male only event, the race was opened up in the 1980s to both sexes, and the prize categories widened to include different age groups and team efforts.

Past swimmers have included an Olympic medallist, channel swimmers and top national pool swimmers.

Competitors used to dive off the West Pier to start the race, but since the West Pier closure in 1971 the race has started from the beach immediately next to the old pier.

The passing years have seen increased interest in the race, resulting in higher numbers of competitors, from all over the UK, and in recent years from overseas.

Most years have seen developments in how the race has been conducted, and this continues for 2023.

Brighton Swimming Club receives a great deal of voluntary assistance in staging the event from local clubs which specialise in sea activities.  

Brighton & Hove City Council and the Brighton Palace Pier provide much needed support in staging this iconic event and we are grateful for their continued help.

The swim has been traditionally been run as a race and this will continue, but we are also excited to be able to open it up to more non competitive swimmers this year. As a result we have added a challenger wave where the prize is focusing on the achievement of finishing the swim.


A special thank you

Challenge yourself.

Event Feedback
The Pier to Pier is my favourite race of the year, because even though it’s competitive there is always a fun and friendly atmosphere. No race is the same, which keeps it exciting and there is nothing better than spotting friends and family on the pier at the finish.


A Race for Everyone
Two things never change on race day, regardless of how many Pier to Pier races you’ve done. A touch of nerves on the start line and the desire to keep pace with someone zipping past you during the race. I was lucky enough to win my first two years in the race, so the keeping up with the 'zipping past’ swimmers was something I had to learn, to my cost, in later years


Beautiful Swim
Nervous, excited, relief, beautiful. What a swim!


A Great Day Out
I take part in the Brighton Pier to Pier swim for many reasons. Each year the race is a different, the competitors are different, the sea temperature is different, the weather is different and the wind is different - but one thing that is never different is the warm welcome from all the members of Brighton Swimming Club. After we have finished our swim they welcome us and celebrate our achievements. It’s a fantastic day out by the sea and I love it love it love it.