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Solent swim challenge postponed due to high winds

The Solent Swim Challenge launched by the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust and Anna Wardley wbhich was due to take place on Sunday has been postponed due to forecast strong winds.

The event has been rescheduled for the contingency date of Sunday 5 October.

Twenty-one swimmers from across the south of England were due to take the plunge on Sunday morning to tackle the 2.5-nautical mile course across the Solent from Stokes Bay, Gosport, to Ryde Sands on the Isle of Wight.

Anna Wardley, who last year swam non-stop around the Isle of Wight, explains, “The safety of the swimmers and our support crew has always been our absolute number one priority. We have been receiving in depth weather forecasts from our meteorologist, Simon Rowell, and the wind forecast has steadily worsened through the week. Now, with the forecast at 15-20 knots, gusting between five and seven knots more than that during the planned time of the swim, it means it’s not safe to go ahead. In addition the wave height is forecast to be 1.2 metres, which would make it impossible to maintain constant visual contact with the swimmers. Having been in this position myself during my endurance swims, I know it is frustrating for the swimmers who have been training to be in peak physical condition for Sunday, but the weather is part of the challenge of open water swimming.”

The swimmers have so far raised more than £22,000 including their entry fees, for the Isle of Wight-based charity which takes young people aged between 8 and 24 sailing to help them regain their confidence on their way to recovery from cancer.

Clare Ryan from the Trust said, “We would just like to say a huge thank you to all of our swimmers, volunteers, supporters and crew who have dedicated so much time and effort into preparing for this challenge. We are now putting all of our efforts into planning our contingency date 5 October 2014. We are overwhelmed at how understanding our swimmers have been and would like to thank everyone who has donated to the Trust.”

Stubbington bypass gets the green light

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage has this morning welcomed news from the Government that the long awaited Stubbington bypass has finally received the go-ahead.

In response to the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership’s bid for a funding package to ease congestion in Gosport and Fareham, the Government has agreed to an initial investment of £19.7 million which will be used for preliminary work on the Stubbington bypass.

In addition, the Government has agreed to work with the Solent LEP to negotiate a phase of co-investment to support road improvements on the Gosport peninsula, namely the construction of the Stubbington bypass.

For decades, the Gosport peninsula has been in desperate need of an additional access road so today’s announcement of the first tranche of money to build a new access road is landmark news. Not only would this new road cut travelling times for long suffering commuters, it would also make our area more attractive to investors and help to create jobs locally. Having worked hard to secure this new road for the past four years, I am delighted that the ministerial visits and meetings have paid off and that the Government has recognised our very real need for a decent access road to Gosport."

– MP for Gosport, Caroline Dinenage

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Fed up of the daily commute? Apply to manage your own island

No Man's Land in the Solent needs a manager Credit: Brighter Group

If you've always dreamed of managing a fort then this may be the perfect job for you. No Man's Land in the Solent is looking for a manager when it opens later this year. However you may need your own boat or helicopter to get to work as the fort can't be accessed any other way!

No Man's Land Fort is one of three 19th century grade II listed forts in the middle of the Solent. A private island with 22 bedrooms, plenty of luxurious function spaces and unparalleled privacy, No Man's Land Fort needs a manager to rule the fort, which will open its doors in autumn 2014.

Accessed only by boat or helicopter, the chosen manager will boast the most stylish daily commute and can take advantage of other perks such as hosting laser fort parties and being the envy of every sailor in the Solent.

Inflatable boat rescued in the Solent

A RIB which was adrift after suffering an engine break-down in the Solent last night resulted in Cowes RNLI lifeboat being launched.

Solent Coastguards asked the lifeboat to launch after the RIB, with five people on board, was drifting on to a beach near the entrance to Beaulieu River.

Lifeboat crew member Stuart Higgs waded ashore to further investigate, and also to the scene went a mobile coastguard unit.

It was agreed that as the boat was by now so firmly on the shore that rather than wait for the next incoming tide it would be better for the RIB to be taken away on a trailer.

History unleashed underwater for first time in Solent

The underwater dive trail was launched by English Heritage and Nautical Archaeology Society Credit: English Heritage

Britain's first underwater submarine dive trail will open today on a wreck of a Navy submarine which sank in the Solent.

The trail is based around the protected wreck of a HMS/mA1 which is the first British-designed submarine used by the Navy that sank in 1911 in the Solent.

The underwater exploration is the fourth underwater tourist trail for protected wrecks since 2009 Credit: English Heritage

The project was launched by the English Heritage as part of an initiative to create up to a dozen trails by 2018 for historic wreck sites from the 17th to 20th centuries.

The trails are already running on three sunken warships including HMS Colossus in 1787, which off sank off the Isles of Scilly.

The Coronation sunk off the coast of Plymouth in 1691 and Norman's Bay Wreck sank during the Battle of Beachy Head in 1690 in Sussex.

Trails are already running on three sunken warships: HMS Colossus, Coronation and Norman's Bay Wreck Credit: English Heritage

The submarine had sunk twice, in 1904 and then 1911, when it was unmanned and being used for underwater target practice.

Licensed divers on the new trail will be able to see the submarine resting upright and given a guide to help them navigate the wreck.

The submarine was built in July 1902 by Vickers Sons and Maxim Ltd Credit: English Heritage

Terry Newman, Assistant Maritime Designation Adviser for English Heritage, said: “We are diving into history with the launch of our first submarine trail.

"Protected wreck sites are as much part of our national heritage as castles and country houses, although they are not as widely accessible unfortunately!

"By giving licensed divers access to these historically and archaeologically important wrecks, we are encouraging greater understanding and recognition of England’s underwater heritage.”

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The Solent one area to benefit from millions of funding

Oxford and the Solent are to benefit from millions of pounds of Government money aimed at boosting businesses and local communities.

The two are among twelve across the country chosen as Enterprise Zones, where a £100 million package will support critical business infrastructure.

There will be tax breaks for small firms and jobs created in key industries.

The Solent will benefit from government money to boost local businesses Credit: ITV Meridian

Jet skier fined for putting lives at risk

A jet skier has been fined for breaking the 10 knot speed limit at Lee-on-the-Solent.

A member of the public was close to the shack café at Hill Head beach in July when he saw a red and white jet-ski travelling west to east, close to the shore and at very high speeds.

He described how a large wake was generated by the craft, and he estimated the jet-ski was travelling at between 35 and 40 knots and was no more than an arm’s length from adults and children swimming in the water.

Chris Cronin of Walnut close, Bicester has been found guilty of two offences- operating a jet-ski in the dockyard port area without the requisite QHM licence and at a speed in excess of the 10 knots speed limit. He was fined £500 and ordered to pay costs.

Picture: Daredevil crosses Solent in a pumpkin

Dmitri Galitzine believes he has set a world record for crossing the Solent in a pumpkin Credit: Dmitri Galitzine

A daredevil claims he has set another world record for being the first man to cross the Solent by sailing in a giant pumpkin.

Mr Galitzine set sail from Stokes Bay in Gosport at around 9am this morning, and landed at Wooton Creak Yacht Club on the Isle of Wight. The journey took 1 hour 56 minutes.

Galitzine sat inside the giant vegetable and travelled several miles across one of the busiest shipping channels in the world.

The pumpkin was fitted with a small outboard motor which enabled Dmitri to travel at about 1 or 2 knots.

Pumpkin man's Guiness World Record attempt

A daredevil claims he has set a new Guinness World Record for the fastest 100 metres on water in a pumpkin.

Dmitri Galitzine completed the unusual task in 2 minutes.

His record attempt was recorded by independent adjudicators, and will be examined later, Guinness World Records said.

It had said Mr Galitzine would have to complete the 100m paddle within three minutes to set a new record.

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