HUNDREDS braved the chill of the Bournemouth water to take part in the Pier to Pier Swim, collecting more than £100,000 for charity.

The event raises funds for the British Heart Foundation with swimmers taking to the water next to Bournemouth Pier and swimming the 1.4 mile journey to Boscombe Pier.

This year's swim, which is Europe's biggest outdoor swimming event, was completely sold out with almost 1,800 people setting off at 10am or 11.40am.

Andy Coles, the charity's fundraising event manager, said: "This year's event has been fantastic. Places for the event completely sold out and having two groups of around 900 people going out onto the water and raising so much money is amazing.

"We have got some very generous fundraisers in Dorset and this event is the highlight of the event calender.

"It's grown so much in the 27 years since it first started.

"The money raised, which is an incredible amount, will largely go towards heart research.

"A thank you has to go to all the volunteers, especially the Bournemouth lifeguards who help out every year with safety and making sure people are checked out after the race."

Mr Coles confirmed the Pier to Pier had already raised £100,000, with an overall target of £150,000.

The event draws people from all over the country to sprint into the sea and take on the tides.

Josie Darling from Brighton, took part in the event with her two daughters Millie and Grace. She said: "We really like sea swimming so we had to come down here and get involved.

"It's quite a long way down to the other pier so the it really is a challenge event."

Marc Gadsby, from Leamington Spa, said: "It's been 30 years since I last swam. The event is so well known and it is all raising money for such an important cause."