That sun! That music! That being together and being young!
Steve (Ray Winstone) learns in Borstal (a type of youth detention centre) that he is a good swimmer and, upon his release, decides to demonstrate his ability in the Devon Swimming Marathon and heads for Torquay.
Arriving in the seaside town he meets two pretty young girls – Angie (Julie Shipley) and Carole (Emily Moore) – who have travelled down from the North of England to work as chambermaids in Torquay for the summer. He also meets up with another Londoner, Jimmy (Tony London) and the quartet pair off while Steve trains hard.
The foursome have a run-in with a trio of Glaswegian layabouts – Tam (Jon Morrison), Georgie (Andrew Byatt) and Stu (Ewan Stewart). Tam is also entered into the swimming race and, after a number of confrontations, Tam and his friends frame Steve for a robbery in a chemists shop in an attempt to get him out of the race.
Steve is arrested just as he is about to start the race but escapes from the police and follows Tam into the water, catches up with him and forces him to confess to the set-up – and then goes on to win the race.
All this is set to a terrific soundtrack featuring Elvis Costello, The Ramones, Nick Lowe, The Boomtown Rats, Ian Dury And The Blockheads, The Undertones, Mink DeVille, The Only Ones, Wreckless Eric, Eddie and The Hot Rods, The Patti Smith Group and Richard Hell & The Voidoids.