Inaugural Spencer Mile 2019

14 Spencer Swimmers graced the “crystal-clear” waters of the Thames on Sunday 1st September 2019 in the inaugural Spencer mile open water championships.

So many swimmers, so many winners.  Most important what a lovely stretch of river and a lovely race.  It started in 50’s dreamland at the Sea Scout headquarters.  For you youngsters, the 50s was last century!  After the safety announcements we all got in for the obligatory 5 minutes treading water and acclimatizing.  A rapid start and an 800m stretch of green on both sides of the river.  After the halfway point we got to the hard-standing area with rowing boat sheds for the Oxford colleges.  Another 400m saw the start of the final stretch.  A well laid out series of pencil buoys of 200 m upstream and then a sprint finish on the other side to a hard landing.  The whole race bar the final 200m was upstream but to the Spencer swimmers this mattered little.

To put a smile on everyone’s face, the sun had its hat on, and the weather was just perfect.  Just enough cloud to guard against burn and enough sun to make it warm.

Overall men’s winner was Tristan Slater in an absorbing race against Rob Tate.  Tristan won by a short head but had the advantage of a suit so both men won their categories and had a fantastic race.

Sue Swaine was the women’s overall winner and unusually for her did not wear a suit, well done Sue, a convert!!!!!

Lisa Hibberd was the overall senior women’s winner.

Your ever so humble coach was first in the infinity category and second in the senior men’s.  That’s over 55 if you need to know!!!! 

Very impressive swims were recorded by James Draper in 6thLuke Schuberth in 8th, Willem Heskes in 11th and  Ed Hill in 12th.  James and Luke in rather dapper rubber suits with Willem and Ed in hairy pink versions.  Well done Willem and Ed.

Luca Milana completed his first ever open water race and swim in water below 26 degrees.  Forza Luca.

Luca of course had a good introduction to open water swimming by pulling the coach back by the trunks and having the temerity to cut across him during the race.  Naughty Luca!

Making up the team on the day were Jane Turner and Sara Luder who had a good personal race, Michael Barnett, Nicola Malin, Mel Thomas.  14 swimmers in all.  There were three withdrawals for various reasons.

Mel had made the trip all the way from Cardiff to compete.

Well done everyone on your efforts, please see the attached spreadsheet for results and times.

In terms of the open event of which we were a part, we had no fewer than 8 in the top 20 and when you consider there were lots of suited swimmers in the race that’s a great achievement.  The total entry was 120 swimmers, so we made up a little over 10%.

Following the race there was exceptionally good cakes with tea and coffee from the organisers.  We then trekked back to a lovely spot on the river for a picnic.  What a fab event that was.

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