Open Water update!

After hearing about Georgina’s plans early in lock down, we now have an update on how her summer of swimming has worked out.

Open Water Activities 2020

As a massive advocate for Open Water Swimming, I have been delighted to see so many Spencer Swimmers taking to the sea, lakes and rivers. Congratulations to those of you entering the wild waters for the first time, the season comes around every year, and perhaps some of you will brave the cooler waters and swim through winter! The Royal London Docks have a sub 5 degree skins club and I hope to see some Spencer names on the list.

My summer has involved three types of Open Water Swimming; training, racing, and wild swimming. Here are the race reports and wild swim spots I have enjoyed throughout the Open Water Season. I have also become a strategic suit wearer having learnt how to use one properly, if there are no separate suits and skins categories I default to a wetsuit, sorry Steve, it’s all about the speed.

Box End 19km

Saturday 27th June 2020, Self Organised, Choice of Skins, no prize only the glory of finishing, 24 loops of an 800m loop

Virtual English Channel Crossing Fundraising Events @ Merchant Taylors’ and Shepperton

Saturday 5th July 2020 and Saturday 25th July 2020, a battle of the lakes, how many times can swimmers virtually cross the English Channel? Shepperton won with 29.5 crossings, and at Merchant Taylors’ did 13 crossings. We raised over £1000 at the events and the community spirit and charitable support was incredible. We had a tombola with prizes provided by HUUB, Swim Secure, and other companies.

Canary Warf 3x1mile

Friday 17th July 2020, Turner Swim, Wetsuit Compulsory, prize = £100 for the fastest loop of the morning, you can choose to do 1, 2 or 3 miles, one mile every hour, a good event to squeeze in before work as the first heat starts 6.30am

English Channel Swim

Thursday 13th August 2020, Aspire Charity, 6 people on a 1 hour rotation, we completed this in 12 hours 45mins, started in a thunderstorm, lightning and rain, and finished in sunshine. Conditions were flat and warm water, sun shining and quite a few jellyfish, no stings. We saw the P&O Ferries and a migrant boat being escorted. The 6 of us were allowed to swim together to Wissant with a large crowd applauding and cheering ‘Bravo’, ‘Congratulations’. 

MK1K Milton Keynes 3x1km

Saturday 22nd August 2020, Love Sports Event (NOWCA), Choice of Wetsuit or Skins no separate categories, prize for fastest cumulative time male and female, 1 km every hour, this was the first year the event was run and it was good as a time trial. Spencer rep from Gillian Hodgson.

Shepperton Night Swim 

For me, this is always the highlight of the Open Water events. Night swimming is a great experience made better by how pretty they make the lake. The path from car park to lakeside, the hut, buoys and the safety kayaks are lit with glow sticks and fairy lights. You swim wearing glow sticks and the event takes place near a full moon making the lake light up. This year there were fireworks during the swim and cake and hot chocolate afterwards.

Dorney Lake 750m, 1.5km, 3km

Sunday 6th September 2020, Choice Wetsuit or Skins no separate categories, prizes for 1st, 2nd, 3rd male and female Senior and Vet categories (there was a triathlon at the same time hence the categories). This took place in the boating lake so we could swim in a straight line following the lines attaching the buoys instead of sighting. This was more a time trial race and was one of the cheapest events to enter. Good Spencer representation with Becky Power, Amanda Heath and Alan Parkins.

Upcoming events

Wild Swim Spots

  • Tarn up Old Man Coniston, Lake District
  • Consiton Lake, Lake District
  • Ullswater Lake, Lake District
  • Castle Eaton to Kempsford River, Oxfordshire
  • Great Barford, Bedfordshire

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