Wednesday, 23 January 2019
A NEW open water swimming festival will take place in Henley this summer.
It will comprise a series of events for all ages in the River Thames and a “village” with food vendors, a bar and live music.
The festival on Sunday July 14 has been organised by the Henley Swim in collaboration with Outdoor Swimmer magazine.
It will incorporate the Henley Mile swim, which has been running annually since 2011, attracting thousands of swimmers of all ages and abilities.
The events will take place on the Henley Royal Regatta course and include a mile and half-mile race, suits versus skins and a 200m junior event.
There will also be a four-mile event for swimmers looking for a greater challenge.
The festival village will have an area for post-swimming celebrations, information and advice.
Other attractions will include displays of kit, nutritional advice and expert coaching. Brands will offer discounted products and there will be an endless pool showcasing technique.
Organisers say the event is not just for experienced swimmers.
There will be free supervised sessions in a protected area of the river for beginners or anyone wanting to build up their confidence in the water.
For those who prefer to stay on dry land, the event village will offer massages, ice cream and children’s entertainment.
The festival will also feature The Big Jump, a European initiative in which tens of thousands of supporters across the continent will jump in the river at 2pm to mark their love and desire to protect European rivers.
The organisers want as many people as possible to join in.
co-founder of Henley Swim, said: “We have taken all the elements from the Henley Mile that people know and love and added more interest and excitement to give it a festival feel.
“As open water swimming grows in popularity, the benefit to health and mental wellbeing are well documented. We are proud to play our part helping swimmers participate in open water swimming in a safe and welcoming environment.”
The festival is offering Saturday night camping at Temple Island Meadows. For more information, visit www.henleyswimfestival.comt www.henleyswimfestival.com
10 January 2019
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