Sunday, 16 December 2018

Thumbs up for Club to Pub swim

A TOTAL of 280 people took part in the second annual Club to Pub Swim in Henley on Sunday

A TOTAL of 280 people took part in the second annual Club to Pub Swim in Henley on Sunday.

Competitors swam 1.5km from Henley Rowing Club, off Wargrave Road, to the Angel on the Bridge pub via a buoy at Marsh Lock.

Entries were in two categories ? traditional and open ? for both men and women. The former had to compete without wearing wetsuits.

The men wore bright green swimming caps while the women wore pink. They were supervised by members of a safety team who paddled in kayaks along the length of the course.

The event is nicknamed ?two bells? because the swimmers start as the clock at St Mary?s Church strikes 7pm and aim to finish before the 8pm chimes.

Click here to see more photographs of the swimmers and supporters.

It was organised by Henley Swim, the founder of the Henley Classic, which takes place on the royal regatta course before the rowing each year.

Each participant received a bottle of Brakspear?s specially brewed Two Bells ale at the finish and a medal which doubled as a bottle opener.

These were handed out by volunteers from the Sue Ryder hospice at Nettlebed, which supported the event, and Henley Mayor Lorraine Hillier.

The first man home was Antonio Almaraz Serrano, from Reading, who finished in 18 minutes and 40 seconds, while the first woman was Jennifer Dunleavy, also from Reading, in 21 minutes and 34 seconds. Alistair Cottle won the men?s traditional race in 22 minutes and 45 seconds while Anna Terry won the women?s traditional in 23 minutes and 33 seconds.

Michael Warner, head coach at Henley?s junior triathlon club, set a new personal best after finishing in 25 minutes and 40 seconds.

The 51-year-old, who lives in Queen Street, said: ?I kept to the right as there was a bit of current caused by the rain in the morning.

?However, once you got around the first buoy you had a clear run downstream so it was a great swim and a lovely evening.

?None of my club were there so I?m glad the Henley Standard were to prove I did it!?

Paul Beech, of Peppard Road, Emmer Green, swam with his 18-year-old daughter Isabel. The pair completed the course in half an hour.

Mr Beech said: ?I?ve no idea exactly how long it took but I definitely found it tough. Earlier I did a six-mile run and 25km of cycling.

?It wasn?t part of an organised event, I just did it on my own for the challenge out of sheer stupidity.?

Miss Beech, who swims twice a week, said: ?It was tiring and it felt great to have finished. I let my dad set the pace.?

Ben Hargreaves, 35, of Thames Side, Henley, was taking part for the first time and finished in just over 39 minutes.

He said: ?I really enjoyed it. I was happy with how I performed and I thought the water was nice and warm. I try to swim in the Thames once a week.? Town councillor Will Hamilton, of Greys Road, was taking part for the second year running and finished in just over 50 minutes.

He said: ?I?m not bothered about the time ? I just enjoy it and I think more people should get involved. After all, you get a beer at the end.?

This year?s entries were up on last year?s total by 110.

Organiser Jeremy Laming said: ?We were very pleased with the increased turnout and felt blessed with the weather considering how awful it was beforehand.

?We have received a lot of positive feedback. I think the event will keep growing.?

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