RNLI Boxing Day Dip – Southend-on-Sea, Essex – 26 December 2016

Swimmers braved the cold waters of the Thames Estuary to raise funds for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution charity in this traditional winter ‘dip’. They weren’t put off by the chilling water temperature which was measured to be 6.1 degrees C, nor the equally bitter bright but fresh blustery weather. The entry fee (paid to the RNLI) included a reviving hot drink and mince pie on leaving the water. Many swimmers sported festive garb or fancy dress, whilst the RNLI attended to ensure their safety. More sensible visitors took advantage of the conditions to walk the pier and beaches – wearing far more suitable attire.

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Swim Serpentine Festival Open Water Swimming – Hyde Park, London – 25 September 2016

The British Open Water Swimming Championships took place as part of the weekend event with a programme that included an elite invitation 5km swim around a 1 mile course set out around the Serpentine in Hyde Park. Winner of the men’s race was race number two Andreas Waschburger from Germany, whilst compatriot Isabelle Harle – wearing number thirty-four – took the women’s top place. Various categories of age and ability also competed, and was to include BBC TV’s Louise Minchin but she withdrew due to feeling unwell. Experienced tri-athlete Minchin still attended to give out the awards. Other attractions included synchronised swimming – something very difficult in the murky water.

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