Corney Reach River Swim (Across the Tidal Thames at Chiswick) Saturday 7th September 2002

On a beautifully sunny early autumn afternoon at Chiswick Pier the crowds who had gathered to watch the Great River Race for Traditional Rowing Boats were treated to the rare sight of a swimming race across the tidal Thames at the peak of high water. Fourteen wetsuit-clad swimmers took part in the inaugural Corney Reach River Swim with a light breeze creating no more than a few ripples.

With each swimmer wearing a different coloured hat the spectators were able to keep track of progress quite easily. The race was won by Carey Clark, 41, a member of Triathletes London Triathlon Club, with an impressive display of powerful swimming leaving all the male competitors in her wake.

Results (two width race)

1st Carey Clark 3mins 16 secs
2nd Colette O'Neill 4:26
3rd Lynda Chase 5:24
4th Stephanie Brooksbank 6:00
5th Nicky Groenendijk 7:32

1st Shawn Blakey 3:27
2nd John Levison 3:47
3rd Mike Morris 3:52
4th Samuel Hyman 4:28
5th Steve Newell 5:15
6th Edoardo Bulgheroni 5:54
7th Martin Smith 7:29
8th John Potter 7:44

one width race
1st Richard Humphrey 4:19

The leading W4 resident was Samuel Hyman, 16, a member of the Chiswick Pier Canoe Club. Trophies were presented by the Pissarro's-on-the-River Restaurant and each competitor received a bar of chocolate donated by Lindt & Sprungli (UK) Ltd.

Safety cover was provided by the Chiswick Sea Cadets (TS Stork), Tideway Scullers and Chiswick Pier Canoe Club. The crew of a river police launch and the RNLI boat stationed at Chiswick Pier kept a watchful eye on the proceedings but all the swimmers reached the finishing line without any drama.

Several hundred pounds was raised via entry fees and individual sponsorships. This will be divided between the two charities; Chiswick Pier Trust and Royal National Lifeboat Institution. The event created a great deal of interest and it is hoped that it will be possible to hold it again next year, possibly over a longer course and with more competitors.