Great River Swim Held Despite Bad Weather

Swimmers braved the worst conditions since 2002


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The eleventh Pissarro Great River Swim went ahead on Saturday 14th July in the worst weather since the first event was  held in 2002. Two other swimming races arranged for the same weekend further up the Thames in the Kingston area were cancelled. 

Powered safety cover was provided by London Corinthian Sailing Club, Chiswick Sea Cadets, Michael Anscombe and Bruce Robinson with escort kayaks from Chiswick Pier Canoe Club and a paddleboarder from Active360.  The RNLI were standing by but all 58 swimmers completed the course unaided and no-one needed rescuing. 

The nominated charity this year was Chiswick Sea Cadets.

The one mile race from Chiswick Pier, round Chiswick Eyot and back was won by Jake Stephens from Kingston (Virgin V Club) in 23 mins 4 secs, ahead of Darren Cartwright of Hampton Hill (23:13) and Paul Brockway  from Putney (Ful-On Tri).  The leading woman was Amy Claridge from Richings Park (Hillingdon Triathletes) in 23:31.  She finished ahead of Jennifer Schumacher, a late entry from California in 25:00 and the youngest swimmer in the race, Rachel Wardle (Hillingdon Triathletes) in 27:03.  The leading Chiswick, W4 resident was Ian James of Wilmington Avenue (Mammal Swimming Club) who finished in 29th position in 37:41.  

The 1km race, to the Eyot and back, was won by Nick Adams from Eton (Serpentine SC) in 14:18.  He was followed home by Sakura Hingley, Eton (Serpentine SC) (15:02) and the first Chiswick W4 resident Sarah Prophet from St Thomas Road (18:05).    Eric Tchepannou, who many spectators will remember bravely completing the 1km race against the accelerating outgoing tide in 2009 showed a huge improvement, beating his previous time by over 24 minutes!  

Others taking part from Chiswick were Robin Hunter-Coddington of Riverview Grove, at 71 the oldest swimmer on the day, who completed the 1000m in 30:20 and over the mile Daniel Murdoch of Fauconberg Road ( 40:17), Tim Hardy from nearby Corney Reach Way (50:10) and David Hastings, Burlington Gardens (58:36).

The provisional date for the next Great River Swim is Saturday 31st August 2013, with a 10.30 a.m. start.  

The part of the river used for the swim is not affected by the recently introduced ban on swimming in the tidal Thames.  Swimming in other than organised groups is however not recommended.

All enquiries to

Steve Newell

July 27, 2012

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