Where: Tooting Bec Lido, Tooting Bec Road, London SW16 1RU
£: Admission for spectators costs £2.
What is it?
The 6th annual Cold Water Swimming Championships take place on Saturday 24th January 2015 at Tooting Bec Lido in London.
This year’s event promises to be bigger and better than ever before. The 2015 Championships will be a festival of cold water swimming, with an individual freestyle dash, traditional head up breaststroke races, and team relays. All taking place in water as low as 1°C. For competitors who are not quite up to a full race there is the charitable Big Splash, a group jump-in.
Once the competitors have braved the chilly depths of the largest unheated freshwater pool in the UK, they will be thawing out in a Finnish sauna and hot tubs. Competitors and spectators can grab a hot toddy at the Budgie Smuggler’s Arms, check out the host of food stalls and exhibitor stands and marvel at the cornucopia of poolside and aquatic attractions.
The race categories for this year’s event include two types of individual race, the Head Up Breaststroke and the Freestyle. For the Head Up breaststroke the rules are simple. You must ensure that your eyes do not go below the water level at any time during the race. For this event swimmers are encouraged to wear a warm hat, or get crafty and create their own headwear, which many do! There will be a parade of the hats in the afternoon, with prizes awarded for the creative and quirky swimwear. There will also be mixed team Relay Races where four competitors each swim 30m (one width of the Lido).
Finally there will be The Big Splash, a much less competitive event where people can take the plunge and raise money for charity. The Big Splash, a group jump-in is in aid of Frank Water and International Inspiration. Both charities run innovative programmes that provide safe water around the world.
The planned timetable for the day is as follows:
7.30am – Registration opens
9am – Opening ceremony – 50 Shades of Blue Choir
9.10am – Freestyle heats 60s to under 20s
10.50am – Head-up breaststroke heats 60s to under 20s
12.15pm – Relay races
1.50pm – Head-up breaststroke Finals 70s to under 15s
2.25pm – Freestyle Finals 70s to under 15s
3pm – Last race
3.10pm – The Big Splash
3.20pm – Hat parade
3.30pm – Award ceremony
4pm – Raffle draw
4.30pm – Lido song and close
More info: www.slsc.org.uk/cwsc