Where: Tooting Bec Lido, Tooting Bec Road, London SW16 1RU
£: Admission for spectators costs £2.
What is it?
The 7th annual UK Cold Water Swimming Championships will take place on Saturday 28th January, at Tooting Bec Lido in London.
This year’s 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 mass jump-in, in aid of Crisis. The quirky highlight of the championships will be the array of creative hats on show, as competitors try to win the Best Hat of the Day award. Past winners have sported fish, seagull, and even Dalek shaped creations.
There’ll be a host of food stalls and exhibitor stands on the day, so competitors and spectators will be able to grab some warming food and drink. There’ll be a pop-up bar serving mulled drinks, hot toddies and traditional ales. Plus hot food such as curry, hog roast and pizza will be on offer.
The race categories for this year’s event include three types of individual race, head up breaststroke, ice fly, and 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! This race takes place at 12pm, and features the Best Hat of the Day competition.
The first event of the day will be the charity jump-in, which this year will be raising money for Crisis. Participants will be jumping into the pool en-masse, many in fancy dress. Prizes are awarded to those raising the most money and to those wearing the best costumes. There will be a second charity jump-in during the afternoon.
The planned timetable for the day is as follows:
7.30am – Registration opens
9am – Opening ceremony and charity jump-in
9.15am – 90m freestyle
10.15am – 30m ice fly
10.45am – 30m freestyle
12pm – Head-up breaststroke and best hat competition
1pm – Medal ceremony
1.15pm Second charity jump-in
1.45pm – Team relays
3.30pm – Award ceremony
4pm – Raffle draw
4.30pm – Close
More info: www.slsc.org.uk/cwsc