Swim Serpentine - Swim Serpentine OFFICIAL MAGAZINE OF SWIM SERPENTINE Please read these instructions

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    Please read these instructions very carefully and keep them safe; in the following pages you will find all the information you need to have a trouble-free and enjoyable day at Swim Serpentine on Saturday 16 September 2017.

    We will do our utmost to look after you on Swim Day. All you need to do is follow the few simple guidelines here.

    P L E A S E R E A D

  • Welcome 02

    Welcome to Swim Serpentine

    Welcome to the second Swim Serpentine festival of open water swimming.

    We are thrilled Swim Serpentine has returned after thousands of swimmers took part in the successful inaugural event last year.

    Staged in Hyde Park, the open water swimming venue for the London 2012 Olympic Games, Swim Serpentine is another great sporting legacy from those inspirational Games.

    This year’s event is bigger and better. We have added half-mile and two-mile swims, and the Super Six challenge, to the programme in addition to the one-mile swim. These new events mean swimmers of all ages and abilities can enjoy open water swimming in the spectacular setting of the Serpentine.

    Swim Serpentine 2017 is also extra special because we will witness the first people to complete a brand new challenge, the London Classics.

    This unique challenge celebrates participants who have completed the ultimate mass-participation challenge by running the London Marathon, cycling the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100, and swimming two miles at Swim Serpentine.

    I believe this will become one of the world’s great sporting challenges. Over the years, the London Marathon has inspired hundreds of thousands to take up running and we hope the London Classics will inspire tens of thousands to try a new sport. (Turn to page 15 for more details.)

    Finally, we would like to thank The Royal Parks for allowing us to use the Serpentine and we hope that you have a wonderful swim in this truly beautiful setting.

    Best wishes,

    Hugh Brasher Event Director


    While Swim Serpentine is a relatively new event, the Serpentine Swimming Club is the oldest swimming club in Britain and steeped in history.

    The Club is perhaps most famous for its Christmas Day race for the Peter Pan Cup. Records show that the first Christmas Day race took place in 1864, a year after the Football Association was founded.

    The Serpentine was constructed between 1730 and 1733 after a request by Queen Caroline, wife of George II, who wanted an ornamental lake to further enhance Hyde Park’s beauty.

    As London’s population grew, Hyde Park became more and more popular as an area for recreation and relaxation for the urban masses. The opening of the first London Underground line in 1863 made the park even more accessible to the pioneering open water swimmers of the Victorian era.

    Unlike many of the gentlemen’s clubs being founded at the same time, the Serpentine Swimming Club was not housed in a grand building. Instead, the club members had to content themselves with the shelter of an elm tree, surrounded by a wooden bench, where swimmers would leave their clothes.

    The Club also holds a race every Saturday morning throughout the year. The length of these races, which range from 40 yards in January to one mile in the summer, is determined by the water temperature. In January this can be as low as 10˚C, occasionally rising to 20˚C in July and August.

    Five years ago, the Serpentine featured as the venue for the open water swimming events and the triathlon swim at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Last year, the inaugural Swim Serpentine saw more than 4,000 people enter the mass- participation one-mile swim, a fitting legacy of the Games.

    This year, Swim Serpentine is even bigger with several new events added to the one-day open water swimming festival. We hope you have a wonderful time at the event!


    HUUB Official wetsuit and swimming accessories partner of Swim Serpentine huubdesign.com

    SWIM SECURE Official Tow Float supplier of Swim Serpentine swimsecure.co.uk

    VIRGIN MONEY GIVING Official online giving partner of Swim Serpentine uk.virginmoneygiving.com/ giving

    THE ROYAL PARKS Official partner of Swim Serpentine royalparks.org.uk

    SWIM ENGLAND The national governing body for swimming in England swimming.org

  • 03 Before Swim Day

    TRAINING ADVICE At this year’s Swim Serpentine, you will be swimming in half, one or two-mile events.

    Before Swim Day, you must be able to comfortably swim in a pool, without stopping, the same distance you are tackling in the Serpentine.

    Here is a rough guide to help you:

    - Half a mile is 805 metres, which is roughly 32 lengths of a 25m pool and 16 lengths of a 50m pool.

    - One mile is 1609 metres, which is roughly 64 lengths of a 25m pool and 32 lengths of a 50m pool.

    - Two miles is 3219 metres, which is roughly 129 lengths of a 25m pool and 64 lengths of a 50m pool.

    As part of your training, you should aim to swim at least twice a week, three times if possible, and one of your sessions should take place outdoors.

    For training tips, technique advice and open water swimming suggestions, visit swimserpentine.co.uk/training.

    BEING SWIM FIT The easiest way to become swim fit is to regularly use a swimming pool or lido.

    BEING ACCLIMATISED TO SWIMMING OUTDOORS On Swim Day it could be cold and dull or bright and sunny, and the water could be calm or choppy. To enjoy the swim, you should be comfortable swimming in all conditions. It is very different swimming outdoors compared to swimming in a pool. There is no black line on the bottom of the lake to follow, the water may not be as clear, and you must look up to see which direction you need to swim.

    If you are new to open water swimming, aim to train in a variety of open water conditions before Swim Day.

    If you would like to experience swimming in the Serpentine before Swim Day, the Serpentine Lido is open to the public seven days a week from 10:00 until 18:00 until 12 September.

    Find out more at royalparks.org.uk/ parks/hyde-park/things-to-see-and- do/sports-and-leisure/serpentine-lido

    WEARING A WETSUIT OR USING A TOW-FLOAT Everyone who takes part in Swim Serpentine must either wear a wetsuit or use a tow-float for safety reasons.

    WATER TEMPERATURE If the water temperature in the Serpentine

    is under 15˚C, wetsuits are compulsory. If the water temperature is 15˚C or above, wetsuits are optional at Swim Serpentine but if you choose not to wear a wetsuit, you must use a tow-float.

    In the lead up to the event, the water temperature will be regularly monitored and communicated to participants via Facebook.com/swimserpentine.

    The anticipated water temperature is between 17˚C and 22˚C, but this may vary considerably due to the weather conditions in the weeks before the event. Please refer to the table on page eight for more information.

    BUYING OR HIRING A WETSUIT OR TOW-FLOAT You can buy or hire a wetsuit from our official partners HUUB.

    Visit huubdesign.com/pages/swim- serpentine to use the exclusive 20 per cent discount code HSS2017 on a variety of open water swimming products.

    Swim Secure tow-floats will be available to hire or buy on Swim Day.

    They can also be bought in advance at swimsecure.co.uk for £10, using the discount code SERPENTINE5017.


    Before Swim Day

  • Before leaving home 04

    Make sure you have the following in your kitbag before leaving home:

    A copy of these instructions

    Your wetsuit – if you are planning

    to wear one. Please note that wetsuits are compulsory if the water temperature is below 15˚C

    Tow-float – if you are planning to

    use one, or hire details if you are collecting one from swimsecure. co.uk. Please remember, if the water temperature is 15˚C or above and you do not want to wear a wetsuit, you must use a tow-float

    Your Swim Serpentine swim hat –

    this must be worn and visible on event day. An additional swim hat can be worn underneath the official swim hat if desired


    Your timing tag

    Two numbered wristbands – one to

    wear and one to attach to your bag


    A swimming costume – to enjoy

    the hot tubs after your swim you will need to remove your wetsuit, so please bring appropriate clothing

    A change of clothes for after

    your swim

    Wetsuit gloves and socks are allowed but swimming aids such as snorkels and fins/flippers are prohibited


    Before leaving home


    1) Inflate your tow-float

    2) Wear the belt around your waist, adjusting it so that it fits snugly and is securely fastened and comfortable

    3) Ensure the short leash, attached to the tow-float, is lined up with the centre of your back

    Your Kitbag

    With this booklet, you should have received a coloured swim hat showing your wave colour, which you must wear for your swim, timing tag and ankle strap, and two wristbands showing your swimmer number – one to be worn on your wrist and one to attach to your bag.

    Please make sure