The water temperature was 3 degree Celsius, but that didn’t stop swimmers from stepping into the pool at the 5th Cold Water Swimming Championships at London on January 22. This year’s event has attracted competitors from all over the UK, and from Germany, Latvia, Kazakhstan, Sweden, Ireland and the USA. There were well over 400 people and 66 teams taking part.
The Championship is organized by and located at the Tooting Bec Lido in South London. In London there are two Cold Water Swimming Clubs: one is based at Tooting Bec Lido and is called the South London Swimming Club; the other one is the Serpentine Swimming Club, based in Hyde Park. Both the clubs are getting bigger and bigger as many young people are choosing to join them.
Age and ability is no bar. Yvonne Wood was the oldest competitor of the day aged 88 who took part in the female heads-up breaststroke. Her husband Cyril, 87, took part in the equivalent men's race. They are both members of the local South London Swimming Club.
Participants taking dip in a hot water tub after the competition.
Photos: Tom Jenkins for The Guardian
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