Henley Swim, the organiser of the mid-summer dawn swim, The Henley Classic, has announced an expanded fixtures list for the 2016 UK season with a hint at more to come.
In a bid to steal the march on other event organisers, Henley Swim has confirmed all four of its core swimming events for 2016. The Henley Classic, sponsored by new open water swimming brand Selkie Swim, is confirmed for Sunday 26 June 2015 at 04:30 GMT, as usual just before the Henley Royal Regatta.
An elite race will be fielded with the usual array of on-form internationals, making this an entertaining spectacle for those hardy enough to brave the early hour. And for the third year, the event will once again welcome swimmers from Oxford and Cambridge to battle for honours.
The second event in the series, The Henley Mile, enters its fourth year as an event with ‘broad appeal to all swimmers from elites to kids participating in their first open water swim’. The 2016 event, on Sunday 10 July, is a downstream, day-long, open water swimming event held along the boomed Royal Regatta course.
Once again, The Henley Mile will be joined by H2Open magazine’s Open Water Swimming Show, featuring seminars from some of the stars of open water swimming, the latest kit, and the show will provide a number of opportunities to learn about everything from swimming techniques to nutrition.
The popular (and exhausting) Suits vs Skins competition returns to determine the performance boost given by wetsuits. All the entrants in this challenge will swim the mile twice: once with a wetsuit and once without, crowning the fastest combined time as the winner.
Marking its third appearance, on Saturday 23 July 2016, the Club to Pub starts at Henley Rowing Club and finishes at the Angel on the Bridge Pub. This social, evening fun-swim culminates in a BBQ for swimmers and a specially brewed Brakspear beer, the Two Bells, making it popular with sports-loving beer connoisseurs.
And finally The Bridge to Bridge, which for the first time in the event’s history will become known as The Thames Marathon, is again sponsored by Selkie Swim. The event makes its fifth official appearance on Sunday 7 August 2016.
Fast developing a reputation as one of the toughest mass participation swimming challenges out there, from Henley Bridge to Marlow Bridge, this non-competitive 14K swim takes in some of the most beautiful Thames scenery. It has become one of the most popular long distance swims in the UK, with 2015 seeing a record number of participants and the event promises to attract even more in 2016.
Henley Swim co-founder Jeremy Laming said of next year’s calendar, “Whilst it’s nice to get our dates fixed well in advance, it perhaps disguises some of our plans for next year. Great things are afoot, which are still being worked on; but suffice it to say we are excited about the 2016 season.
“Our partnership with new brand Selkie Swim Co is also developing into something that feels very close, and which will hopefully grow to the mutual benefit of both”.