News

20210911 Biathlon cancelled

11 Sep 2021

No fixture for the second week running meant no biathlon for the second year running.

So here are some past memories and background.

20210911 Biathlon cancelled

2021 All Clothes Race date change

10 Sep 2021

On Saturday 18th September we must race within the white buoyed area of the Lido.  This is due to the SwimSerpentine event that will be taking place at the lake.  The first of their many swims will commence at 08.15.

Being swum over 110 yards (100m) our All Clothes Race will fit neatly with arrangements for the lake on the morning.  It will also provide some amusing light relief to any unsuspecting spectators there to watch the SwimSerpentine event that starts on the opposite side of the lake.  The All Clothes Race will commence 8 o'clock sharp.

The Mario McClarnon 440 yard (400m) race will switch to Saturday 25th September.

2021 All Clothes Race date change

Dusty Rhodes Bowl 2021

04 Sep 2021

The Dusty Rhodes Bowl was the first in "the race we missed" website series during the Covid suspension of our fixture calendar.  Though fixtures were suspended in March 2020, these catch-up reports did not start until September.  It is thus ironic that 12 months later the fixture was again cancelled, this time due to water quality caused by the algae bloom.

Here are a few memories of one of the club's many "characters" that have adorned our ranks over the decades.  Dusty -  WW2 submariner, Brentford docks stevedore and penny farthing rider.  He also found time to enter Masters' swimming events.

Dusty Rhodes Bowl 2021

2021 George Brutton cup

01 Sep 2021

The club's second oldest racer Hayden Turner won the 110 yard dash for the Veterans' cup, with Nichola Sanderson victorious in the second race -  a gentle 440 yards (400m) for the George Brutton cup.  The Veterans' race is normally the curtain-raiser for the Alan Titmuss race in May.  Due to Covid 19 restrictions in place at the time the race was postponed and rescheduled for last Saturday.

As it happens, both trophies pre-date Hayden by one year, being first presented in 1935.  Brew Brothers Ltd, a Kensington car dealership, presented this Veterans' cup in 1935 and has been raced-for ever since.  1935 saw charming Frenchman Louis Farbe present the cup that has been used for the George Brutton race since 1991.  Louis' cup was competed for over four midweek races during the year 1935 and retained by the winner.   Fifty odd years later the cup came back into the club and was utilised for George's event.

Some interesting history here.  Louis Farbe joined the club in the 1920s and was a multi-discipline endurance event world record holder in 1949.  In the late 1960s Louis made an appearance on the BBC's prime-time TV chat show, "Dee-time".

2021 George Brutton cup
Ban sewage dumping in our waters Parliamentary debate vote

IMMEDIATE CLUB CLOSURE: BLUE GREEN ALGAE

31 Aug 2021

Some of you may have noticed “green gunk” and unsavoury smells when swimming in our beloved lake recently. It turns out that it was more than the usual end-of-summer green vegetation mass die-off.

We are sorry to inform you that swimming is closed at the Serpentine Swimming Club as of tonight until further notice as The Royal Parks have notified us of a blue green algae bloom.

Blue green algae can cause severe skin rashes, eye irritation, vomiting, diarrhoea, fever and pain in joints and muscles. As a result, the gates to the swimming area will be shut tonight, and not open until further notice.

  • If you are on this week’s wardening list, please hold off until swimming resumes.

  • If you were planning on swimming this week, please make alternate plans elsewhere.

Please note that we do not have any definitive information on how long this bloom will last, but based on a previous episode over twelve years ago, we are looking at a few days without swimming. 

In the meantime, rest assured that we will keep you updated on the water quality and hope to return to swimming as fast as possible.

SSC Committee

IMMEDIATE CLUB CLOSURE: BLUE GREEN ALGAE

Reopening to new members 5 September 2021

30 Aug 2021

The Serpentine Swimming Club will accept new members from Sunday 5 September 2021 at 8pm, with the new members number capped at 200. These memberships, as all Serpentine Swimming Club memberships, run 1 January to 31 December, which means that new members will sign up for the remainder of the civil year. Should they wish to continue swimming at the club in 2022, they will need to renew their membership in January 2022.

Note that before starting their application, new members will need to have a passport-size headshot photograph (jpeg or png) ready to upload for their digital membership card.

From 8pm on Sunday 5 September 2021, please click on https://membermojo.co.uk/serpentine/joinus (it will be active then) to join for the rest of the 2021 season. The link will work, but before 8pm, and after 200 places sold, no memberships will be available.

Thank you for your kind cooperation. 

In the duckpoo is not all we do

27 Aug 2021

It’s been in the news – un peu – but, have us Serpentine Swimmers grasped our level of risk of open water swimming in sewage? The scale and context of the number of sewage leaks in English waterways where we swim is bigger than a few thousand Olympic swimming pools full of crud. 

The excellently named Ferry Harmer’s neat solution is to get the House of Commons to debate sewage discharges into waterways. 

Please read on to decide if we Serpies, and any other waterway users need to fret about sewage-filled waters.

In the duckpoo is not all we do

Andean cup presented by the Luckhurst family

24 Aug 2021

Saturday 21 August saw the third of the four fixtures of the Emmi Hunte series of races swum between February and October over varying distances -  February 55 yards (50m), March 110 yards (100m), August 880 yards (800m) with the final 100 yard (90m) race held in late October.

The Andean cup, first presented in 1987 for a team relay, has been used for the third race of the series since 2016 and now celebrates one of our favourite Serpentine families.

Judith Charman pipped Tory Long and Brian Thomas to win the last half mile race of the season.

There was also a special prize for 22nd place -  read on to find out how a surprised Jamal Saad was rewarded with a Kentish treat.

Andean cup presented by the Luckhurst family

Reopening to new members on 22 August 2021

20 Aug 2021

The Serpentine Swimming Club will accept new members from Sunday 22 August 2021 at 8pm, with the new members number capped at 200.

Note that before starting your application, you will need to have a passport-size headshot photograph (jpeg or png) ready to upload for your digital membership card.

From 8pm on Sunday 22 August 2021, please click on https://membermojo.co.uk/serpentine/joinus (it will be active then) to join for the rest of the 2021 season. The link will work, but before 8pm, and after 200 places sold, no memberships will be available.

Thank you for your kind cooperation.