Paul Daniels conjures a win
Congratulations to Paul Daniels on winning the 2019 Mike Small series.
It's wonderful to think that the Mike Small series has been held since 1994, writes Norm Jones.
It's believed that Mike had polio as a boy, which resulted in him losing part of his leg. Later in life, he had motor bike accident following which he lost his arm. Despite this, Mike was another Serpentine swimmer who never played the 'victim' card.
Mike was a real smart dresser, he would wear his trilby hat angled just right, a post swim cigarette perched on the side side of his lip so as not to have to bother using his one arm to remove it between puffs.
And although an accomplished origami artist, he always asked for assistance from other Serpies to put his swimming cap on.
He was the original splasher of the swimmers on the board, because he could not dive, and he took great delight in making us all holler and jump about when he made his small leap into the water.
His one arm was very effective at moving great amounts of water over us.
Swimming for Mike was a self taught back paddle using his one arm to push the water across his chest and the good leg working hard in an inverted semi breaststroke action.
He was to be admired for how long he could stay in the cold water, being the first off on the handicap he would stick it out whatever the distance and temperature.
Mike had a marvellous sense of humour, and when just days before he passed away, Alan Titmuss was visiting him in hospital, he told Alan exactly how he would like his memorial cup to be designed. Bill Phipps produced the masterpiece which was made with one arm of the trophy distinctly shorter than the other. And when I look at that cup, I can't help but smile at the memory of the great two characters of the SSC.
And Mike Harris adds his piece.
The most Excellent Mike Small Cup was awarded to Paul Daniels.
Debbie McGee got the second prize followed by George Cselko, and in 4th Charlie Frith.
Prizes and the history of Mike Small were given by Bill Deeley, his close friend, NB don’t smoke!!
What a wonderful series, and all seven weeks were swum for, no ice stoppages, contrary to what John Tierney might be experiencing in Antarctica.
2018Jacqui Fischel Bock
2019 Paul Daniels