The Rose George One Mile and one Metre Race was won by Deirdre. Both ladies have swum the Channel more than once.
The Rose George One Mile and one Metre Race was won by Deirdre, a very on form Kevin was a close second, Katherine third and Henry fourth. Unfortunately the Rose George Cup had been stolen from a locked cupboard in the changing room during the past week and so Deirdre had to make do with a substitute pot until Rose’s Cup is recovered or replaced.
Rose George is one of the women who puts the Great in Britain. She has a long and illustrious history in marathon swimming and was inducted into the International Marathon Swimming Hall of fame in 2003 being one of seven present or former Serp. Members to have this honour. Rose’s formative experience in long distance swimming started when she ,as a young girl, was on the boat of the Egyptian marathon swimming legend Abou Heif when he won a cross Channel swimming race in 1955 sponsored by the impresario Billy Butlins. His support crew were severely seasick and he kept asking her for chai. She thought he was saying she was ‘shy’. She did eventually learn the Arabic for tea and several choice Arabic swear words that she will share with you should you upset her! Rose was the first European female and the third woman to swim the English Channel in both directions. The summary of her achievements contained in the Hall of Fame is testament to her endurance and commitments as a swimmer and coach:
1961 England to France
1961 Capri to Naples
1961 Lake Ohrid (then Yugoslavia)35k
1962 Capri to Naples
1963 Jeble to Latakia Syria 35 k
1963 Montazza to Alexandria Egypt 40k
1963 Suez Canal 44k
1967 France to England
1969 trained Jon Erickson then the youngest boy to swim the Channel
1976 trained Jon Erickson when he broke his fathers two way Channel crossing record
1981 trained Jon Erickson for his three way Channel crossing- the first ever three way crossing
1984 trained other successful Channel swimmers including the first ‘man of the cloth’ to achieve a crossing, Father Robert Manning, a US Navy Catholic chaplain.
Rose trained at the Serp for her 1967 France to England swim and later worked at both the Serpentine Lido and Hampstead Ladies Pond. She formally joined the club in 1990 and has been an enduring and much loved member ever since. She is a Vice President of the Club and Hon. Judge. She also organises the boats for the Bridge to Bridge every year. Perhaps closest to the needs of club members, whether they swim midweek or at weekends, is her tireless commitment to supply tea, coffee, toilet paper and celebratory cakes on birthdays and anniversaries. So all members are invited to think of Rose when sipping a post swim drink or sitting at their ease in the ‘facilities’.