The Emmi Hunte cup - what we missed Saturday 24 October

Plus memories of Ashwin Pandya

Saturday 24 October would have seen the final fixture of the Emmi Hunte cup series of races.  These are swum over varying distances through the season -  February 55 yards, March 110 yards, August 880 yards and October 100 yards.  Previously known as the Daily Telegraph cup, the trophy was re-dedicated to ever-popular veteran Emmi in 2019.

For many decades prizes for the Telegraph cup were provided by Ashwin Pandya.  Many will fondly recall receiving a prize from Ashwin, even if they were nowhere near the front or had even raced or indeed swum.  In fact one year even a passer-by was honoured.  Sadly Ashwin passed away in January this year.

Emmi and daughter Elvira

Emmi and daughter Elvira

Chip off the old block

Emmi has twice won the Christmas Day race

Emmi is a long-standing and very popular club member who won the Christmas Day race twice, though the Peter Pan cup only once. On the first occasion in 2004 club rules dictated the first swimmer home won the race, but if a woman a Wendy Cup was presented with the grand Peter Pan cup being presented to the first man home.  This rule was changed at the very next AGM.  In 2012 Emmi won the Christmas race and received the Peter Pan Cup.  2019 saw the Daily Telegraph Cup renamed the Emmi Hunte Cup in her honour.  

Christmas 2009, at the start with Ron Whittam

Christmas 2009, at the start with Ron Whittam

Early congratulations in anticipation

Christmas 2015, again starting us off

Christmas 2015, again starting us off

Emmi ready, steady and focussed on the race ahead. Others in full conversation mode.

Christmas 2015, listening for her mark

Christmas 2015, listening for her mark

Almost up to the knees, about to plunge

The Daily Telegraph cup became the Emmi Hunte cup in 2019

The Daily Telegraph sponsored a race series of varying formats on the club fixture list for over a hundred years, dating back at least to the 1900s.  A review by the Telegraph organisation of their commercial set-up in the 1970s meant direct contact between the newspaper and Serpentine SC was lost.  In 2019 the committee thought it appropriate to rededicate the cup to Emmi Hunte in recognition of her valued and appreciated services to the club in all hours and all weathers.

Linda Luckhurst first winner of the Emmi Hunte series, 2019

Linda Luckhurst first winner of the Emmi Hunte series, 2019

The cup was rededicated to Emmi Hunte in season 2019

James Norton won the last of the Daily Telegraph series, 2018

James Norton won the last of the Daily Telegraph series, 2018

Same cup, different name

Ashwin presenting prizes, 2018

Ashwin presenting prizes, 2018

Squirrel patiently waits her turn

Ashwin Pandya joined the club in the mid 1970s

Ashwin Pandya joined the club in the mid 1970s

Hampton Court 1976, mile river swim in association with South London SC

Brighton Pier to Pier race, 1976

Brighton Pier to Pier race, 1976

With Ramsey and Marcus Gohar, Dusty Rhodes and Simon Robertson. Ashwin still needs to get his trunks on.

1980 Stovold cup

1980 Stovold cup

With club grandees Sid Levy, Arthur Goffrey and Frank Simms

Ashwin and family with 1994 series winner, John Sextone

Ashwin and family with 1994 series winner, John Sextone

Proud Dad Ashwin won the Christmas Day race in 1980

Proud Dad Ashwin won the Christmas Day race in 1980

It made the local press

A fond friend

A fond friend