8 am Saturday 20 March - the race we missed for a second time. A year since our race fixtures were suspended.

Second event for the Emmi Hunte cup - 110 yards (100m). Prizes by Anna and the Baker boys.

8 o'clock Saturday morning would have seen the second fixture in the series for the Emmi Hunte cup, with prizes by Anna, Sam, Max and Theo Baker.  Gentle pool swimmer Anna optimistically joined us in 2004 to train for a Channel relay.  Anna was so overwhelmed with the experience that she went on to complete a solo crossing the following year.

Channel solo, 13 July 2005 (elegantly colour coordinated to the very finish)

Channel solo, 13 July 2005 (elegantly colour coordinated to the very finish)

Anna's time of 17 hours and 32 minutes prompted Duff Kelly to remark "I couldn't sleep for that long, let alone swim"

The Serpentine being unavailable, Anna and Sam have recently been taking a dip in the River Wey

The Serpentine being unavailable, Anna and Sam have recently been taking a dip in the River Wey

Anna was asked why she was daft enough to join the Serpentine Swimming Club -

"I joined in January 2004 to prepare for the WaterBabes Channel relay, alongside Janie Saunders and Jessica Avery. Before signing up for the Channel we had been leisurely breast stroking and chatting in an indoor pool and signed up without really realising what we were getting into. We had some swimming lessons, as Jess and Janie weren't really front crawlers. Our teacher was more keen on teaching us to skull on our backs in case we got tired I seem to remember. We visited the (Hampstead) Ladies' Pond for a January dip and they recommended the Serps. Everything improved from that moment. It really was life-changing.

"Janie lives in north London and Jess is in Worcestershire. We reunited for the Zurich relay and went out with a large contingency from the Serps in 2008 I think. 

"I met Sam at Oxford in September 2005, shortly after my July solo. He quickly learnt to join in with the swimming. I remember he walked from his parents' home in Golders Green on Christmas day 2005 to watch me in the Peter Pan race.  He also did the Zurich relay with Mark and Teresa (Faure-Walker).

 "We have two boys, Max and Theo, now 10 and 8. We all swim regularly (as much as we can in the circumstances), and Max in particular loves his open water swimming. A few years ago we all took part in a charity swim in our local lido in Shere to help keep it open. The plan was to swim the distance of the channel in the lido and Max did 2km."

New member Anna was quick off the mark in gaining silverware and prizes

New member Anna was quick off the mark in gaining silverware and prizes

2004 Maurice Ferris cup, with President Roy Wray, Alan Titmuss and Gordon Brodie.

2006 Peter Larrad races, with Cyril Wood, Peter Larrad and Gordon Brodie. "It's a plant".

Also a party animal - the 2004 Serpentine Christmas bash

Also a party animal -  the 2004 Serpentine Christmas bash

With Emmi Hunte, Tony Cuthbert, Jennie Cleaver and Channel legends Nick Adams and Kevin Murphy

Anna and Sam have presented the prizes for the second race of the series since 2013

Anna and Sam have presented the prizes for the second race of the series since 2013

2013 prize giving - some very nice and very big cookies

2013 race, Anna inspecting the handicap start list with Alan Nash

2013 race, Anna inspecting the handicap start list with Alan Nash

Giant cookie prizes in 2013

Giant cookie prizes in 2013

Young Lily, with a smile almost as big as her prize

2016 race start on a cold and grey March morning

2016 race start on a cold and grey March morning

2016 finish

2016 finish

Four legged spectators

Four legged spectators

2016, Robin's speech and a table full of goodies

2016, Robin's speech and a table full of goodies

Jan Farmer in the prizes

Jan Farmer in the prizes

Also Kevin Blick and "family"

Also Kevin Blick and

Gordon and Norman watch on

Gordon and Norman watch on

We had just heard the sad news of Ron (the Con) Whittam's passing. Hence the photos on the wall.

WaterBabes English Channel relay team in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital, 2004

The 2004 WaterBabes Channel relay team comprised Anna Hillyer, Jessica Avery and Janie Saunders, raising money for Great Ormond Street Hospital.  They completed the crossing in 17 hours and 12 minutes.

Dover, nearly ready for the off

Dover, nearly ready for the off

Bubbly back on the boat with "coach"

Bubbly back on the boat with

Nick Adams, Janie Saunders, Anna Hillyer and Jesssica Avery

More bubbly at the Serpentine the following Saturday

More bubbly at the Serpentine the following Saturday

Jess was not available - she was volunteering on the Childline phones that morning

Channel Solo, 13 July 2005

Channel Solo, 13 July 2005

The day before, with Sakura and Jess

Final touches

Final touches

Arrived, after 17 hours and 32 minutes in 16c water

Arrived, after 17 hours and 32 minutes in 16c water

Ardent supporters - Nick, Cliff Golding and Janie. I.E. some of the crew

Ardent supporters -  Nick, Cliff Golding and Janie.  I.E. some of the crew

Wonderlust

Anna also completed some other swims overseas with the Serpentine Swimming Club, including winter visits to Russia in 2004, Finland 2005 and a summer relay of Lake Zurich in 2008.

Russia, February 2005

Russia, February 2005

Bill Deeley, elder statesman of Team Serpentine delegation to Russia

Finland, February 2007

Finland, February 2007

Mark F-W awaits his call

Keeping warm before the dip

It's cold outside, do we have to?

Zurich 2008. There was more than one Serpentine relay team

Zurich 2008.  There was more than one Serpentine relay team

We counted them out and we counted them in....

Serpentine Lake Zurich relay teams relaxing after the event

Serpentine Lake Zurich relay teams relaxing after the event