Nick Hungerford retained the trophy he won in 2021, finishing ahead of Natasha Wake, Anita Goyos and Kevin Blick.
Our Christmas piper and close friend of Rosie, Lachlan McDonald, was present to pipe-in the finishers.
Nick started off the morning counting out the handicap clock on behalf of Dani Lobo
And finished holding the cup for another year
Lachlan McDonald piped home the first of the race finishers
Rosemary George, Queen of Dover and sponsor of the club's longest race of the year
The young Rosemary George, the "Queen of Dover", completed a whole host long distance swims and became only the third woman to have swum the English Channel in both directions - Dover-Calais in 1961 and Calais-Dover in 1967. The extra 1m is a metric recognition of the France to England swim, which is no longer possible to undertake. The extra metre affords Rosie the honour of being the sponsor of the Serpentine Swimming Club's longest race on the fixture calendar.
Rosie was inducted into the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame as an Honour Swimmer in 2003.
No dedicated cake today, so here is one from 1994
Gordon Brodie was on-hand to help with the 1994 cake
Fifteen and a half minutes after Squirrel's graceful dive Dave McGregor produced his own artistic entry
Past president Alan Mitchell welcomed Rosie and fellow club members before handing over to Andrew Fuller who spoke warmly of Rosie's contribution to the club and to British and international long distance swimming
Andrew enthralled those members who were not aware of Rosie's many achievements
Andrew talked us through the highlights of Rosie's career. Reproduced here is some greater detail of Rosie's open water achievements.
- Awarded the Best British performance in the 1957 Billy Butlin English Channel Swim when she swam for 13 hours 30 minutes. The swim was unsuccessful, the conditions being atrocious.
- Participated in the 1958 Billy Butlin English Channel Swim, but was pulled after 10 hours 25 minutes. Again, conditions were far from favourable.
- 1955 First encounter with the English Channel - crewing for Abdel Latif Abou Heif - "totally hooked" from that experience.
- 1956 Southsea to Ryde and return to Southsea – 18 miles in 9 hours and 15 minutes
- 1957 Donegal Bay, Tullymore to Bundoran, Ireland – 12 miles in about 7 hours
- 1959 Firth of Forth, Kirkaldy to Portbello Scotland - 12 miles in about 8 hours
- 1960 first English Channel attempt withdrawn 400 yards from France after 21 hours 10 minutes
- 1961 crossed the English Channel from England to France in 21 hours 35 minutes.
- 1961 completed the 36 km Maratona del Golfo Capri-Napoli in 12 hours.
- 1962 swam 35 km (21.7 miles) in Lake Ohrid, Yugoslavia in 14 hours.
- 1961 completed the 36 km Maratona del Golfo Capri-Napoli in 11 hours 30 minutes.
- 1963 swam 35 km (21.7 miles) from Jeble to Lattakia in Syria in 12 hours 30 minutes.
- 1963 swam 44 km in Lake Ohrid, Yugoslavia.
- 1963 swam 40 km (24.8 miles) from Montazza to Alexandria in Egypt in 15 hours.
- 1963 swam 44 km (27.3 miles) in the Suez Canal in Egypt in 16 hours.
- 1963 completed the 36 km Maratona del Golfo Capri-Napoli in Italy in 13 hours 4 minutes 59 seconds.
- 1964 swam 40 km in Alexandria Egypt
- 1964 swam 44 km from Jeble to Lattakia in Syria
- 1964 swam 44 km Kabreit to Ismailier
- 1965 swam 40 km in Alexandria Egypt
- 1965 swam 44 km from Jeble to Lattakia in Syria
- 1967 completed a crossing of the English Channel from France to England in 17 hours 50 minutes.
- Served as coach for many English Channel swimmers including Father Robert Manning (US Navy) who crossed the English Channel on 24 August 1984. "Father Bob" won a trophy from the Channel Swimming Association for the longest crossing in 1984, swimming from France to England in 18 hours 15 minutes.
- 1967 France to England in 17 hours 50 minutes, becoming the third woman to swim the English Channel in both directions.
- Coached Jon Erikson at age 14 who crossed the English Channel in 11 hour 23 minutes on 12 August 1969.
- 1976 trained Jon Erikson when he broke his father Ted Erikson's two-way English Channel crossing record of 30 hours 0 minutes.
- 1981 trained Jon Erikson for his three-way English Channel crossing in 38 hours 27 minutes, the first three-way swim.
Lachlan played a reel whilst Nick waved the cup
Rosie’s formative experience in long-distance swimming started when, as a young girl of 16, she crewed 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 Butlin. His support crew were severely seasick and he kept asking her for "chai" (tea). Rosie thought he was saying that she was "shy". She did eventually learn the Arabic word for tea, plus several choice Arabic swear words that she will share with you should you upset her!
Our Rosie is definitely not shy!
For further detail on Rosie and her contribution to International marathon swimming plese follow this link to the 2021 race report.
Rosie swam in the1957, 1958 and 1959 Billy Butlin sponsored English Channel swim race series
Rosie successfully swam from England to France in 1961.
1967 and a massage from Mum whilst enjoying a post swim cup of tea. Rosie's France to England time was 17hrs 50 minutes.
Many thanks to Dr Lynda Pearce of Dover Museum for permission to reproduce the above photos highlighting young Rosie's career
Natasha Wake followed fellow Aussie Nick into second place
Third place to the very successful Channel and long distance swimmer Anita Goyos
Fourth place to another Channel swimmer, Kevin Blick
Lachlan again powered up his pipes, this time to serenade the final swimmer home
Fiona Petersen finished the Mile + 1m with a smile, applause from fellow club members, and Lachlan's pipes
Fiona has swum through two winters with the club, but is new to the Saturday races. Hopefully first of many
In the late 1970s and early 1980s Rosie worked to Jock Fee at the Serpentine Lido during summer seasons. She also worked at the Kenward Ladies pond in the 1990s.
Rosie with Jock Fee, Lido Superintendent (aka Boss) 1981
(report compiled by Brian Thomas)