The Emmi Hunte series is raced between February and October over varying distances - February 55 yards (50m), March 110 yards (100m), August 880 yards (800m) with the final 100 yard (90m) race held in late October. The first race of the 2022 series fell victim to the aftermath of the previous day's "Storm Eunice" - the park did not open until 09.30 to allow a clear-up of debris. Brian Thomas won the cup based on aggregate performance over the three races.
Emmi, Elvira and Esperanza presented the cup to overall winner Brian Thomas
Emmi the ever present
Emmi Hunte has been an ever present and dedicated club member during four decades with the club. For many years she would arrive by 6am daily to open up the changing room and make sure everything was all spick and span.
Elvira's Hyde Park roots are with the now defunct Serpentine Lido Lifeguard Club, though she has been a member of our swimming club since the 1998. Elvira has been a regualr racer in the past, but work and family commitments have got in the way in recent years. That said, Elvira has over the summer begun appearing at the lake on a Sunday morning for a club swim.
Christmas 2014, Emmi ready to go
Previously known as the Daily Telegraph cup, the trophy was re-dedicated to ever-popular veteran Emmi Hunte 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. Even startled passers-by were honoured. Sadly, Ashwin passed away in January 2020.
Ashwin Pandya really did provide prizes for all - "everyone's a winner!"
We were once again treated to a beautiful autumn morning.
Jan Farmer did not swim, so was able to capture the spirit of the Saturday morning race
Mike Olizar waiting for the clock to start
The clock counting out prompted some last second stretches
Not much spare space on the board for a 100 yard race
A busy shoal of swimmers nearing the finish
Time to stand and chat, and contemplate whether or not to swim back
Race over, pearl fishing commencing
Some walked back, some swam back. The Canada geese just stood and watched the weird and wet "ape-people"
Whilst President Rob spoke of Emmi's contribution to the club over many years Lewis snuck in to photobomb the moment
Emmi has twice won the Christmas Day race, being the first lady to win the race in 2004, and winning again in 2012. But she has only once been a Peter Pan cup winner.
By the early 2000s there was no gender distinction in our races. All swimmers competed as equals under the eyes of the handicapper - the Bridge to Bridge race (our summer "Blue Ribbon" event) was won by a lady in 2022. The exception was the Christmas Day race for the Peter Pan cup. During the 1990s, to encourage the still handful of women swimmers a small “Wendy” cup was provided each year by the club to be presented to the first woman home. As with the Peter Pan cup, this was retained each year by the winner. Many saw this as unfair as all swimmers in the race were competing under a handicap and the small cup provided by the club was in no manner as grand as the Peter Pan trophy presented by the race sponsors, the Greenbury family. The AGM of 2003 sought to rectify this. The concept was by no means acceptable to all at the meeting. The compromise outcome was for the first swimmer home to be deemed the winner of the Christmas Day race, with the Peter Pan cup presented to the first man home and a Wendy cup to the first woman. No issue arose for the 2003 Christmas Day race. However, in 2004 the race was won by the very popular veteran Emmi Hunte. Many, including the race sponsors the Greenbury family, thought it very strange and unsatisfactory that a small alternative cup was presented to the race winner rather than the grand Peter Pan trophy for which the club and the event has a global reputation. The issue was addressed at the 2005 AGM with a proposal that the race winner would be presented with the Peter Pan cup, irrespective of gender. The motion was passed virtually unanimously, with many who opposed the proposal at the 2003 AGM speaking this time strongly in favour.
For lots of photos from Emmi's Christmas morning victory in 2004, please follow this link -
2012, and Peter Pan cup winner Emmi leads fellow Christmas Day competitors out of the water
Granddaughter Esperanza helped present the Emmi Hunte cup and some marvellous prizes
Second prize for Alan Mitchell
Simone Piccoli third prize
Fourth for Mike Barron
Big smile from Sally Stott, fifth prize
Prize number six went to a bashful Stu Bowman
Three big cheers led by Rob Ouldcott
For more information on the background to the Emmi Hunte Series, and its predecessor the Daily Telegraph Series, please follow this link to the 2020 "Race We Missed" report
Another presentation - Laure Latham was presented with the "Andrew and the Two Ronnies" cup for the race she won last Saturday
And finally, a friend of Rosie George from Chicago, Grace Tslang, paid us a visit.
(Report compiled by Brian Thomas)