Clare Doyle's race for the Percy Clears cup - cancelled for the second year runnning

Blue Green Algae resurfaced to once again thwart our race

Having returned to racing at the end of August, September arrived with blue-green algae keeping us out of the water.

This race celebrates Clare Doyle's long membership of the club, whilst recalling the poignant memory of Percy Clears, who joined the club in the 1900s with his three brothers. Percy was killed in action in October 1918 at Harlebeck, Flanders.  He was 36.

Chris Hatcher was the last winner of the cup

Chris Hatcher was the last winner of the cup

7 August 2021, Clare presented the cup on a wet summer's morning

Clare has presented prizes for the race since 2018, succeeding Neil Price

Clare has presented prizes for the race since 2018, succeeding Neil Price

When the 2023 fixture list was planned, Clare graciously agreed to swap her August date with the Serpentine Swimming Club/Running Club Biathlon.  This was to meet with the running club's summer calendar.  As luck would have it, the biathlon snuck in before the the blue green algae cancelled the next two weeks' fixtures, whilst Clare's race suffered from its' recurrence after a one week return to racing.  Consequently, Clare's race fell foul of the foul algae for a second year running.

On hearing of the race cancellation, Clare commented - 

"It is just a pity the race is postponed for another year - one in which the powerful film ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’ came out, reminding us of the horrors of war (which is still being experienced in Ukraine and elsewhere) and the deaths on both sides of so many young men like Percy Clears in the last days, many even after the signing of the peace agreement."


Please follow this link to the 2021 news item reporting on Clare's history with the club and the background to the Percy Clears cup.  Serpentine Swimming Club

It is a good read, which owes much to the detailed research undertaken by John Tierney with respect to the war service of Percy Clears' and his brothers.

There is also quite a bit about Clare and her Serpentine companions' relay swims (notably the English Channel and Loch Lomond) to raise funds for a medical charity in Afganistan (Afgan Mother and Child Rescue).

2010, Clare searching for the Loch Ness monster. Nessie was in fact hiding in plain sight.

(report compiled by Brian Thomas)