More than 300 swimmers took to the Thames on 25 July for this year’s Henley Club to Pub Swim – almost double the number who swam in the 2014 inaugural race.
All finishers were presented with a bottle of Brakspear’s commemorative ‘Two Bells’ beer, as well as a medal that doubled as a bottle opener. Two Bells, brewed at the Bell Street Brewery, gets its name from the timings for the race, which starts as the bells of St Mary’s Church strike 7 o’clock and challenges swimmers to finish before the 8 o’clock chimes.
This year’s winner was Antonio Almarez Serrano, from Spain, who only needed 18:40 minutes to complete the 1.5 km course upstream from Henley Rowing Club to Marsh Lock and then downstream to the Angel. The first woman home was Jennifer Dunleavy from Chiswick, in 21:34 minutes.
Presenting bottles of Two Bells to swimmers as they reached the Angel on the Bridge for the post-swim celebrations, Brakspear marketing manager Emma Sweet said, “We initially predicted 250 swimmers for the Club to Pub Swim this year, so it’s great to have attracted more entrants. A swim in the Thames followed by a bottle of locally-brewed beer and a party in a pub must be the perfect way to spend a summer evening in Henley.
She added, “This race is a great introduction to open water swimming and many of this year’s participants were new to it. It’s a firm fixture on the Henley calendar now and we’ll be looking for even more swimmers next year – and brewing more Two Bells to meet demand!”
This year, Sue Ryder was the charity partner to the Club to Pub Swim. More than £160 was donated via collection buckets on the night, with more to come from ticket sales. Benjamin Ben-Lev, Corporate Fundraiser for the charity’s Nettlebed Hospice, said, “”It was a privilege for Sue Ryder Nettlebed Hospice to be the first charity partner for this great event, everything went swimmingly! Our thanks to everyone who participated in the Club to Pub swim or volunteered to help run it, the money raised will help us to continue providing incredible care here in the local area.
“We are looking forward to developing our ongoing relationship with the organisers of Henley Swim and Brakspear; stay tuned for more exciting events ahead.”
Attached image, courtesy of Henley Herald, shows: Henley Club to Pub Swim 2015 winner Antonio Almarez Serrano with Brakspear marketing manager Emma Sweet
Issued on behalf of: Brakspear
Further information: ShielPorter Communications
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