Breaking the ice: Brockwell Lido hosts cold water swimming gala for brrr-ave Brixtonites

Brockwell Lido is hosting its first Cold Water Swimming Gala on Sunday, pitting brave south west London club swimmers against each other with the promise of a cake reward.

Teams of swimmers will compete in three age categories, including an over 60s category, in water which is expected to be a chilling three degrees.

The event is being held to promote the sport and the fitness benefits that early morning teeth-chattering swims hold, though Brockwell Lido regular and organiser Tim Sutton is making sure all involved are suitably prepared.

“It’s all good fun as long as you’re not silly, people challenge themselves to swim far but cold water swimming is about the thrill so the competitors will be swimming widths,” said Mr Sutton.

There will be ten teams present, from surrounding areas such as Tooting, Brixton and Herne Hill, competing in nine individual and relay races at the art deco Lido.

A number of Sunday’s competitors were present at the Lake Windemere Chillswim event at the turn of the year, and despite the Lake District location, the Lido water is expected to be colder than the picturesque lake.

No wetsuits will be allowed, although event organisers are encouraging extra layers to be brought along to warm up – even for competitors who can treat themselves to a post-race bathe in a hot-tub.

As snow fell on south west London this week for the first time this year, Sunday’s competitors were out testing the 3.7 degree waters ahead of the weekend fun.

It is tradition to follow a cold water swim with ample amounts of cake to help comfort the brave, shuddering racers following their feat, which may explain the sports’ rising popularity!

Entry is free for spectators who may even be treated to a ceremonial first length, swam by a man carrying a Dalek on his head…

Featured picture courtesy of Steve Cadma, with thanks

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