First Time For Everything In The Open Water

Courtesy of Hugh Brasher of Swim Serpentine, London.

Even Texans are heading to London for the Swim Serpentine in September in London’s Hyde Park.

30-year-old Kandice Kirby is planning to celebrate her birthday by travelling 4,846 miles from Houston to London for the inaugural one-mile swim. “The race week falls a week after my birthday and I knew I wanted to not only participate as a birthday goal, but more importantly, I wanted to use my birthday and this event to raise money for one of my favorite charities Charity: Water.”

Charity: Water is an organisation that brings clean drinking water to developing countries around the world and Kirby wants to help – even though she will be stepping offshore into the unknown. “I’ve always loved swimming. But I’ve never participated in any open water events, so this will be my first and I couldn’t think of a better city or better event to take part in than this one.”

But there are also swimmers from South Africa, Germany, France, and Switzerland, now home for Martyn Webster.

The Serpentine is an iconic venue for open water swimmers,” said the 49-year-old Brit who moved to Switzerland and is now the director of an international brewing company. “When I saw the first advertisement for Swim Serpentine, I thought it would be a great opportunity to swim somewhere iconic and combine this with a trip to see family in London. I have been swimming in open water for the last five years and will hopefully fulfil one of my lifelong ambitions to swim the English Channel at the end of August.

I like the people involved in open water swimming. It’s a small world and I bump into the same people year after year at events and there is great camaraderie.”

But the natives will make up the bulk of the event, coming from as far south as Cornwall and as far north as Scotland.

The public ballot entry system for Swim Serpentine is now open and will close on April 29th. Entry details are available on

All swimmers in the mass participation mile must wear either a wetsuit or use a tow-float. Both wetsuit and tow-float hire will be available at the Serpentine on the day. The next day after the event, the 5 km British Open Water Swimming Championships will take place.

Copyright © 2016 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Steven Munatones