Is there an older formally organized open water swimming team in the world?

It is hard to imagine.

For nearly 150 years, the venerable Serpentine Swimming Club has been using the Serpentine in Hyde Park in the heart of London as its training grounds and famed Christmas Day competitions.

It takes something spectacular, something magnificent, something earth-shaking to halt the tradition and tenacity of the Serpentine Swim Club. But the 2012 London Olympic Games is one of those happenings.

The long history and traditions of the Club will be temporarily restricted as agreed between the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games and The Royal Parks after July 18th due to the activities of the 2012 London Olympic Games.

If you are in London during the Olympics, this is the announced schedule:

July 18th – No swimming outside of the buoy line
July 22th – The buoy line will be moved in line with the end of the pontoon. No swimming outside of the buoy line. At 10 am, the buoy line will be moved in back to original position.
July 25th, 29th, 30th, 31st – No swimming outside of the buoy line
July 27th – Opening of the 2012 London Olympic Games
August 1st – The buoy line will be moved in line with the end of the pontoon and stays in position. No swimming outside this buoy line between 6:00 and 9:30 am.
August 2nd – No swimming outside this buoy line between 6:00 and 9:30 am
August 3rd – No swimming outside of the buoy line between 6:00 and 9:30 am. The buoy line is to be completely removed at 10 am.
August 4th – Olympic women’s triathlon at 11:30 am and male familiarisation – no swimming all day
August 5th – No buoy line; swimming possible in normal area until 9:00 am
August 6th – No buoy line; swimming possible in normal area until 9:30 am
August 7th – Olympic men’s triathlon competition at 11:30 am. Transition to Marathon Swim. No swimming all day.
August 8th – Marathon swimming transition continues and full course familiarisation – no swimming all day
August 9th – Olympic 10K Marathon Swim at 12 noon – no swimming all day
August 10th – Olympic 10K Marathon Swim at 12 noon – no swimming all day. The buoy line will be reinstated after competition.
August 11th – Swimming within buoy line only.

If open water swimmers are in London for the Olympics, they can become members of the Serpentine Swimming Club. They can complete an application form from the club (Saturday morning is the best time) and must also complete an ASA registration form (green one) available from the club. The current subscription is £20 per season (1 January – 31 December). Payment should be by cheque payable to Serpentine Swimming Club.

It is one of the joys of many visitors to London to join one of the world’s oldest open water swimming clubs.

Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source