Courtesy of Thomas Lovelock and Simon Lodge, WOWSA, Swim Serpentine, London.

Ferry Weertman is on a roll – from the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro to the 2017 FINA World Championships in Lake Balaton in Hungary to the Swim Serpentine in London.

But he just edged Spyridon Gianniotis in the Olympics, Jordan Wilimovsky at the World Championships, and British swimmer Nathan Hughes in the Serpentine.

The 17-year-old Hughes misjudged his entrance to the finish chute and lost to the Dutch Olympic champion by one second.

The always gracious-on-land, highly competitive-in-the-water Weertman said, “There were some of the top open water swimmers in the world here so Nathan did really well and I hope to see him in international competitions in the future. From my perspective, I’m delighted with the win and pleased that I had the sprint at the beginning of a new season. It’s a great event in the centre of London and the crowds were fantastic. I missed swimming here at the London 2012 Olympics so it was nice to be able to come here and compete today.”

Hughes acknowledged his mistake in lead pack with five men, “It was frustrating because I just went the wrong side of the final buoy as my goggles had steamed up. I felt like I was strong at that point and had enough left and it would have been a great win. Just to be in this race competing against the Olympic champion and other great swimmers was a great opportunity and I hope to get more opportunities like this. I concentrated mainly on the pool last year, but this coming season I think I’ll be mixing open water swimming with some of the longer distances in the pool.”

Weertman’s Dutch teammate Pepijn Smits finished third with Great Britain’s Jack Burnell finished 14th after a two-month break.

Double Olympic silver medalist Jazz Carlin (400m and 800m freestyle), showed her swimming prowess by by winning the elite women’s 1-mile race in 18:45. “That was one of my first open water races so it’s always a bit of going into the unknown. It’s the start of my season and a good test to see where my fitness is at. It’s a great event and wonderful to see how many people are swimming here and enjoying it. That’s so great for the sport of swimming. My turns are not my strong point in the pool so it was nice to have no turns today. I’m very inexperienced in open water swimming so I’m really happy to have won.”

Germany’s Sarah Bosslet came close to Carlin, finishing two seconds back in 18:47 while British teammate Danielle Huskisson was third in 19:46.

Other competitions included a 2-mile race in the Serpentine. 38-year-old Terry Bonnett and 37-year-old Sally Blick completed the 2-mile Swim Serpentine race to win the inaugural London Classics, a combined endurance race that included the 2-mile swim and the Virgin Money London Marathon and Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100.

The Super Six Challenge required participate to swim six miles in various waves throughout the course of the day. 42-year-old James Laming won the Super Six, swimming the two-mile distance three times for a cumulative time of 3 hours 1 minute 24 seconds. “It’s the first time I’ve finished first in anything since I won a small race at Cubs when I was aged about nine. It was also the first time I’ve swum six miles. I had only done three miles straight before in my local lake in Lincoln and this was a fantastic experience.”

35-year-old Italian Chiara Genovese won the female Super Six as she raised £1,250 for EMERGENCY to date, finishing in a cumulative time of 3 hours 15 minutes 25 seconds. “This was the longest swim I have ever done. Volunteers from my charity were here to support me and without them I would never have finished it.”

Swim Serpentine Event Director Hugh Brasher summed up the day when nearly 5,000 swimmers took part, “It has been an absolutely wonderful day at Swim Serpentine. Watching wave after wave of swimmers in this iconic setting and the huge crowd around the Serpentine Lake is an awe-inspiring sight and, in just its second year, this event is firmly established as one of the best open water swimming events in the world.

This year we also saw the first people ever to complete the London Classics, one of the world’s greatest sporting challenges, with hundreds of participants who have run the London Marathon, cycled the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 and finished the two mile swim today.”

Men’s Elite Top 10 Results:
1 Ferry Weertman 17:16
2 Nathan Hughes 17:17
3 Pepijn Smits 17:19
4 Alexander Studzinski 17:19

5 Andreas Waschburger 17:20
6 Caleb Hughes 18:23
7 Max Jelfs 18:33
8 Andrew Horsfall-Turner 18:34

9 Ryan Reader 18:38
10 Tom Robinson 18:40

Women’s Elite Top 10 Results:

1 Jazz Carlin 18:45
2 Sarah Bosslet 18:47
3 Danielle Huskisson 19:46
4 Maisie Macartney 19:47

5 Pippa Shuttleworth 19:57

6 Tiegan Child 20:00
7 Chloe Pollard 20:00
8 Shannon Dalligan 20:02
9 Caitlin Poulson 20:07
10 Amber Hughes 20:19

Photo by Thomas Lovelock shows the elite men’s podium finishers (Pepijn Smits, Ferry Weertman, Nathan Hughes). Photo by Thomas Lovelock shows the elite women’s podium finishers (Danielle Huskisson, Jazz Carlin, Sarah Bosslet). Photo by Simon Lodge shows the elite women’s para swimmers starting.

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