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Despite having lived in Tooting for nearly 10 years, I only visited the Tooting Bec Lido for the first time at the start of this year. I heard that the venue hosts the bi-annual Cold Water Swimming Championships late January with the South London Swimming Club, so put it in my diary to come along and photograph it.
I was happy to be on the warm end of the camera, with the water only 2 degrees centigrade. Many years ago back in my home town of Swansea, I used to surf during the winter wearing a 5mm wetsuit in water temps of 8/9 degrees. So 2 degrees in a pair of speedos? Hardcore.
The champs was a fun day with a great turnout. Kicking off with a charity ‘jump in’ for Crisis with some awesome fancy dress on show,the races followed soon after. Midday saw the Best Hat competition bring much splendor and hilarity to proceedings, with racing through the afternoon.
Having the Guardian use one of my images for their Best Photos of the Day was a nice touch!
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Nuff hi-jinx, its time to get some serious racin’ done…
The real pros have their names on their bums…
Which method of entry is less painful, to jump in or ease in gently? This chap opts for the latter.
And they’re off!!!
I wonder whether the igloo/penguin/eskimo had any psychological impact on the swimmers?
Gnarly headgear 🙂
Bit chilly chaps?
The ladies were really nailing it on the hat front.