On Saturday 25th November, we held our annual Swim Dinner at the Village Hotel Watford, to celebrate the achievements of our open water swimmers this year.  Following a drinks reception and three course meal, awards were given out for the top fundraisers in each of the swims.

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62 swimmers attended the event at which the guest speaker was Professor Greg Whyte OBE, who spoke about his experiences working on various Sport Relief challenges from a motivational point of view.  King of the Channel Kevin Murphy, Honorary Secretary at the CSPF who has himself swum the Channel 34 times, handed out the awards.

We were also delighted to welcome: boat pilots Jonathan London (Solent) and Ryan Tozer (Loch Ness); Jonathan Cowie and Alice Gartland from Outdoor Swimmer; and Jeremy Laming, founder of the Henley swim and Selkie clothing – Aspire’s preferred open water clothing supplier and partner.  A special thank you was given to the fabulous boat leaders who look after our relay channel teams during their crossing.

2017 relay channel boat leaders

During the evening it was announced that the total raised by this year’s open water swimmers is £235,310, which will help Aspire support people with Spinal Cord Injury.

£126,188 of the total amount was raised by relay channel swimmers.  This year, we had six successful crossings, bringing the total to 40 in the last nine years.  The Sea Eagles were the top fundraisers, raising £26,000, and the Jellyfish team were the fastest standard CSPF relay team of the year, at 11 hours 21 minutes, and will receive an award at the annual CSPF dinner in March.

The Sea Eagles relay channel swim team 2017    The Jellyfish relay channel swim team 2017

Of the other swims, 43 people successfully crossed the Solent one way and eight both ways, seven people swam the River Arun and 320 people dived into the darkness for our Night Swim in Oxford.  We also had swimmers take part in the Henley Classic and Great Swims.

Click here if you are interested in open water swimming with Aspire in 2018.