Kingfishers warming up for new season at chilly Wykeham

The Kingfishers SC open water team

The Kingfishers SC open water team

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The Kingfishers Open Water swimming squad started their freshwater training in chilly conditions at Wykeham Lakes.

With a water temperature of 11 degrees Wykeham welcomed the squad back for their first swim of the 2013 season in freshwater – the Channel Relay team having already been in the North Sea for the previous three weeks with a average water temperature of six degrees.

The beginners and intermediate swimmers (Imogen Towner, Kennedy Webster and Ben Jewison) undertook the short course route and completed several laps staying in for up to 11 minutes before finding solice on the shore with warm clothes and hot drinks.

The Channel squad and more experienced swimmers completed three laps of the full lake (Erin Hope, Savannah MacKenzie, Mary Beth Hebron, Kevin Sykes, Dave Marshall, Louise Scupham and Jane Sedman) covering approximately 1.5 miles each and stayed in for up to 36 minutes.

These hardy and determined swimmers (who all swim without wetsuits – unless you are a triathlete) were well supported by safety boat crew Phil Dickinson and Hannah Keech and canoeists – Kane Vipurs, Lewis Sykes, Liam and Richard Thraves and Dave Adamson.

The Channel team are Kevin Sykes, Jonathan Lucas, Jane Sedman, Savannah Mackenzie (13), Erin Hope (14), Mary Beth Hebron (14) and Alex Lee).

They have until the end of June to fully acclimatise to the cold water as they leave for their Channel Relay assault on June 27, with a week in Folkestone as they await a good weather window.

If successful they will be the fourth Kingfishers team to complete this marathon challenge.

As part of the on going fundraising effort for the challenge support team members Trish Hope and Jo Sykes also braved the elements at Wykeham and bravely joined the swimmers for a dip in the lake, bravely adding over £100 in sponsorship cash to the pot.

Club official Amanda Lee said: “The open water squad is always on the look-out for new team members and triathletes are also very welcome to come along on a Monday night.

“If canoeing is more your thing then why not pop along to the lake and meet us any Monday night from now to the end of August at 6.15pm and join the open water support team, we can provide all equipment.”