Last weekend some of our masters swimmers – Suzy, Ashley, Sarah. Johnny and Clemence – headed to Herne Bay on the north Kent coast for the Active Life Pier to Pier swim.
They were joined by ex-Penguin Fran, and Ed who cheered them and took lots of photos.
Waiting for the start it was cold, raining and windy and the sea was pretty choppy. Even though the event was timed to coincide with the slack tide, it promised to be a challenging swim. But the buzz of all the swimmers gathered on the beach made for a great atmosphere.
Fran set off in the first wave for the full 3km distance from Hampton Pier to Herne Bay Pier and back.
A few minutes later Ashley was on her way in the 1.5k wave, with Johnny, Suzy, Clemence and Sarah to follow in the final wave swimming 750m.
All distances featured an outward swim parallel to the beach, turning at the appointed buoy and heading back to the exit on the beach.
Everyone was surprised by how warm the water felt getting in.
The outward leg was into the wind and made for slow progress but everyone found their rhythm and settled into their stroke to battle through the waves. The way back benefited from the tail wind, although the turning incoming tide made it interesting trying to hold a good line without being push ashore!
This was a well organised, friendly and well-priced event and there was agreement all round to do it again next year.
Afterwards the skies cleared and Team Penguin made the most of the warm, sunny afternoon with well-deserved fish and chips, and gelato in nearby Whitstable.
Sarah Wren: 5th overall, 3rd female and first in category
Clemence Grochalska: 9th overall and 2nd in category
Johnny Wren: 12th overall
Suzy Carter: 13th overall and 3rd in category
Ashley Henley: 26th overall
Fran Lou: 37th overall and 3rd in category