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Henley Swim Classic

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Henley Swim Classic
Henley Swim Classic

The Henley Swim Classic, co-founded by Tom Kean and Jeremy Laming under the Henley Swim brand, is a celebration of mid-summer and is one of the World's Top 100 Open Water Swims. It is a unique opportunity to swim one of the most famous and beautiful stretches of open water in the world, at what we believe is the most beautiful time of the day, dawn.

It is unique in that it is a straight line point-to-point swim and takes advantage of the 2.1km boomed course of the Henley Royal Regatta in the early morning hours. The swim is like no other open water swim and the feeling of having done it before most people have woken up is satisfying.

Since the first open water swim in 2004, the event has gone from strength to strength, attracting open-water swimmers from around the globe. A key feature of the event is the fact that you arrive in darkness, and walk half a mile to the start into the sunrise. Once the safety briefing is completed getting into the inky black water at that time is a slightly surreal experience.

Henley Swim Classic Videos[edit]

Race Formats[edit]

Henley Swim has released details of their final race for 2011 to close the season with a bang. Swimmers are invited to enter teams of 4 to take part in relays and team pursuits for a morning of tactics and close-quarter racing. It all happens on the 18 September 2011 at Queenford Lakes just of the A4074 south of Oxford.

Event organiser Tom Kean says, “This will be a brand new race format which we has been designed around swimming and triathlon club members. It will provide the perfect environment to practice the fiendishly difficult open-water skill of drafting in the team pursuit event, and give clubs the chance to pit themselves against other clubs in the relays. It should be a fascinating morning of swimming, which should be just as compelling from the bank!”

Kean was also keen to point out that each winning category team member will earn an entry place to the massively over-subscribed Henley Swim Classic on the 24th June 2012.

H2Open Magazine editor Simon Griffiths says about the event, “Henley Swim have devised yet another format that we think will become hugely popular in years to come. They stand out as an event organiser who are determined bring something different and exciting to swimmers”.

2XU UK Marketing Director Mike Martin says about the event, “Henley Swim have devised yet another fantastic race. We are very pleased to be the wetsuit partner to the Henley Swim series and are enjoy working with such a motivated and enthusiastic race organiser who is going the extra mile to come up with a race which is just a little bit different.”


Teams of 4 will compete over a triangular 1000m course in a relay format. The first team to complete the 4km relay course will win their category.

Teams of 4 individuals are invited to compete in one of the following categories. The winning team from each category will qualify for a reserved individual slot at the 2012 Henley Swim classic.

- Open men or women
- Masters men or women (aged 45+ on the day of the race)
- Junior men or women (aged 14-18 on the day of the race)
- Traditional men or women (Speedo style swim suit only)
- Mixed - 2 men and 2 women (these can be open, masters or juniors)

After the main event, there will be a chance for a second 'free' swim in a new “Team Pursuit”. Teams of 4 swimmers will start at the same time - with 30 seconds between each team - and swim the 1K course in track cycling pursuit format. Team members will need to work out and practice how they draft; either at the hip or directly behind; how they communicate with each other, who goes off first and how long each stint at the front will be for?

Event Organisers[edit]

Email Tom Kean or Jeremy Laming at

External links[edit]