Intrepid industry trio Stephen Gould (Ragdoll), Cassie Allen (BBC Worldwide) and Craig Rowell (Lime) were among the 750 swimmers who took part in the 2.1k Henley Classic on June 30th – raising money for The Light Fund in the process.
Kicking off at 4.30am, the open water swim is unusual because it follows the straight line boomed Royal regatta rowing course.
Gould notched up a time of 36 minutes 13 seconds (placing 103), Allen completed it in 37 minutes and 16 seconds (placing 129) and Rowell finished in 42 minutes 32 seconds (placing 254).
The overall winner of the race took just 24 minutes 19 seconds to complete the course, while last place crossed the finish line after one hour, 33 minutes and seven seconds.
"It was a great experience; totally surreal," Gould told Licensing.biz. "The Thames was a balmy 17 degrees and delightly brown. Just before the start, when everyone was jostling for position, I got boxed in and when the whistle went it was mayhem – think rugby scrum in the water with no referee.
"I was getting whacked from all sides as swimmers tried to find clear water to pull through – my goggle became dislodged in the scramble and I couldn’t stop to fix them as there was more carnage chipping at my heels. I did the full swim seeing next to nothing (maybe just as well), but made it all the same.
"I was 13th in my age group – the young lads section, of course. At least I beat Graham Bell, the GB Olympic skier and presenter of Ski Sunday."
Indeed, Gould enjoyed the experience so much he is going back on Sunday July 14th to race in The Henley Mile.
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