Early on a midsummer morning in June, the Oxford and Cambridge swimming teams met before sunrise on the banks of the river Thames at Henley for the annual open water varsity match. Eight Oxford swimmers braved the Thames, swimming 2.1km upstream along the famous rowing course, in only their costumes (wetsuits were not allowed).
This is a team event, with the sum of the times of the first three finishers from each team creating an overall time. Despite a valiant effort from the whole team, this year the light-blues prevailed. However Oxford’s men’s and women’s teams each had two top 3 finishers. Well done to Dominic McLoughlin and Charlotte Newman, who were the first Oxford finishers.
Congratulations also to the Oxford alumni team who won their event in true dark-blue style. Naomi Vides put in a strong performance and deservedly won the overall women’s traditional competition, which bodes well for her upcoming channel swim this summer. James Manning and Katia Vastiau were also on the podium, achieving second and third places respectively.
All in all it was a great experience and well worth the chilly early morning start!