How far would you swim for a beer?

1.5km apparently…

At A Lotus Rises, we’re not afraid to put ourselves on the frontline to answer the very toughest questions in the world of open water swimming.

The Henley Club to Pub is 1.5k swim from Henley Rowing Club to the Angel on The Bridge pub. For the first 400m swimmers head upstream, then turn right around two buoys, taking them across to the other side of a little island and then downstream to the pub.


It’s a swim that has everything: Personal challenge, sustenance and kitchen utensils…

At the finish swimmers are rewarded with a bottle of commemorative ‘Two Bells’ beer, brewed especially for the event. The swimming medals are designed as bottle openers and you can pick up a Club to Pub coaster too – a stylish addition to any home décor.

The rewards of the Henley Club to Pub!

The rewards of the Henley Club to Pub!

Victoria Pendleton's favourite swimmer Helen Jenkins

Super swimming lotus Helen Dickins celebrates with a  well earned bottle of Two Bells!

There’s also a BBQ and DJ and you get to walk back to the rowing club in your swimming cossy whilst swilling beer. Standard procedure for a Saturday night out in Henley I am sure.


Enjoying a saturday night out in Henley

A real mix of swimmers took part – I met two young women for whom this was their first open water swim – and in skins – respect!

The race briefing was clear and also gave a helpful nudge for us all to consider the etiquette of a swim race start. I was particularly impressed with mine – having bumped into my mate Helen who I haven’t seen for 12 months, we managed to tread water and hug at the start line: Pretty sure that’s in chapter 42 of the advanced openwater swimming skills manual.

Helen swimming the Thames!

Helen swimming the Thames!

This swim is great fun and definitely worth repeating, only next time with  a greater emphasis on dancing at the finish.

Constructive feedback for the event organisers? The burger buns were a bit crumbly and probably need to be lightly toasted or replaced with a firmer alternative… You’re welcome.

Tom and Terry evaluating the Club to Pub burgers

Tom and Terry evaluating the Club to Pub burgers

Big thanks to Tom and Terry from Sussex Aardvarcks for inviting me to join their team!

Once more, 芙蓉出水 (fúróng chūshuǐ) Out of the water a Lotus Rises and this time we all won a beer, bottle opener and a coaster!

TEAM! Serious and focused on the objective ahead

TEAM! Serious and focused on the objective ahead



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