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With the temperature hovering around 3C, members of Dorset’s EDOW Club joined 400 competitors of all ages at the UK Cold Water Swimming Championships on 22 January at Tooting Bec’s lido. And, despite the damp weather and very cold water, the atmosphere was electric.

Phil Richardson and Mark Vides completed the 450m Endurance Swim in under 10 minutes, which is no small achievement when the  water temperature saps your strength after the first 25 to 50m. EDOW had three entrants in the Men’s Front Crawl – Ray Budynkiewicz, Phil Richardson and Dave Rimmington. None reached the final but both Dave and Ray were just outside the times.

The girls fared better in the medals with Bev Murray winning a gold in the 30yds Freestyle and then a bronze in the Breaststroke. Claire Haywood won a highly deserved gold in the Freestyle, and also made the final of the Breaststroke in her age group. Annie richardson was just outside the medals in both the Freestyle and Championship Breaststroke finals while Alison Budynkiewicz took a gold medal by just 0.03 sec!

In the relay events EDOW put on a bit of a show, dressing up in Edwardian finery with the males wearing boaters and curly moustaches. No medals this time, but lots of photographs!

For further information, photos and the day’s results log on to www.slsc.org.uk.