THE BRIDGE TO BRIDGE is a 14km long distance river swim from Henley-on-Thames to Marlow.
Download the Bridge to Bridge Information Pack for full details of this event.
Swum in the style of a ‘sportive’, this event is more relaxed than a race, and is aimed at swimmers who would like to include a long distance challenge in their summer open water swimming season. It’s not a race as such, but an opportunity for you to test yourself and take in the stunning scenery at the same time. The swim is organised into a group format, with teamwork making this a fun and satisfying event with a difference.
And don’t forget it’s with the stream, which makes progress feel surprisingly easy – a bit like cycling with a tail wind the whole way!
Entry Categories & Prices
To be eligible to enter this category your average 1500m (pool) swim time should be 25 minutes or under. You will be required to enter your average 1500m swim time when you make your entry.
To be eligible to enter this category your average 1500m (pool) swim time should be between 26 and 30 minutes. You will be required to enter your average 1500m (pool) swim time when you make your entry.
To be eligible to enter this category your average 1500m (pool) swim time should be between 31 and 45 minutes. You will be required to enter your average 1500m (pool) swim time when you make your entry.
Due to the long distance of this swim, this is only suited to seasoned endurance open water swimmers. You should certainly be capable of comfortably completely 8km swims, and it is advisable that you have already swum at least one 10km event before to ensure you are fully prepared to swim this 14km marathon swim. Your experience will greatly determine the category that you enter, as detailed below.
The Wetsuit Entry Fee is £77
This covers the costs for all safety measures, food during the swim, insurance, use of the facilities at the Henley and Marlow host venues and other event expenses. It does not include food and drinks at the end of the swim.
The entry closing date for wetsuit entries is 3rd August 2014.
Each swimmer will receive an event memento.
Due to the endurance nature of this event, and the length of time that swimmers are in the water, wetsuits are advised for this event, however, if you are a serious skin swimmer and would like to take part without a wetsuit, you can apply to enter the Non Wetsuit category, which includes two options – Individual Kayak Support & Additional Kayak Support. Please view our Non Wetsuit Policy for full details and costs.
Due to the demands of this swim, applications for Non-Wetsuit entries are considered on a case by case basis. If you would like to enter a No- Wetsuit category, email firstname.lastname@example.org, providing details of your cold water swimming experience, including distances and times, etc. If your application is accepted, you will be contacted and provided with an entry form link, so that you can make your entry online.
Non-Wetsuit Entry Fees
Individual Kayak Support – £122
This covers the costs for all safety measures, including individual kayak support, food during the swim, insurance, use of the facilities at the Henley and Marlow host venues and other event expenses. It does not include food and drinks at the end of the swim.
Additional Kayak Support – £92
This covers the costs for all safety measures, including additional kayak support, food during the swim, insurance, use of the facilities at the Henley and Marlow host venues and other event expenses. It does not include food and drinks at the end of the swim.
Please Note: Due to the additional safety requirements of this category, the deadline for Non-Wetsuit entries is 10th July 2014.
Details have yet to be finalised, however, it is likely that swimmers will be started in waves according to their entry category at Henley, in the following order: Gold, Silver, Bronze. From there they will be guided by support canoes as they make their way down the first reach to Hambleden Lock. Swimmers will then be “allocated” into their pods, according to their speed. After that point you will be expected to stay together and work as a group, meaning the faster swimmers will need to encourage and assist the slower ones at various times.
We take your safety very seriously and work closely with our Medical and Water Safety providers to ensure that the necessary cover is in place both on and off shore, along the whole course of this marathon swim. All pods have a minimum lead and rear kayak support, with additional power boats along the course to provide further cover as required. Our partners for this event are Event Water Safety UK & Criticare UK.
This is a point-to-point long distance swim over 14.1k, downstream from Henley to Marlow. The course is split into 4 stages, initially running from Henley Bridge to Hambleden Lock, a distance of 4km, where the swimmers stay close to the Berkshire bank until they exit and then re-join the river south of the lock. The next stage takes in the familiar landmarks of the Flowerpot, Medmenham, Frogmill and Danesfield before going on the Hurley Lock. After re-entering the river below Hurley, swimmers move to the left hand bank, making their way down to Temple Lock, where they will then embark on the final 2km, after which they will pass Bisham Abbey before exiting the river at Marlow Rowing Club. Click on the detailed course map below to enlarge
Event Location Details
Henley Start Location
Leander Club – Registrations & Swim Start
The Bridge to Bridge starts at Henley Bridge. Registrations take place at Leander Rowing Club, where there is access to toilets and changing facilities.
Both Henley and Marlow have public car parks which will be available to use. Parking is free in some locations on Sundays in Henley, but please check this first. All are within a 5 to 10 minute walk of where you need to be. Parking is also available in Marlow for anyone wishing to park near the swim exit. See the section below on getting to the venue if parking in Marlow.
Please Note:- There is no parking either at Leander or Marlow Rowing Clubs, where you will be getting in and out of the water.
Marlow Rowing Club – Swim Exit
Swimmers will exit the river at Marlow Rowing Club (to be confirmed), where they can be joined by supporters, family and friends.
Marlow Event Venue – Court Gardens Leisure Centre
Toilets, showers & changing facilities will be available at this venue.
A buffet lunch will also be available at Court Gardens. These can be booked in advance online for £6.50.
For anyone who does not have a supporter to drive them to the Henley start and collect them in Marlow, there will also be the option to book a minibus place, as follows:-
- Park in Marlow and get the minibus from Marlow to Henley before the swim
- Park in Henley and get the minibus from Marlow to Henley after the swim.
Full details will be confirmed nearer the time. There is limited availability for this service, so please do book in advance. Tickets can be booked online for £5.50 when you make your entry (or can be booked nearer the time when you have made your travel arrangements by accessing your online registration form).
Alternatively, there is generally a ‘buddy system’ in place for those who would like to car share from Marlow to the Henley start venue.
blueseventy will also have a small range of swimwear, goggles and accessories to cater for any needs you may have on the day.
Sessions are £12 for 15 minutes or £22 for 30 minutes. If you would prefer to save waiting and book in advance, this can be done when entering online.
Henley Swim Event memorabilia will be available on the day