THE HENLEY CLASSIC is a 2.1 km endurance upstream River Thames swimming event, held over the Henley Royal Regatta course, very early on the Sunday morning before the Wednesday start of Henley Royal Regatta.
This event is a celebration of mid-summer. It provides a unique opportunity to swim one of the most famous and beautiful stretches of open water in the world, at dawn. You arrive at the event in darkness and walk the 1/4 of a mile to the start into the sunrise, led by the torch carrier.
The Henley Classic swim has several wave options to choose from.
Swimming on the Henley Regatta course is a privilege and we are very grateful for the support we receive. In return we have to be clear of the river by 0630 so it is important that you select the correct wave based on your anticipated swim time.
Please remember that it is an upstream swim so be realistic with your time and err on the side of caution – we really don’t want to stop anyone before they complete the course.
0430 WAVE 1 (Sporting & Juniors)
THIS WAVE IS NOW SOLD OUT FOR ADULTS, JUNIOR PLACES ARE AVAILABLE
Adults wishing to swim in the sporting category should select wave 1B
Juniors will automatically be placed in this wave
0435 WAVE 1B (Sporting)
Select this wave if you:
- wish to swim at leisure or alongside friends
0450 WAVE 2
Select this wave if you comfortably average between 2 mins and 2 mins 30 secs per 100m during a distance swim.
0510 WAVE 3
Select this wave if you comfortably average between 1 min 45 secs and 2 mins per 100m during a distance swim.
0530 WAVE 4 (Performance)
Select this wave if you wish to race hard (likely to be in the top 100 swimmers) and you comfortably average under 1 min 45 secs per 100m during a distance swim.
Wave times are provisional and may be subject to change
Teams – There is one team competition. A team can be made up of any combination of male or female swimmers (but not elite) and any number. The four fastest times will qualify for the competition. Create or join a team during the entry process.
In the 2018 Henley Classic, elite adult swimmers will be participating in the Performance wave (wave 4). All swimmers that are 17 or under on the day of the race will swim in the Junior wave (wave 1). If you are an elite athlete and wish to swim, please review the following document and email
firstname.lastname@example.org with your qualifying times. Elite Athletes Entry Criteria 2018
Wetsuits are optional for elite swimmers.
The Henley Classic is hosted at Temple Island Meadows, RG9 3DD, which is just one mile from Henley town centre. Parking is available at the event venue.
The course is a unique, straight line, point-to point-swim (ie no turns) and takes advantage of the boomed course of the Henley Royal Regatta. The swim is upstream, the strength of the stream varies from year-to-year, ensuring that no two events are the same.
Parking is available at the venue
Toilets and changing facilities will be provided
Hot & cold drinks & snacks will be available at the main event area
Camping is available in Glebe campsite, with on-site facilities including toilets and showers. This is just a short walk to the main event area and is ¾ mile from Henley town centre. Camping is £16pp and campervans are £21pp when booked in advance, under 12s are free of charge. On the day camping fees will be higher.
There will be a supper available for campers and anyone staying locally. Supper is priced at £9.50 when booked in advance, and will include pasta with a choice of sauces, salad and a dessert.
The venue will be open on Saturday afternoon from 2pm. Anyone who would like to register for the event early, to save time on the Sunday morning can register between 2pm and 6pm on the Saturday.
A full range of Henley Swim merchandise is available from Selkie Swim Co.
Selkie will be selling event clothing at the Henley Classic, or it can be purchased in advance of the event from their website.
The water temperature at the Classic depends upon both the outside temperature and the quantity of rainfall in the days and weeks running up to the event. It is therefore very difficult to predict.
Based on previous years, at the beginning of July, we would expect the water to be between 17 and 19 degrees centigrade.