Event Report: Richard Keogh

Event: 24hr Swim Relay | Level Water
Date: 8-9th June 2024

This June marked the third year Level Water has hosted their 24hr Swim Relay in our beloved Shepperton Lake. For those that aren’t aware, Level Water is an amazing charity that helps bring the power of swimming to children with disabilities, by allowing children to develop strength, coordination and confidence in the water.

Pre-Event Planning

With this event hosted in our local Shepperton Lake, this was also the third year running that the Viceroys have taken part in this event. This year, VTC entered across three teams, with a total of 24 club members!  Ahead of the event, VTC Swim Captain Rachel Hall helped get us all in line with her trusty spreadsheet, arranging all our swims and kit for the event (thank you once again, Rachel!).

Saturday Into Sunday

Getting onsite early, the team set up camp next to the lake and navigated tent space real estate with our neighbouring teams. Once settled, and with the three VTC teams registered, the rest of the team began to filter in ahead of the start of the event.

As the countdown began, at exactly 12pm, the first swimmers from each team entered the water. With lots of photos and videos taken, the non-swimmers headed back to camp. At the turn of each hour, the team would head to the lake entry point, and cheer on the swimmers as they came out of the water and exchanged with the next three VTC swimmers.

As the day turned into night, all swimmers needed lights on the back of goggles, and lights inside their tow floats. The lights also switched on on the turning buoys in the water and the lifeguards, as each kayak lit up in the water. The night swims brought a completely different feel to the swims, and for those lucky enough to be in the water during the 3-4am slot, they saw the sun begin peaking back up over the tree line as you swam around the lake.

As the sun continued to rise, our beloved Lance cracked open his portable grill, and got to work on feeding our camp with bacon and eggs, something I know we all very much enjoyed and appreciated!

Closing Out The Weekend

With the final slot of 11-12am on Sunday, Level Water outlined all the money raised as part of the weekend (a whopping £135,000), and the impact it would have on those whom they support. In the final hour, all teams that had entered the event took to the water one last time, that’s almost 500 swimmers! This included our very own llama, who dedicatedly swam around the lake under the care of Carla and Marit.

With that being a wrap for the swims, the tents came down, the kit was packed away, and snacks taken home/eaten. The event was another huge success for Level Water and one we looked forward to next year!