The 12th annual River Itchen Biathlon was a success for Shirley Swimming Pool, as pool boss Dave Perry’s ‘Old Simmarians’ team brought home the trophy.
The Biathlon relay starts at the source of the River Itchen in Cheriton and follows the Navigation Way for 24.7 miles to Woodmill, where the swimmers take over and race the 2.5k down to the sea.
Helping to raise £1500 for the local Countess Mountbatten Cancer Hospice were five teams and eleven swimmers with sponsorship from local companies and suppliers to the swim school.
Running a close second were the debutant team from Southampton Triathlon Club, who were rewarded for their efforts with the trophy for the fastest finishing time.
The unusual event calculates the finishing times over the age of the participants, so the winning team, ‘Old Simmarians’, had a net time of 2:56:01, 20 minutes faster than the next best competitor.
Retired Shirley Pool boss, Dave Perry was helped to success by schoolmates John Cooney, Richey Pearson and Nigel Colmer.
In the swimming event Dave Smart, from team Clausentium, received an Aquasphere wetsuit as the first male home in a time of 32.12. Triathlete Kelly Wickens, swimming the Itchen race for the first time, received the ladies prize of an Aquashere wetsuit, finishing in 37 minutes 10 seconds.
£150 was also donated to the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife trust and £50 to Surfers against Sewage, thanks to generous sponsorship from, Haines Watts, Hire It Tools & Equipment, Uptons Butchers, Finch Insurers, Faradays Electrical Contractors, GMA Mobility Aids, BSA Regal, Hannides Solicitors and Shirley Swimming Pool.
Major prizes came from Aquasphere with two wetsuits, Speedo for goggles, Alton Sports and ABP Southampton Half Marathon.
For more information about the charity and how you can help, you can visit them directly at https://cmhcharity.org.uk