Nene River Swim's.

Wed, 17th May 2017 - 10:00 a.m.

Summer is here, and it's nearly time to start the full Nene swim from Woodford to Castor. We will start on Thursday 25th May. A further email will follow next week.

We need to make a start, in order to reach Castor by September. This is now the seventh year that we are doing a Pactrac Nene Swim Marathon. We start at Woodford and swim our way in the River Nene to Castor, 30-miles downstream, in 15 bite-sized chunks, on Thursday evenings. If you are new to this and want to get an idea, have a look at previous years' Forums, e.g. http://pactrac.co.uk/forums/topic/490.

The first stage will be on Thursday, 25th May, from Woodford to Denford.

This week, meet at Wadenhoe Village Hall for 6:30pm on Thursday 18th May for an out and back swim to acclimatise.

See you there.

Mon, 22nd May 2017 - 3:49 p.m.

I hope to be there.
Flapjack will be provided!

Phil.

Mon, 22nd May 2017 - 10:18 p.m.

Please note that there is no swim session at Oundle next Monday (29th May) as it is a Bank Holiday. Enjoy the extra rest day.

-----------------

Summer is here, and it's time to start the full Nene swim from Woodford to Castor this Thursday 25th May. This is a great adventure, and has become an annual Pactrac tradition. You don't have to be a top swimmer to come along - we usually have the full range, all the way from breaststrokers to accomplished Ironman swimmers. Everyone is welcome. The faster swimmers either wait every now and again, or swim back.

We need to make a start, in order to reach Castor by September. This is now the seventh year that we are doing a Pactrac Nene Swim Marathon. We start at Woodford and then make our way to Castor, 30-miles downstream, in fifteen bite-sized chunks, on Thursday evenings. If you are new to this and want to get an idea, have a look at previous years' Forums, e.g. http://pactrac.co.uk/forums/topic/490.

The first stage is this Thursday, 25th May, from Woodford to Denford. The route is on MapMyRun: http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/96296057

We will get in just upstream of the village of Woodford and swim down to Denford. MapMyRun says it's 1.73miles, so that's a good distance to start with. This is a really pleasant, open and rural stretch of the Nene. We will have our first lock to cross and will finish at the second lock. Denford is where the Nene Turtle was spotted six years ago. Maybe he'll be waiting for us again.

The plan is to meet at the finish at Denford, and then share cars to the start. That makes it easier for most people to get home after the swim. So we will meet in Denford at 6.15pm, near Meadow Lane which leads to the lock where we will finish this leg. Meadow Lane is in the centre of the village, across the road from the petrol station / pub on the Denford High Street, you can't miss it.

We will then take a few cars (or even a big silver van!), to drive to the start in Woodford. We will park at the end of Church Street; from Woodford's village green, take one of the narrow lanes to the bottom of the village and then turn right. Note there isn't much car parking space. From the end of Church Street there is a footpath; turn left just after the gate and you'll get to the river. We will start the swim at 6.30pm. If anyone is able to bring any designated drivers along, that would help a lot with the logistics.

If you are not confident to do the whole swim, you could come to the finish and swim upstream until you meet the others. Don't do this on your own (for safety), but there may be a few others interested - best to post on the Forum.

We will do a short briefing before the start and you will need to sign in and out; but again, everyone still participates at their own risk.

Can you also post on the Forum if you think that you might be late, or intend to do things slightly differently.

See you there.

Wed, 24th May 2017 - 8:26 p.m.

I'm picking up a friend at the Peterborough Service Station about 5.30 to head down to Denford if anyone wants to share rather than taking lots of cars from South Peterborough?

Thu, 25th May 2017 - 1:21 p.m.

I am coming tonight and its going to be fabulous! Will bring my large coffee maker so lots of coffee/tea as last year. Hope others will also bring bits and pieces along too for communal post-swim snackin' ... :)

Tue, 30th May 2017 - 11:31 p.m.

We had a decent turnout last Thursday, with 16 swimmers and a few more on the bank. We didn't spot the Nene turtle, but the river was a warm 20 degrees. Thanks to Dave, Sarah and Jaap for taking their vehicles to the start; and thanks to Sean for the coffee and hot water, and to Phil for the Flapjacks. We had a couple of swans ignore us from just 2-metres away, and another flew just past us. All good fun.

The second leg is this Thursday, 1st June, from Denford through to Thrapston. We'll get in where we got out last week, at Denford lock. We will swim through Thrapston, crossing the A14 and the old Six Arches Bridge and get to Thrapston lock. We'll then do another kilometer or so along Thrapston marina to get to appr 2.1miles. The route of Thursday's leg is on http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/36511742.

Logistics:
As always we will meet for 6.15 at the finish at Thrapston Marina, and then take a few cars to drive to the start in Denford to start the swim at 6.30pm. Park in the car park, just before the Middle Nene Sailing Club.

If you are late and can't make it to Thrapston in time, you can always go to Denford directly and someone can drop you back there after the swim. Let us know on the Forum if you intend to do this, or are likely to be late.

Directions
To get to the finish location in Thrapston is a bit complicated. The address is Meadow Lane, which is near the town centre and starts at the Thrapston sports club (Chancery Lane / Green Lane). At the sports club playing fields, take a left into the wooded dirt road (this is Meadow Lane) and follow it until you get to a footbridge, where we will park at the end of the car park. The finish of this leg is quite a walk from here. Note: you can only get there by car from Thrapston town centre, not from Islip.

For those who go straight to Denford: you can get to the lock over the bridleway that runs from the village centre (petrol station, pub).

Please look out for boats, wear a bright coloured swim hat, and look out for one another.

Wed, 31st May 2017 - 7:23 p.m.

Phil, I'll attempt flapjacks this week - you might want to bring back ups just in case though!

Wed, 31st May 2017 - 10:55 p.m.

Graeme,
I was wondering,so thanks for clarifying.
Be brave and I'll leave flapjack entirely to you.We all started somewhere,we don't bite(except into your offering),so go for it!!
Good luck!

Thu, 1st Jun 2017 - 9:50 a.m.

Plus after a 2 mile swim, anything tastes good!

Thu, 1st Jun 2017 - 3:26 p.m.

I'm tempted by flapjacks..... I'll be there!

Fri, 2nd Jun 2017 - 12:20 p.m.

Folks,
Those of you that did the Nene Swim last year will remember that there was quite a protracted discussion on this Forum about safety and the need for swimmers to not get too split-up.
Last night I experienced an annoying situation,whereby the whole group set-off before I was even in the water.Result,I had to almost "burst my boiler" to catch up,which wasn't very pleasant!
I spoke with Steve Hope at the finish about this,and he made two very sensible suggestions.
1)A head-count be taken IN THE WATER before setting-off.
2)Move off a short way from the start,pause,and then take a head count.

I would be happy with either,but at least let's have a little more consideration please!

Yes I know,I'm not the fastest swimmer,but someone has to be last.Remember,when you get to my age,you might not be as fast as you are now!!

Fri, 2nd Jun 2017 - 1:11 p.m.

Sorry, Phil, someone said everyone was in so we went. I think the second option would be better just so we get moving a bit instead of just treading water.

Sat, 3rd Jun 2017 - 11:01 a.m.

We can implement that next week. If we make the first stop after, say 50-100 metres, we can re-group and adjust goggles etc.

Sat, 3rd Jun 2017 - 12:16 p.m.

Thanks Steve,
I'd be happy with that.

Tue, 6th Jun 2017 - 12:02 a.m.

This Thursday's swim is from Thrapston marina to Thorpe Waterville. This is one of the longest swims, at about 2.4-miles, so that's a bit longer than the previous swims - and the same as an Ironman swim! See http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/fullscreen/37200472/ for this week's route. We will swim for 50-100 metres before our first stop to regroup and adjust goggles.

The river snakes through the Thrapston lakes and Titchmarsh nature reserve on this leg, with a footpath on the bank for most of the way. We'll cross a few footbridges and then get to Titchmarsh lock and marina after about 1.8m. We'll cross the lock, and then it's just a few hundred meters to the finish.

As last week, the plan is to meet at the finish at Thorpe Waterville for 6.15pm and then drive to the start at Thrapston to get going around 6.30pm. The finish is the Nene bridge just West of Thorpe Waterville. Thorpe is on the A605. Coming from Peterborough, take a right at The Fox Inn, then follow the signs to Aldwincle, taking a left at the fork in the road. The finish is just a few hundred meters from Thorpe, at the second bridge. There are 1 or 2 spaces on the right and two more on the left. If this is full, there are further spaces beyond the bridge, or you could park on a verge in or near Thorpe.

We are lucky to have Dave's van to transport us to the start, but will still require a couple of cars as well.
If you are late and go straight to the start, we should be able to get you back to your car afterwards. Please let us know on the Forum if you intend to go straight to the start or may be late.

The start is (as always) where we finished last week, at Thrapston marina, so there'll be a bit of a walk to start with. Directions are on last weeks thread on the Forum.

Enjoy and stay safe.

Thu, 8th Jun 2017 - 11:52 a.m.

Given all the rain that we've had,I think that I'll pass on this evening's leg.
Enjoy!

Thu, 8th Jun 2017 - 3:35 p.m.

Hi Stev-I am intending to join in this evening-my first river swim, its longer than I've swum in one hit before but trusting wind and tide will do half the work! See you at Thorpe.

Sun, 11th Jun 2017 - 7:38 p.m.

Does anyone fancy swimming last Thursday's nene leg with me next weekend? Need to catch up!

Sun, 11th Jun 2017 - 10:38 p.m.

In principle I would join you,but you are a lot faster than me!I'm sure that there are others that are more suitable companions.
See you on Thursday.

Wed, 14th Jun 2017 - 8:37 a.m.

This Thursday's swim will be from Thorpe Waterville to Wadenhoe. It's 1.9m (according to Mapmyrun), so that's quite a bit shorter than last week. The route is on http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/37200776.

This section is very rural and remote. It goes through fields and some woodland, past the old Church of Wadenhoe on the top of the hill (take a moment to stop and look - it's a great view from in the water), and then finishes in Wadenhoe, right next to the King's Head pub's beergarden.

The plan is once again to meet at the finish at 6.15pm. There is usually plenty of parking space in the Village Hall car park. Go into the village of Wadenhoe and turn right from Mill Lane into Church Street. The Village Hall car park is at the end of the road, past the pub and Village Hall on your left. The address is Church Street, Wadenhoe, Northamptonshire PE8 5ST. We will then drive to the start at Thorpe Waterville to get in at around 6:30pm - see last week's message for directions. Hopefully there will be one or two non-swimmers who can drop the swimmers off at the start.

Please post on the Forum if you intend to go straight to the start, or expect to be late.

Wed, 14th Jun 2017 - 11:27 a.m.

My turn to do flapjack tomorrow!

Wed, 14th Jun 2017 - 12:16 p.m.

Did the stopping after 100m or so work well lasts week?

Wed, 14th Jun 2017 - 5:52 p.m.

Folks,
Several days ago I became very painfully aware that lurking on the river-bed at Waddy is something very sharp and pointed.Although I can still swim,I am unable to run,and I am quite lame,it is that nasty!
Now that the water is beginning to clear a bit I would like to take my diving-gear over there and have a search for the offending item,but with the usual passing boat traffic I dare not go underwater without someone acting as surface-cover,to stop any boats running me down!
So,any offers?Most of you know that I am retired,so any time of day would be OK.No qualifications required,just a willingness to shoo boats away from my surface marker buoy!

Tue, 20th Jun 2017 - 11:51 p.m.

We had 25 swimmers last week on another balmy evening.

This week's Nene Swim is the 5th leg, from Wadenhoe to Lilford, and is the most suitable for novice river swimmers. It is only 1.4 miles long (according to Mapmyrun)! and it's easy to get out earlier as well. If anyone is not very confident about the long distances, then this is the week to give it your first try! The route is on http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/39035798

We start at the King's Head pub in Wadenhoe, and will have to get out again straight away to cross Wadenhoe lock. From there the river goes through the open fields, under a footbridge and then along a wooded hillside to the lock at Lilford. We then get back in to do the final 200 metres or so, to the day's finish, on the left bank, right across the river from Lilford Hall (great view!). There is no access to the river from here right down to Oundle Mill, about 2 miles further downstream (next week's finish). In order to limit next week's swim to a feasible distance, we want to get out at the far end of the field, just before the fence. Bring some shoes for the walk back to the cars.

We will meet at the finish near Lilford for 6.15pm and then drive to the start in a few cars. Directions to the finish: on the A605, drive to the roundabout halfway between Oundle and Thorpe Waterville. Take the narrow road to Lilford and Pilton (to the right when coming from Peterborough). Follow the road down the hill, through the new Traffic Lights and then over two humpback Nene bridges. We will meet at the car parking space 100m or so past the second humpback bridge on the right. There is parking space for 2 or 3 cars, with limited space on the verges nearby.

Please advise on the Forum if you intend to go straight to the finish, or expect to be late.

See you on Thursday.

Thu, 22nd Jun 2017 - 11:19 p.m.

Folks,
Once again we had a serious lack of consideration this evening.
Whilst a number of swimmers hadn't even got back into the water after crossing Wadenhoe lock,a large section of participants just cleared-off down the river and left them to it!Well,all I can say is,shame on you for being so inconsiderate and thoughtless!
The river temperature was very warm,so the excuse of not wanting to get cold whilst waiting around just doesn't "hold water"!
We are all a really friendly group before and after swimming,so let's try and be the same in the water,after all,this is not a race!

Tue, 27th Jun 2017 - 5:53 p.m.

We had a fantastic turnout last week, with 31 swimmers in the river. This week's Nene Swim is the 6th leg, from Lilford to Oundle Mill. Mapmyrun gives this as 2.02 miles. The route is on http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/39514478.

We start across the river from Lilford Hall, near the road to Pilton. We will get in where we got out last week (which wasn't really that muddy...). The river runs through quite a remote area here; not even the Nene Way footpath follows the river. The last half mile is closer to Barnwell Road, and then we get to Oundle Mill. The finish is at the lock.

As always, we will meet at the finish at 6.15pm and then aim to drive to the start in 1 or 2 cars, for a 6:30pm start. Oundle Mill is on the road from Barnwell to Oundle, see http://www.oundlemill.co.uk/find_us.aspx. There is a lot of car parking space on the road verge next to the lock; I guess you can also park in the restaurant car park across the river.

This is a tricky stage, as we always encounter rowing boats on this leg, practicing out of Oundle Town Rowing Club. It is essential that we keep together, and the lead swimmers don't get too far ahead, and keep stopping and either wait or swim back, at more frequent intervals. If you are likely to be too far behind, this is one to join in further downstream. Please be aware, and please keep to the right (as you swim toward Oundle), to minimise disturbance and risk.

Doing the whole length of this leg is less suitable for slower and less experienced swimmers, as it would spread out the swimmers too much - unless you make sure you have another swimmer with you and / or start a little earlier. But it is of course also an option to start at Oundle and swim toward the others - as long as you make sure you are not swimming alone.

Important note: the Oundle Town Rowing Club have their weekly training session on the same stretch and around the same time. They start from Oundle and go upstream and back. It will therefore be important that we are well-disciplined at Thursday's swim because the rowers won't be able to see us coming. Please wear a brightly coloured swim hat, look out for boats and bring your orange swim floats if you have one.

We need to stay on the right side of the river (we downstream, and the boats upstream).
We also need to make sure that we stay together in one bunch, to minimise mutual disturbance, at least until we've had our "encounter". All swimmers will really have to stay within sight of each other, certainly up to when we will have encountered the rowers. The faster swimmers can swim ahead for 10-mins or so, and then wait or swim back to pick up the others.

We will of course have to make sure to all be out before the rowers get back to Oundle, which is after 8pm. Which means we will do our best to start on time - leave Oundle Mill at 6.15 to be in the water in Lilford at 6.30. If you are late, please start from the Oundle end after the rowers have set off.

And if you are a bit less speedy and confident: as always you are very welcome, but for this leg it is better to start from the Oundle end - as long as you make sure you are not swimming alone. Please advise on the Forum if you are likely to be late, or intend to go straight to the finish.

See you on Thursday.

Thu, 29th Jun 2017 - 9:11 a.m.

Hi Steve - I won't be swimming tonight. Someone else will have to do coffee. I swam in the Ouse last night and although the water had held at about 19 degrees the air temp dropped to 12, and with the wind it was viscious. Its the coldest I have felt since river swimming, mainly when getting out and changed. I think tonight maybe cooler. I will get back in and re swim the leg when conditions improve. Have a good 'un!

Mon, 3rd Jul 2017 - 8:36 a.m.

Hello PACTRACers.

We had another good swim last Thursday, with 20 of us dodging the 4 rowing boats that were out. Thank you to them for their understanding. It was a little cooler, but we still had the usual non-wetsuit brigade. Thanks to all those who offered transport, food and drink.

This Thursday we are swimming from Oundle Mill to Ashton. The distance is 2.13 miles, the route is on http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/39924614.

We start at Oundle Mill lock where we got out last week, swim past the entrance of Oundle Marina, cross one lock, then cross the A605 after just under 1 mile. We then start the wide loop on the east side of the A605, through fields and along wooded hills. We will get out at an old jetty just before the next lock.

The jetty where we get out is at the bottom of a grass path that runs down from the road between Ashton and Polebrook, 100 yards or so and on the opposite side from the Olive Grove nursery (Olive Grove Nurseries, Oundle Road, Polebrook, Northants, PE8 5LQ, http://www.olivegrovenurseries.co.uk/), towards Ashton. There is a gate about 100m from the nursery entrance, towards Oundle. We park on the verge of the road. We have to climb over the gate, and then it's about 100m down the track. We are not sure if it's totally legal; it's not a right of way, but at least there are no signs saying private or no access... so please be careful not to leave any litter or damage things.

As always we will meet at the finish (near Ashton) at 6.15pm and then take a few cars to get to the start (Oundle/Barnwell Mill) for 6:30pm. Please confirm on the Forum if you expect to be late or will be going straight to the finish.

Looking forward to another good stretch of river and an enjoyable swim.

Steve.

Mon, 3rd Jul 2017 - 11:04 a.m.

Folks,
For your information,I have decided to quit the N

Mon, 3rd Jul 2017 - 11:23 a.m.

Folks,
For your information,I have decided to quit participation in the Nene Swim.
For the last couple of years I have noticed a quickening of the pace,to a point that I now have to make "maximum effort" for the whole of each leg just to keep in touch with the rest of the field,which means that I just don't enjoy it any more.
Furthermore,I am somewhat concerned that as the the field seems to get bigger and more spread-out,so it becomes more difficult to safely administer.
Over the six years of my involvement it has all been great fun,but I know my limits and I'm not going to push them too far.So,as the saying goes "I'm out"!

Excuse previous post,some finger trouble there.How does one delete something not actually "posted"?

Tue, 4th Jul 2017 - 8:10 p.m.

But Phil - I am always behind you!

Wed, 5th Jul 2017 - 1:32 p.m.

The swims do seem to have got faster. It seems to be the way in club sport
that those at the back drop off for exactly the reason that you are
looking to. This then leaves others at the back who eventually drop off
as well. It's quite common to hear comments such as "I'm not competing,
because I'll be last". The answer is often to buddy up, although that
is not always possible. If more swimmers were to join in at the back,
we could have two distinct groups, but in order to keep order, the
"faster" group would need to set off first and still wait for each
other at regular intervals.

It's poor timing with your leg injury. I hope that gets better soon.
I'm sure that we will see you in the Nene again, before too long.

Fri, 7th Jul 2017 - 11:21 p.m.

Hi Philip. I would normally be participating on a Thursday night, but haven't been able to so far this year for family reasons. I have to say I really miss it. If I do get the chance, I will post on here, as I think we are pretty similar in pace (although I've barely swum any distance at all this year, so you would probably have to drag me along). I have been nipping down to Wadenhoe on a whim occasionally, but if I can get myself organised in advance, I will let you know, in case you fancy a dip and want to join me.

Mon, 10th Jul 2017 - 12:15 p.m.

This Thursday's swim is from Ashton to Cotterstock. The distance is 2.23 miles, the route is on http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/41609712.

The route starts at the old jetty where we got out last week (see last week's email for directions). There is a lock to cross after just 100m or so. Then it's on toward the A605 bridge, past the Oundle boathouse, and then on through the open fields to Cotterstock Lock, where we get out.

Meet at Cotterstock at 6:15pm ready to be transported to Ashton for a 6:30pm start.

Access to Cotterstock lock is over the public footpath from Mill Lane in Cotterstock, which is about 100m. The path starts at the beginning of the village when coming from the A605. There are some (but not many) parking spaces around there on the verges near the old water mill - you may have to go further into the village.

Less confident swimmers could start from the Oundle boathouse - this is exactly halfway, so just over a mile to Cotterstock.

Last week we had 13 swimmers on a gorgeously warm evening, and were joined by Rowena on her Paddleboard. This week she may even bring her dog, Mutley, along. The remaining destinations are on the Forum if anybody wants to look ahead (although I am looking into a possible change around Elton).

Please advise on the Forum, here, if you expect to be late, or are going direct to the start.

Mon, 10th Jul 2017 - 12:19 p.m.

25th May Leg 1.....Woodford - Denford...................1.73 miles.
01st June Leg 2.....Denford - Thrapston..................2.10 miles.
08th June Leg 3.....Thrapston - Thorpe Waterville.....2.40 miles.
15th June Leg 4.....Thorpe Waterville - Wadenhoe.....1.90 miles.
22nd June Leg 5.....Wadenhoe - Lilford....................1.40 miles.
29th June Leg 6.....Lilford - Barnwell Mill.................2.02 miles.
06th July Leg 7.....Barnwell Mill - Ashton................2.13 miles.
13th July Leg 8.....Ashton - Cotterstock....................2.23 miles.
20th July Leg 9.....Cotterstock - Bluebell Lakes........2.00 miles.
27th July Leg 10....Bluebell Lakes - Warmington.......1.97 miles.
03rd Aug Leg 11....Warmington - Elton Bridge...........2.04 miles.
10th Aug Leg 12....Elton Bridge - Nassington.............1.71 miles.
17th Aug Leg 13....Nassington - Wansford................2.48 miles.
24th Aug Leg 14....Wansford - Nene Valley Railway...1.90 miles.
31st Aug Leg 15....Nene Valley Railway - Castor.......1.90 miles.

Total 30 miles.

Mon, 10th Jul 2017 - 4:13 p.m.

Noooo I have to watch my daughters production on Thursday. Was really looking forward to getting to Oundle ;-(

 
Mon, 17th Jul 2017 - 4:44 p.m.

We had a decent turnout again last week, on another of Jaap's favourite stretches.

This week's swim is 2.0 miles from Cotterstock to Bluebell lakes, see http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/42119500

Like previous years, Tony at Bluebell Lakes Fisheries is happy for us to park on their premises and get in and out of the river, both this and next week. Please make sure to respect their property and their clients!

The swim starts at Cotterstock Lock where we finished last week. The river goes around the edge of Tansor, then goes on to the Bluebell fishing lakes. We will swim around the lakes, cross Perio Lock, get back in (it's really not done to walk the last bit from there back to the cars...) and then get out at the other end of the fishing lakes, near the car park. There is a good access point across the bridge from the car park.

Please note that the Bluebell Fisheries close just after 8pm so we'll have to be away by then. Car access is over a narrow and bumpy road / track that starts from the road between Tansor and Fotheringhay. Coming from Peterborough on the A605, take a right at the roundabout near Warmington; go left at the T-junction toward Tansor, and then take the small road to the right after about 400m (it has Bluebell Lakes signs). Follow the road straight ahead, onto the gravel track, between two lakes, and on to the Reception where the car park is. The address is Bluebell Lakes, Tansor, Oundle, Peterborough PE8 5HP. If you are interested in seeing some of the monsters that hopefully don't make it from the lakes into the river: http://www.bluebell-lakes.co.uk/index.html. They would eat a turtle (if not a human being), but Jaap says that it's still one of his favourite stretches.

As always, we meet at the finish at Bluebell Lakes, around 6.15pm and then take a few cars to drive to the start at Cotterstock. Please advise on the Forum if you expect to be late, or intend to go straight to the start.

Separately, one of our members recently contacted Swimsecure regarding a slow
deflation of their towfloat. They were immediately offered a new one free of charge.

See you on Thursday.