Brass Monkeys Challenge 2021-22

Thursday 28th October 2021 - Thursday 30th June 2022

Event Details

If you are starting your open water season early, Brass Monkeys is a series of challenges to keep you motivated. 

Based on water temperature and distance, we have created 5 Brass Monkeys Challenge levels for you to achieve: 


The challenges can be personalised to your individual experience and mood. It is up to you whether you wear a wetsuit, boots, gloves.  You can start the challenges in skins, and change as the winter progresses. You could complete a level in a wetsuit, and then decide to do it again without. You can be a head-in-the-water hats and goggles type person, or a heads-up with a bobble hat breaststroker. 

You can swim in any unheated water - the sea, the river, lakes or lidos. If you are using a tether in a paddling pool, that's fine too. The only stipulation is that the water temperature must be under 14°C.

There are several ways to complete each challenge, so for example to be BRAVE you can swim 1000m under 14°C, 500m under 11°C, 200m under 8°C or 100m under 6°C. The distance must be covered in a single session. Where you start depends on your cold water swimming experience and what you think you are capable of. A swim in a wetsuit at 12 degrees could be as much of a challenge to a new swimmer as the same swim without a wetsuit for a seasoned open water swimmer, and we wanted to recognise this.

So no strict rules, pick your personal challenges and go for them!

You can choose to complete every swim combination to achieve your badge and therefore make your challenge last all winter, or you can just do one.

You can choose to complete any number of levels - you may decide to just target one, or to work your way through all 5. That's up to you. There are options on the entry to receive anything from 1 to 5 badges.

As with any virtual challenge, Brass Monkeys is based on honesty. We don't need any hard and fast proof, we believe you when you say you have completed your challenge and know you will be able to wear your badges with pride. 

Included in your virtual challenge is:

  • up to 5 woven badges
  • a downloadable progress chart and progress monkeys
  • membership of the private Virtual Henley Swim Series Facebook group
  • advice and guidance from Outdoor Swimmer Magazine
  • downloadable certificates
  • option to purchase Brass Monkeys silicone swimming hat

Please be aware that cold water swimming can be a dangerous activity. Do not put yourself in danger or stay in the water longer than you feel comfortable in order to achieve a new challenge level. Please read the following Safety Advice, when you register we will ask you to confirm that you have read all the safety details and advice that we give you.

You have until the end of April to complete your challenges.

We are really excited to see and hear about all your adventures over the winter, so register now and start the quest to find your inner monkey.

The Henley Swim Team

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Refund Policy

Please note, no refunds are available for this virtual event. If after entry you subsequently decide not to take part, we will not refund your entry costs. 

Thu 28 Oct 2021
Thu 30 Jun 2022
Contact Info
Henley Swim
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