Random thoughts of a Maidenhead man

David Walliams River Thames Swim in Maidenhead

Posted in Maidenhead on Sunday 11 September 2011

David Walliams is part way through an amazing 140 mile swim of the complete length of the River Thames for charity Sport Relief. Over half way now, he passed Maidenhead today, Saturday 10th September 2011. I went down to the river to cheer him on - along with many hundreds of others.

I first caught up with David about a mile upstream from Boulter's Lock. Here's a video and some photos.

Alternative link to view the same video.

In the video:

We join David about a mile upstream from Boulter's Lock, Maidenhead. We see him take a rest during which his wife Lara Stone speaks briefly to him. We then see him enter the lock cut where the crowds are much bigger. TV comedy star Miranda Hart and David's wife Lara Stone are on a boat following him.

David swims in to Boulter's Lock to much applause and climbs out. He visits the lock house for break and to speak to BBC Radio 1. He then returns to the water and swims under Maidenhead Bridge. David swims out of sight as his approaches Brunel's Maidenhead railway bridge. He heads towards Bray and eventually London.

Part of David's support and TV crew

David swims towards Boulter's Lock, Maidenhead. Around 100 people walked with him from Cookham lock.

David takes a break before getting to Boulter's Lock

David's wife Lara Stone blows him a kiss from a support boat as TV comedian Miranda Hart looks on

David chats and shares a joke with his support team

Miranda Hart supports David's efforts as Lara Stone claps while he swims on towards Boulter's Lock

David powers on towards the lock at around 2 mph

Two support canoes are by his side at all times

David swims past Maidenhead weir

A large crowd gathers at Boulter's Lock to see him. He reached the lock at 11.25am.

David Walliams arrives at Boulter's Lock and, draped in a towel, goes in to the lock house for a short rest

The large crowd at Boulter's Lock awaits David's return from the lock house where he made a call to BBC Radio 1

More spectators await David along Ray Mead Road, downstream from the lock

Spectators line Maidenhead Bridge to catch a glimpse of David Walliams swimming towards Bray

I enjoyed being part of the crowd at Maidenhead as David passed through.  There were hundreds of people, all in very good spirits. He waved at the crowd and seemed to enjoy the support.

I also enjoyed live-tweeting the event. Although at some points I didn't quite know what to do next. There are always too many things to do: take a still shot on my camera, take some video, send a tweet, respond to tweet replies, take a still shot on my phone, upload a photo from my phone to twitpic, find the next vantage point that is going to give good shots......or simply look up to avoid bumping in to people!

David's swim is an amazing feat - I have no idea how he keeps going. You can sponsor him at the Sport Relief website.

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