AN OLYMPIC swimmer led more than 100 fundraisers who took to the water to get Purley Swimathon 2013 under way.
Adam Whitehead, who swam for Great Britain for ten years and competed in the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, joined around 150 swimmers across 30 teams who were cheered on by spectators at Purley pool.
The opening session on Saturday afternoon, which saw more than 4,000 lengths swam in five hours for charity, has already raised thousands of pounds.
Organisers are hoping to smash last year's fundraising record of £25,000 by at least £2,000. Several more teams were due to compete last night (Thursday) in a roaring finale to this year's aquatic extravaganza, organised annually by Purley Rotary Club.
Rotary member Ken Trench said: "We had a record crowd which was great. It made a great evening more memorable for so many people to come along."
Swimmers of all ages, from children aged five to pensioners, joined in the fundraiser's kick-off, with sponsored organisations ranging from local adoption charity Cabrini to charities for Alzheimer's.
- More pictures from the Purley Swimathon 2013
Adam Whitehead, who completed lengths within "seconds", according to Mr Spencer, is also a former Commonwealth champion who won gold in 2002 for the 100m breaststroke. He also won gold in the 1998 European Championships.
Mr Trench added: "It's not every day an Olympic swimmer comes to Purley pool."
Also among the swimmers were three generations of the Tubb family. Bill Tubb, 75, led the brigade made up of sons Andrew and Richard and daughters Elizabeth and Emma, with the youngest his six-year-old grandchild.
The Purley family, who splashed through 120 lengths, were hoping to raise £800 for the Reedham Trust. The fundraising ritual brings family members from as far afield as Cornwall.