The 100 yards swimming race started in 1864 with a gold medal as first prize but in 1904 the novelist J.M.Barrie presented the first Peter Pan Cup and the tradition has continued. This was the year Peter Pan first appeared in London theaters and the swimming race is now just as legendary.
I went to see the 'race' a few years but we all arrived to find the Serpentine completely frozen! No race could go ahead but the brave swimmers broke a section of the ice so they could still have a swim. See my photos... London Travel Blog