Southampton Masters help take Hampshire to Regional Title

James MacTavish

The Inter-County Masters Championships was one such event that saw postponement during the COVID period of 2020, and the 2021 Championships came close to following suit given the challenges pulling teams together across the six primary regions that make up South East Swimming. Thankfully, through sheer determination and passion, the Counties of Hampshire, Sussex, Kent, Surrey, Berkshire+Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire made good on their commitments to British Masters Swimming and fielded some of their most formidable sides in a decade. 

For our home county, Masters swimmers were called upon from as far as the Channel Islands (thankfully falling into our jurisdiction) to make up the forty-strong contingent. Powerhouse Masters clubs fresh from successful Swim England National Short Course Championships in Sheffield included Portsmouth Northsea, Basingstoke Bluefins, South Down Trojans and Winchester Penguins...and not to be forgotten, City of Southampton! 

Originally four Sotonian Masters made the Team which features ages from 18-years to over 75-years, all sprinting in 50m races both individual and  relay. Through last-minute shifts in attendance as always, the duo of Melissa Dolby (25-29yrs) and Fiona Carroll (30-34yrs) made the trip to High Wycombe in support of fellow age-groupers including former World Champion Katy Sexton and current British and European Masters Record Holders Jo Corben and Fleur Turner. Dolby secured a comfortable victory in the 25yrs+ Womens 50m Butterfly (00.29.68) and 50m Freestyle (00.27.51) over close rival Jessica Fayne of last year's championship title-winning side of Sussex. Carroll lent much needed support to the 4x50 Freestyle and Medley relays, doubling-up in both the 100yrs+ and 140yrs+ with strong Freestyle and Breaststroke legs...adding to a dominant display from Hampshire which saw a good 60% First-place finishes across the packed 73-event programme. 

The Regional Inter-County Masters South East Trophy returned to us after being pipped by our border-rivals back in 2019, and marked the first win for newly appointed Hampshire / Channel Island / Armed Forces Masters Secretary James MacTavish - Southampton's 'back-up swimmer' should he ever be needed! Final National results will be compiled across England over the coming weeks, with Hampshire ASA hoping for only its second Top.3 finish - noting very strong showings from Yorkshire and the Midlands.

FINAL RESULTS:

Hampshire : 361

Berkshire and Buckinghamshire : 327

Sussex : 266

Kent : 265

Oxfordshire : 146

Surrey : 144

James MacTavish

CSSC Masters Coach / Hampshire ASA Masters Secretary

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