Royal Navy Meet returns for Masters

James Mactavish CSSC MASTERS

The Royal Navy Masters Meet is a popular addition to the regional calendar. Unfortunately the event in the past has been plagued with issues - including clashes with Mother's Day, Bank Holidays, poor weather (the snow of 2018!) and just last year, cancelled completely given difficulties in securing Millfield School pool time. 

Thankfully it made a return in 2020, the only challenge this time being its early season start. Nestled between LC South East Regionals and British Nationals, numbers were always going to be hit-and-miss. Despite a solid entry list that was well supported by the West County regulars of Exeter, Plymouth and Wincanton, clubs from Hampshire were slower on uptake. Even the regular Visiting Club Trophy winners Basingstoke Bluefins scaled back their involvement this year, with a similar story for Fareham Nomands, Winchester and Portsmouth. 

Southampton Masters consisted of the same duo from 2018 - both competitng in the same age-division. Anthony Blake (35-39yrs) has struggled with illness and injury over the past year (what you get from attempting too many 10km Open Water swims!) but managed to defy the odds and produce a solid 100m Breaststroke (01.43.18) to come away with a deserved Silver. The sprint distance of 50m Butterfly (00.42.62) and a well-timed 200m FC (03.19.04) secured further Top.8 finishes. 

James MacTavish (35-39yrs) faced stern opposition from both Trafford Metro's Nick Hope and the Navy's own Rhodri Humphries across most of his five events - having to settle for bridesmaid spots on 100m Butterfly (01.08.52) and 100m IM (01.10.80), but managing to hold off charges from the remaining age-groupers in the 50m Butterfly (00.30.40) and FC (00.27.37) for the final podium spot. It was the opening 400m FC (04.42.28) that claimed the only Gold with a Masters Personal Best and pipping Bristol's Jorge Rodriguez by less than two seconds!

The event did provide some much needed race practice ahead of both Nationals and the more immediate Fareham Nomads Masters Meet next month at The Quays. With the former set to fill up very quickly given it being Olympic and European Year, every chance to swim and qualify will no doubt count!

MEDAL TALLY:

GOLD : 1

SILVER : 3

BRONZE : 2

James MacTavish

CSSC Masters Coach

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