News from British Championships, Edinburgh


By some miracle, the three Woking swimmers, Anna Maine, Ewan Smith and Matthew Ferguson, and coach Mark Staiger, managed to brave the elements and reach Edinburgh for the British Championships.  With many swimmers having done the same, the event organisers decided to go forward and hold the meet.

With  the snow too thick for any traffic, a novel new dry warm up of trekking 30mins through the thick snow in blizzard conditions, clearly worked for the Woking swimmers:


Matthew Ferguson swam a PB in the 50m back,in a time of 27.63sec.  With the Junior age group being 18 and under, Matthew was not to make a final, but delighted to be the 4th fastest 17 yr old (by year end).

Anna Maine, not tapered and under hard training in preparation for the Commonwealth Games, produced a solid 50m back swim to place her into the evening finals where the highly entertaining ‘skins’ event took place (see here for the rules  Skin rules). Anna was not to progress in the skins second round, and perhaps a blessing with so many swims ahead!

It was the 100 freestyle  where the Woking boys truly produced amazing swims: Ewan Smith set a phenomenal LC PB, setting a time of 52.98sec, dominating his heat in style and placing him an impressive 10th fastest 18 yr old. Matthew Ferguson followed with an equally impressive PB, in a time of 53.12sec making him the 7th fastest 17yr old on the day.

A great first day swimming followed by a desperate hunt for food, with all shops empty and most restaurants closed!


Day 2 saw Anna back in action in the 200m backstroke and 50m freestyle, with comfortable heat swims moving into the afternoon’s finals with times of 2:16.87 and 26.53 sec, respectively. Ewan followed with an impressive 50m fly swim of 25.81 sec. Anna repeated another solid swim in the afternoon’s final, beating her heat time.


100m backstroke was the first event for Woking, with  Anna swimming easily into the evening final. Another two great sprints followed from Ewan and Matthew, this time in 50m free, where Ewan swam sub 24 sec for the first time LC, earning him a place in the evening Junior final.  Matthew produced a 24.51 sec swim ( on his PB ) and was delighted to be the 4th fastest 17yr old on the day.

The finals saw both Anna and Ewan  beating their heat times with Ewan producing another sub 24 sec PB in 23.88 to take an impressive 5th place.

A successful week for Mark and his swimmers.  Now the challenge of trying to return to London!