South West Regional Open Water Competition 2019

Tom Dowden

With the cancellation of the South West Open Water competition due to sea temperatures being predicted not to meet the minimum temperature of 16 degrees for a competition to be held, another event was selected at short notice as a qualifying event by Swim England South West, thankfully just up the road at Holme Pierrepoint in Nottingham.

This meant that several club swimmers who had put in a lot of training and would have competed well were not able to attend.  However, 10 of our hopefuls and their parents brilliantly made the 7-hour round trip meaning we had representation in all 3 distances.

5k Swim

The biggest distance covered at these champs is the 5k, which kicked off at 09.45am. The sun was shining and the water warm, too warm for wetsuits, so all races were “no wetsuit” swims.

All South West swimmers were in the first mixed wave.

In the female races Thea 1.06.17 and Teagan 1.06 32, put their training to practice and only went and won their age groups and were 1st and 2nd women home qualifying comfortably (if swimming 5 k can be comfortable) for Nationals, (top 3 in SW categories qualify) with Thea edging it by 15 seconds. Kath Baker swimming in a different heat also had a great race winning her age group in a time of 1.06.31.

In the male races, Miles, Ryan and Jack were scrapping for 3 places out of 6 SW swimmers.

Miles had a great swim 1.01.16 and was only 14 seconds behind the race winner, Ryan 1.05.59 slipped back on the 3rd lap and finished 3rd SW, and 6th overall. Jack looking good for most of the race, recovering from illness felt the pace and also slipped back in the latter stages, still finishing 6th   in 1.15.41.

2k Race

Following the 5k event and our only representative in the 2k was Xavier West, Xav got off to a good dive start (shown below) and batled his competitors with brilliant resliance over the two laps taking the 3rd South West qualifying slot in a time of 28.16.22.

3k Race

The last race of the day also produced the best finish of the day, between Alex PA and Aimee Q. Both girls stuck closely together throughout the entire race with Alex trying several times to get away but Aimee having none of it, most of the spectators watched excitedly as the they swam the last 150m neck and neck separated at the end by a fingertip, initial thoughts were that Aimee had touched first but results showed Alex gaining the finish in38.28.25. and Aimee 38.28.55, first two female SW swimmers and first in race.  Both girls did themselves and the club proud showing great friendship, camaraderie but most important thier competitiveness.  Well done girls for what was a fantastic tussle the whole way around.

With barely time to breath having travlled back from a success World Biathle and Triathle Championships in Maderia earning where he earned an Individual Bronze and team Gold and Relay Gold, Ryan Oppenshaw was the solo SW competitor in the same race, looking strong throughout and coming home with a strong finish Ryan has also qualified for the Nationals 1st SW and 1st 14-year-old male in a time of 42.44.

With 9 swimmers through to the National Open Water Championships, it was a very succesful day.  

We are immensely proud of the swimmers, but also the parents that dealt with the original competition being cancelled and going the extra mile (or 400) to ensure their children gain opportunities. We hope they are greatful too.

Further massive thanks go to Coach Danny who supported all the swimmers for the whole day, prepping them well and helping them all realise their training with some solid race results.

Next Stop National Open Water Champs at Rother Valley on August 6th!

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