Portsmouth Northsea Easter Swim Festival – a long weekend with great results!
The Easter weekend saw an amazing performance from the WSC swimmers, who competed in the 4-day Easter Swim Festival at Portsmouth, one of the premier events for age group swimming in the country.
The long distance events took place on Thursday, with Jack Pearce achieving a nearly 50 second PB in his 1500m freestyle. On Good Friday the first medal went to Charlotte George, with a bronze in the 100m butterfly. This was followed by a bronze for Max Chitty in the 50m butterfly, James Chambers and Oliver Zalaf just missing out on the podium, and another PB for Jack. The morning continued with the girls’ 100m backstroke, which saw PBs for Alice Arthur, Thea Bloxham and Amy Robins. In the boys’ 100m breaststroke, Kieran Hodson Kilroy won the gold, Andrew Roy gained the bronze and there were plenty of PBs for Max Longhurst, Alex and Oliver Zalaf. This race turned out to be exceptional, because it witnessed the British record broken, which had stood since 2008. 13-year-old Ollie Taverner from Mount Kelly set the new British Age group record with an amazing time of 1:07.98.
A splendid conclusion to the morning with a gold by Hannah in the 400m freestyle, which has boosted her placing in the rankings for the upcoming British Summer Championships. The afternoon saw plenty of great results. Max Chitty won the gold in his 100m butterfly, Oliver just missed out on the bronze, with many PBs for Ben Smith jr, Alex and Jack. Hannah and Amy collected golds and Charlotte the silver in the 50m butterfly. In the boys’ 100m backstroke, there were great PBs for Mark Bicknell, James, Mariano Lines and Mark Tuddenham. PBs also came in the 100m breaststroke for Francesca Longhurst (by nearly 15 seconds) and Abi White.
Early rise on Saturday morning for Maisie Coghlan, who got a PB in her 200 IM, followed by a gold for Andrew in the 100m freestyle and PBs for Mark Tuddenham and Max Dorrell for the same event. Amy, in her 200m butterfly, and also Mark Bicknell, in the 200m backstroke, both achieved over 5 second PBs. Summer Upton secured a silver medal in the 50m breaststroke and there was another PB for Maisie. The day was ripe with medals; Alex won bronze in the 200 IM, Hazel gold in the 100m freestyle, Hannah silvers for her age group and the open category, and Amy swam a 5 sec PB. The day ended with a bronze for Ewan Smith in the boys’ 50m breaststroke; Max Dorrell was just after him in 4th position and there was a PB for Rory Smith.
Easter Sunday, the final day of the competition, saw exceptional WSC swims, beginning with a bronze for Abi White in the 200m breaststroke and Holly Gardiner just missing out on the medals. Also just outside the podium in the 200m freestyle were Oliver, and Matthew Ferguson who gained a PB. Hannah won silver in the 50m backstroke both in her age group and in the open category, and there was a PB for Lucy Ellis, one of the youngest swimmers to take part in the event. The morning concluded with outstanding performances in the 50m freestyle by Owen Morgan, who gained the gold, Andrew, who won the gold and the bronze for his age group and the open category respectively, and another gold for Ewan. There were also PBs for Oliver and Mariano.
In the final leg of the Festival Hannah achieved a gold in the 200m freestyle. Archie Gardiner and James each won a silver in the 50m backstroke, with Ewan Howell and Mariano just missing out on bronzes, and there was a PB for Mark Bicknell. The WSC participation could not have had a better conclusion with the remarkable performances by our female swimmers in the 50m freestyle, with Hannah and Hazel each winning gold medals for their age groups and a gold and a silver respectively in the open category, and a PB for Summer.
An unconventional Easter, some would say, but for Woking Swimming Club definitely a success.
Well done to all the swimmers and the coaches for their amazing achievements!