The Devon County Open Water Championships saw two entrants from Exmouth Swimming & Life Saving Society, with both swimmers coming home with a medal from their respective event. With the initial August swim cancelled due to poor weather, the event was rescheduled for 7th September, and moved to Teignmouth from the original venue of Exmouth.
The conditions were perfect with the sun out and a relatively flat sea. The adults had a 3km course, whilst the Juniors raced over 1500 metres. With 27 swimmers in total for the two events, both sets of swimmers set off at the same from a buoy just off Teignmouth Pier. There was strong competition in the Junior race with Jack Willis of Exeter the first boy home in the 1500m, whilst Felicity Lamont-Tuckett, also of Exeter was the first girl home. Lily Allen, Exmouth’s sole representative in the Junior category was competing in her first Open Water event, finished a very respectable second in a time of just over 20 minutes, to claim the silver medal.
In the men’s 3km race, Exmouth’s Mark Ashton was second home to Steve Clarke of Exeter City. Despite low in numbers, it was great that both Exmouth swimmers achieved podium finishes. The overall team trophy was won by Exeter.
A special mention must go to ES&LSS members Alison Browning, Lisa Schunck and Ian Lang who were responsible for ensuring the event went ahead and was safely managed. No doubt after a couple of years of no Devon ASA Open Water competition, this event will grow in strength after a successful return to the Open Water calendar.