Masters News Archive

2015 Masters Nationals

Letch Sets Four British Records

On 23rd, 24th and 25th October seven Exmouth masters swimmers attended the annual national masters’ short course championships at Ponds Forge in Sheffield. The team, accompanied by masters coach Bob Clarke, were Adele Parham, Tara Dudley, Bill letch, Jamie page, Peter Gilpin, Philippa O Grady, and Robert Macey.  Over the 3 days there were some excellent results with the team winning eleven medals, including seven gold and four silver, and four British records.


Bill Letch began the meet for the Exmouth team with a British Record and gold medal in the 200m Individual Medley in 3:17.55.  Over the weekend Bill won a further four gold medals, one silver, and set another three British records; 1:28.95 in the 100m Butterfly,  and beating his own records in the 50m Butterfly (36.64) and 50m Freestyle (31.72).


Phillippa O’Grady was hot on Bill’s heels in the medal table and didn’t keep the team waiting for their second medal winning silver in the 200m Individual Medley in her age group.  Phillippa also won silvers in the 100m Butterfly and 400m Individual Medley and a gold in the 200m Butterfly.


The Exmouth team also won a gold in the 120+ years 4x200m Freestyle mixed relay where teammates Jamie Page, Adele Parham, Robert Macey, and Tara Dudley swam to a time of 9:42.25.


As well as the medal winning performances there were other notable performances by every member of the team.  Adele Parham had three top ten finishes in the 200m Individual Medley, 400m Individual Medley, and 400m Freestyle.  Jamie Page had top ten finishes in the 100m and 50m Breaststroke.  Peter Gilpin finished in the top ten in the 50m Backstroke and 50m Freestyle.  Robert Macey also had a top ten position in the 50m Backstroke.


For full results for the Exmouth team click here.

2014 Devon Masters


Exmouth Swimming and Life Saving Society Masters swimmer Bill Letch has made a record breaking return after taking a break from competitions.


Making his return at the Devon ASA Masters and Seniors competition in Tiverton on Sunday 13th September Bill focused on the sprint events and beat swimmers many years his junior to set new British Records in the 75-79 age group.


The records in the 50m Butterfly and the 50m Freestyle beat records that were set 18 years ago my former Olympic swimmer Jack Hale and have recently been ratified by British Swimming.

2014 Masters Nationals

Success at National Event for Exmouth Masters Swimming Squad


Members of the masters squad of Exmouth Swimming and Life Saving Society once again represented their club in the British Gas ASA National Masters and Senior Age Group Championships at Ponds Forge International Sports Centre, Sheffield over the weekend of the 24th – 26th October.


The squad had one of their most successful weekends of swimming in over 6 years, and huge thanks must be extended from the team to their dedicated coach Bob Clarke.

Exmouth’s full results can be viewed HERE (


The squad set off from Exmouth Leisure Centre at 7am on Friday morning ready for an afternoon and evening of competition.


First up were Tara Dudley, Christa Page, Richard Lander and Adam Tapp competing in the 4 x 200m mixed freestyle relay in the 100-120 age group category. The team were ranked second on entry, behind the team ranked first by 5 seconds. The race began and it was evident that it was going to be a close race, Exmouth eventually coming through to win the first team gold of the weekend thanks to a great team performance in a time of 9.17.45 beating the second place team by 10 seconds. A great start to the weekend.


The afternoon session then saw Philippa O’Grady swim in the 200m Butterfly race and gain a silver medal in the 45-49 age group.


The already successful session continued with six Exmouth swimmers taking to the pool for the 50m backstroke race. In a fast paced session out of the six swimmers four were placed within the top 10 nationally in their respective age group with Peter Gilpin narrowly missing out on a medal coming 4th and Heidi Hunt winning a silver medal in the 40-45 age group.

The evening session was quickly upon the team and this session saw the ever popular 100m Freestyle race hotly contested. The squad had ten entrants in this event and although no medals were won there were some fantastic swims from Neville King and Adam Tapp, who swam their best times since 2009, Jamie Page who swam a master’s personal best of 1.00.09 and Olly White who broke the minute barrier in a time of 59.70 for only the second time in 5 years.


After a restful evening Saturday began the same as Friday with a closely fought relay. Robert Macey, Warren Barrett, Heidi Hunt and Tara Dudley took to the pool to compete in the 4 x 50m medley relay. After one of the most competitive races of the weekend so far, the team eventually came 5th missing out on third place by only 5 tenths of a second.


Saturday continued with another successful swim from Neville King who completed the 400m Freestyle event in 5.00.67 smashing his personal best time by 7 seconds in the process. In the ladies event Adele Parham swam a time of 5.27.82, gaining Adele a fourth place and her second best time since 2007.


Next up was the 100m butterfly event where Exmouth had 3 entrants. In the ladies event Philippa O’Grady swam a master’s personal best time of 1.12.41 and winning a bronze medal for her efforts. In the men’s race Richard Lander and Adam Tapp swam 2 good swims of 1.06.87 and 1.02.66 coming 17th and 8th respectively.


Saturday afternoon produced the second team gold of the weekend with Richard Lander, Olly White, Jamie Page and Adam Tapp taking to the water to win the 4 x 200m freestyle race in the 120 – 159 age group.


After this success Jamie Page and Olly White went straight into the 100m breaststroke race. A head to head race that always produces something special. Jamie produced a personal best swim of 1.14.32 but just lost out to Olly who beat Jamie’s time by 8 hundredths of a second in a time of 1.14.24 his best time since 2010. Jamie and Olly were placed 11th and 10th respectively.


The next event, the 50m freestyle is always the most popular event of the weekend with over 300 entrants in the men’s and over 250 entrants in the female event. Exmouth had 10 swimmers competing with many good swims from everyone, the highlights being Heidi Hunt gaining a 5th place and Pete Gilpin gaining a 6th place overall.


Saturday afternoon’s penultimate event saw Ross Donaldson and Adele Parham competing in the 200m Backstroke event. Ross swam a time of 2.36.95 only 6 hundredths of a second away from his personal best and Adele finishing in a time of 3.07.97. Both Ross and Adele won a 5th place for their efforts.


Saturday afternoon then finished in high speed fashion with Tara Dudley, Heidi Hunt, Philippa O'Grady and Adele Parham competing in the 4 x 50m medley relay team event. The team who were in the 160-199 age group produced a great swim and finished in fourth place, missing out on a medal by under 2 seconds.


The Saturday evening session started with another popular race, the 50m butterfly. The squad had 8 entrants in the event who all produced great swims with many personal best times. Warren Barrett produced the swim however, that gave Exmouth their first individual gold medal of the weekend winning the 25-29 age group in a time of 25.90.


The session quickly moved onto the 400m Individual Medley where Adele Parham and Heidi Hunt competed in their age groups. Heidi competing in the event for the very first time swam a time of 6.16.02 coming 4th in the 40-44 age group. Adele however swam the race in a time of 6.14.90 and with this gained Exmouth their second individual gold winning the 45-49 age group.


The evening session ended with another medal in the ladies 4 x 50m freestyle relay. Heidi Hunt, Philippa O'Grady, Adele Parham and Tara Dudley won bronze in the 160 – 199 age group.


The last day of the event was upon the team, and it was evident tiredness was starting to creep in. This did not stop the team however. Sunday morning started with the 100m Backstroke in which Exmouth had 4 competitors. The race produced a further two bronze medals adding to the squads ever increasing medal tally with Heidi Hunt producing her second best time since 2007 of 1.13.58 and Peter Gilpin finishing in a time of 1.16.33.


Up next was the 200m freestyle age group that saw Exmouth’s youngest competitor, Jack Moss come 15th in a time of 2.09.83 in the 19-24 age group. Neville King continued his successful weekend swimming a new personal best of 2.22.06 to come 10th in the 40-44 age group. To finish the event off Alison Browning swam a time of 2.34.83 to give Exmouth another 5th place in the rankings.


Sunday morning’s session finished with another popular event, the 50m Breaststroke competed in by 8 Exmouth swimmers. The event again produced lots of great swims with another head to head swim between Olly White and Jamie Page, Page this time coming out victorious in an all-time best of 33.33. It was Heidi Hunt however who added to the medal tally with a silver medal swim in a time of 36.07 in the 40-44 age group.


After a much needed rest after an eventful morning session, Sunday’s afternoon session started and first up were competitors in the 200m Individual Medley. Christa Page swimming in the event for the very first time produced a fantastic swim and finished in a time of 2.49.29 to come 4th in the 35-39 age group. This was however, to be the event that produced the squad’s third individual gold medal of the weekend with Philippa O’Grady producing her best time since 2010 to win gold in the 45-49 age group.


To finish the weekend off, Neville King and Adam Tapp made the squad wait for the long trip home for a little longer by competing in the 800m freestyle event. Both Neville and Adam produced what can only be described as “metronomic” swims, with each 50 meter split time being within hundredths of a second of the others, testament to their training regime put in place by their experienced coach Bob Clarke. Neville finished in a time of 10.28.75 smashing his previous personal best by a massive 19.07 seconds, and Adam finishing in a time of 9.44.45 his best time since 2009. Both Neville and Adam gained 5th place in their age groups.


Overall Exmouth had what is arguably one of their best National Events yet, with a medal tally of 5 Gold, 3 Silver and 4 Bronze, and 48 swims which all placed within the top 10 nationally. Exmouth train at Exmouth Swimming Pool, run by Leisure East Devon and have sessions most nights of the week and some mornings.

2013 Long Course Nationals


Over the weekend of Friday 14th to Sunday 16th June swimmers from Exmouth swimming and Life Saving Society attended the British Gas Masters and Senior Age Group Championships at The Life Centre, Plymouth.


A small squad of eight swimmers represented Exmouth over the weekend and put in a number of medal winning performances with every swimmer winning at least one medal. The Ladies team was made up of Tara Dudley, Heidi Hunt, Philippa O'Grady, and Adele Parham.  The men were Warren Barrett, Ross Donaldson, Peter Gilpin, and Bryan White.


The team won a total of 16 medals with Heidi Hunt winning bronze in the 50m freestyle, 100m freestyle and 50m breaststroke and gold in the 50m Backstroke.  Philippa O'Grady won bronze in the 100m butterfly and silvers in the 200m butterfly and 200m IM.  Adele Parham won bronze in the 400m IM and silver in the 1500m freestyle.  Tara Dudley then joined the winning trio to form a 160+ relay team with the team taking fourth place in the 4x50m Freestyle relay and a bronze medal in the medley relay.


The Exmouth men also contributed with medal winning performances. Warren Barrett won silver in the 50m butterfly in his first competition for Exmouth.  Ross Donaldson won bronze in the 200m backstroke whilst Peter Gilpin won bronze in the 100m backstroke.  Bryan White also medalled in both IMs with silver in the 200m and bronze in the 400m event.


For full results of the weekend click here

2012 Masters Decathlon

Exmouth’s Men’s Decathlon team led the nationwide decathlon competition going into the final Masters event of the year.  They finally finished 2nd in the UK just missing out to Otter SC for the cash prize. The final points were; Otter SC 1st with 20267 points, 2nd Exmouth Masters on 19949 points & in 3rd place came Gloucester Masters on 19826 points.


The decathlon competition compares the times achieved with the world record for that event with times adjusted to take into consideration the swimmer’s age.  Points are then awarded for each swim and a swimmer’s final points tally totals the swimmer’s best swim in 8 categories and their next best two swims.  The team event then adds up the highest scoring four swimmers from each club to determine the team’s overall score.  Exmouth’s top four swimmers were Bill Letch, Ross Szender, Olly White and Richard Lander.


Masters Coach Bob Clarke commented on the teams improving performance over the last two years, “Fourth last year, second this year can’t wait for next year!!” with the clear aim of the team being to improve further and win the event in 2013.


Exmouth world champion Bill Letch, as well as being the Exmouth men’s team’s top scorer also place third in the individual competition with 6740 points, only missing out on first place by a couple hundred points.

2012 Masters Short Course Nationals

Over the weekend of Friday 26th to Sunday 28th October swimmers from Exmouth swimming and Life Saving Society attended the British Gas ASA National Masters and Senior Age Group Championships at Ponds Forge International Sports Centre, Sheffield.


The team included Sam Lander, Bryan White, Bill Letch, Olly White, Jamie Page, Jonathan Hawkins, Richard Lander, Adam Tapp, Robert Macey, Tara Dudley, Yvonne Carpenter-Warren, Christa Page, Neville King, Ross Szender, Ian Lang, coach Bob Clarke, Cameron Carpenter-Warren, Ross Donaldson, Caroline Ball, Adele Parham, and Philippa O’Grady. The team were supported by a number of supporters and Exmouth swimmer Peter Gilpin was also competing, although for Truro, over the weekend.


Adele Parham was the first Exmouth swimmer to race, competing in the 1500m freestyle and winning a bronze medal in the 60 length race.  There were a number of other impressive swims over the weekend with Bill Letch, in his first race, breaking his own 200m IM British record in the 70-74 years age group.  Bill also went on to win gold in the 100m butterfly, bronze in the 50m freestyle, and silver in the 100m freestyle.  Exmouth’s 100+ years men’s 4x100m Medley team of Rich Lander, Jonathan Hawkins, Adam Tapp, and Sam Lander also won gold.  In the 4x200m freestyle relay the Exmouth team of Ross Donaldson, Christa Page, Adele Parham, and Bill Letch combined to take a bronze medal in the 200+ age group.  Adele Parham and Philippa O’Grady also earning silvers in the 200m butterfly in their respective age groups.  Caroline Ball won the final Exmouth medal of the weekend with a bronze in the 50m Backstroke.


There were other impressive swims from Exmouth swimmers including those from 2012 channel swimmers Tara Dudley and Jamie Page who were both returning to pool competition having spent the year training for their respective channel swims over the summer.   Tara Dudley came 4th in her age group for the 4x100m IM in her first attempt at racing the event.  Neville King also had another impressive meet particularly impressing Coach Bob Clarke over the middle and long distance events with his consistent split times.  Olly white and Ross Szender were both swimming events over the weekend to improve their points totals in the ASA’s annual decathlon event and to contribute to the position of Exmouth men’s team in the team event.  Both achieved this with Szender improving in some events whilst completing his 10 events and White improving his times and points value in every event he competed in over the weekend.  Christa Page also consistently performed with multiple top 10 finishes over the weekend with a number of swims gaining a mention in Coach Bob Clarke’s shortlist of swim of the weekend.  However the award for swim of the nationals was eventually awarded to Jamie Page for his 100m Freestyle where he was close to breaking a minute; impressing the team with his speed over the sprint distances having spent the year training to swim the channel.


For full results of the weekend click here

2012 Royal Navy Masters Meet

Exmouth Swimming and Life Saving Society’s Masters Squad were in action at the weekend when they swam in the Royal Navy Masters Meet held at Millfield.  The Exmouth team successfully defended their top visiting team trophy for the fourth consecutive year but faced tough competition from local Somerset team Wincanton with the team competition decided by the final relay races.


Caroline Ball, Cameron-Carpenter-Warren, Yvonne Carpenter-Warren, Heather Fell, Nikki Fraser, Neville King, Rich Lander, Sam Lander, Ian Lang, Bill Letch, Christa Page, Ross Szender, Adam Tapp, Bryan White, and Olly White were the swimmers who made the journey accompanied by Masters Coach Bob Clarke.


Exmouth swimmers had a number of strong individual swims throughout the day with many swimming in numerous events to boost the number of points they earnt for the team.  In the relay events Exmouth swimmers continued to earn valuable points; the Men’s 160+ yrs 4x50m Medley team of White, White, Letch and King, and Ladies’ 72-99yrs 4x50 Medley team of Ball, Page, Fell and Fraser winning their relays and the Men’s 72-99yrs 4x50m Medley Relay team of Lander, Lang, Tapp and Lander earning silver in the morning.  In the afternoon the same Men’s 160+ and Ladies’ 72-99yrs again won their freestyle relays whilst Carpenter-Warren, Rich Lander, Tapp and Szender claimed silver.

Bill Letch Devon Swimmer of the Year 2011

Exmouth Swimming and Life Saving Society swimmer Bill Letch has been voted Devon County ASA’s swimmer of the year for 2011.


Letch competes in Masters Competitions and swims in the 70-75years age group.  He holds numerous British ad European records in Freestyle, Butterfly and IM events.  Letch was the first British swimmer over 70 to break the 30 second barrier for 50m freestyle and won two gold, two silver and a bronze medal at last year’s Masters World Championships in Sweden.  Bill has continued the form he showed at last year’s World Championships throughout the year, winning his age group competition at the Royal Navy Masters Meet back in March before travelling to Sheffield a few weeks ago to compete in the ASA British Gas National Masters Championships; returning from Sheffield with gold for the 200m IM, 100m Freestyle and 100m Butterfly, silver in the 50m Freestyle and 100m IM and a Bronze in the 50m Breaststroke (his least favourite stroke).


Letch said of the award, “I am absolutely thrilled to have been elected and realise the great honour which this award represents, not only to me, but to my Swimming Club at Exmouth, my Coach Bob Clarke and Masters Swimming in general.”


Exmouth Swimming and Life Saving Society would like to congratulate Bill on such a deserved award; he’s an example to all the members of our club

Bill Letch Wins 2010 World Champs

Exmouth Swimming and Life Saving Society swimmer Bill Letch competed in the FINA World Masters Championships in Sweden last week.  Bill already held a number of British and European records for the 70-74 years age group before competing at the championships and broke a number of other records during the competition.


Bill came away from the meet with five medals; two gold, two silver, and a bronze.  Bill won the world championship in the 100metre freestyle in a time of 1.08.62.  He also claimed gold in the 50 metres freestyle in 31.16.  Bill’s preferred stroke is Butterfly and in the three Butterfly distances (200, 100 and 50 metres) he added two silver and one bronze medals respectively.


Exmouth Swimming and Life Saving Society would like to congratulate Bill on some world class performances over the week of competition.

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