The annual Exmouth Swimming Life Saving Society Starcross swim for 2016 was held on Sunday 17th July. The swim reverted back to the traditional course starting from the Starcross Ferry Jetty after entrants boarded the final ferry of the day for a one way trip across the river. Swimmers experienced ideal weather conditions with sun and only a slight swell although many swimmers spotted jellyfish large and small in the water.
Last year’s winner George Cornwell-Brown defended his title winning the race overall in a time of 31minutes and 23 seconds. Alison Browning, swimming her first Starcross swim, was second and first lady in a time of 32.28. There was then a very tight finish between Junior champion Joel Rawe, returning swimmer Ian Lang, who has not competed in open water for a few years, and Channel swimmer Jamie Page who were separated by only 20 seconds in times of 33.31, 33.38, and 33.51 respectively. Jed Reid was also close behind these three swimmers to claim 2nd Junior and 5th male in his first open water race. Sophie Spiller and Heidi Schunck then provided another exciting finish racing for the junior female title with Spiller beating Schunck to take the trophy by only 33 seconds. Sophie’s brother Aidan was only a further 8 seconds behind Schunck with her brother Joe Schunck also finishing strongly. This year’s oldest swimmer Martin Sprigmore was next to finish beating Kathy Azuino, who was consistent with her time from last year with only a twenty second difference.
All the swimmers who started the swim completed the course. Exmouth Swimming and Life Saving Society would like to thank all those who help make the Starcross swim a success each year; particularly Exmouth Beach Rescue, boat crews, kayakers, and the RNLI.
The annual Exmouth Swimming Life Saving Society Starcross swim 2015 was held on Thursday 30th July and a young field started from buoy 21 at around 7pm. Swimmers experienced ideal weather conditions with sun and even a slight following wind though many swimmers spotted jellyfish in the water.
18 year old George Cornwell-Brown won the race overall in a time of 31minutes and 51seconds. Last year’s Junior champions Joel Rawe improved on his performance last year finishing 2nd overall to defend his junior title in 33.03; narrowly beating Channel swimmer Jamie Page into 3rd place by 15 seconds. Liam Spiller finished fourth in a time of 33.26 with Tara Dudley fifth overall and first female swimmer home. Men’s club captain Nyal Slatter finished in sixth place with Sophie Spiller finishing in seventh and first junior female.
Other swimmers in the order they finished were Aidan Spiller, Peter Gilpin (swimming 40 years after his first Starcross swim), Jasmine Simpson-Currie, Katie Brindley, Martin Sprigmore, Ruth Horn, and Kathy Azuino who was the only swimmer to complete the course swimming breaststroke. All swimmers who started the swim completed the course.
Exmouth Swimming and Life Saving Society would like to thank all those who help make the Starcross swim a success each year; particularly Exmouth Beach Rescue, boat crews, kayakers, and the RNLI.
3rd place Jamie Page and Ladies Champion Tara Dudley are swimming in a channel relay with two other Exmouth swimmers, Alan Franks and Gemma Franks, later this month. They are raising money for Exmouth Beach Rescue who, as well as voluntarily patrolling the beach, also play a vital role in the organisation of the Exe to Exe and Starcross swims. If you would like to donate or for more information please go to:
On Saturday 27/06/15 Exmouth Swimming and Life Saving Society held the second Exe to Exe Swim. The new swim having replaced the Fairway Buoy Swim course which was held for 50 years.
Because organisers were still trialling the new course a small field of high calibre experienced swimmers were invited; including King of the Channel Michael Read who has completed the crossing 33 times.
The new swim starts at the lifeboat station an hour before the turn of the tide. It proceeds up the sea front, past the docks, up the river, and past the Exe Café to buoy 21. Swimmers then swim around the buoy before swimming the course in reverse back to the lifeboat station and Maer Rocks. Faster swimmers may have to battle the tide if they turn before slack water with slower swimmers facing a race against time to turn before the tide.
The result was an impressive one for Exmouth with Exmouth Swimmers claiming the first three positions. Jamie Page swam in to an early lead and led from start to finish with Tara Dudley 2nd overall and first female and Exmouth channel swimmer and coach Alan Franks swimming to third place in a close finish with 2nd placed female Harriet Tuck. Jamie’s winning time was 1.46.04 with the 15th and final swimmer, Kathy Anzuino who was swimming Breaststroke, finishing in a time of 2.50.42.
The three Exmouth swimmers are currently training hard for a four person channel relay attempt where, on the right day with the right conditions, they are confident they can challenge the record for the fastest crossing by a four person team. They are using the swim to raise funds for Exmouth Beach Rescue who’s volunteers regularly patrol Exmouth Beach and without who’s expertise Exmouth Swimming and Life Saving Society’s two annual open water swims couldn’t take place. If you’d like to sponsor the Exmouth team go to:
Exmouth Swimming and Life Saving Society would like to thank Exmouth Scouts, Exmouth Beach Rescue, Exmouth RNLI, Exmouth Marina, other kayakers, and boat owners who’s help enables the swim to go ahead.
Mark Westaway and Tara Dudley travelled to North Wales totake part in the BLDSA's Bala championship.
Both swam the 3 mile lake two ways to compete in the 6mile championship. Dudley competed in the ladies freestyle whilst Westaway competed in the men's Breaststroke championship.
Dudley guided down the lake by her kayaker Chris Heale came 4th in the ladies championship in a time of 3hrs 14min 39sec. Westaway, who before the swim was targeting the course record, won the championship in a time of 3hrs 51min 01sec. At the start of the swim Westaway and kayaker Ian Lang knew the record would be a tall order due to the swim starting in a strong headwind. Though Westaway missed out on the record he beat the next fastest breastroker by nearly an hour and hopes for better conditions next time he attempts the course.
The annual Exmouth Swimming Life Saving Society Starcross swim 2014 was held on Friday 25th and a young field started from buoy 21 at around 7pm. Swimmers experienced ideal weather conditions with sun and only a small swell past the docks slowing them down.
17 year old George Cornwell-Brown won the race overall in a time of 31minutes and 36seconds. Gemma Franks was second to win the ladies’ race in a time of 33.47 narrowly beating her dad Alan Franks, who has won the race multiple times in the past and has made a comeback in the last 18 months, into 3rd place. Next to finish was Kiera Jordan who was second lady and first junior female, she beat first junior male Joel Rawe by four seconds to claim 4th overall.
Other swimmers in the order they finished were Nyal Slatter, Liam Spiller, Toby Gilbody, Peter Gilpin, Aidan Spiller, Joe Schunck, Virginia Hill, Katie Brindley, Katherine Cornwell-Brown, Ruth Horn, Martin Sprigmore, Martin Brown, and Kathy Azuino. All swimmers who started the swim completed the course with no withdrawals.
Exmouth Swimming and Life Saving Society would like to thank all those who help make the Starcross swim a success each year; particularly boat crew, kayakers, Exmouth Beach Rescue, Exmouth Scouts, and the RNLI.
On Saturday 30th August Exmouth Swimming and Life Saving Society channel swimmer Mark Westaway competed in the British Long Distance Swimming Association Windermere Championship.
This was Westaway’s second length of the 10.5 mile long lake swimming Breaststroke after a record attempt last year was slowed by poor weather conditions.
The championship started around 9.15 in the morning. Swimmers would be swimming throughout the day and started with favourable wind direction although rain and cloud added to the cool water temperature of around 15 degrees. Despite the cool temperatures Westaway was swimming strongly and was on schedule to beat the record when he made it to the islands in the middle of the lake. Unfortunately as he swam through the islands the wind turned and began blowing across the lake, at times this became a head wind which swimmers were swimming into. This created a swell which made it difficult for swimmers to make good progress and effectively ended Westaway’s record attempt. This also made it difficult for support crews to keep their escort boats on a good line and close to their swimmer however Jamie Page, Olly White, and Neville King kept Westaway on a good route allowing him to finish the swim as first breaststroker and 9th male; beating a number of freestyle swimmers and defending his title from last year.
Westaway completed the swim in a time of 6 hours 46 minutes, winning the Breaststroke championship. Westaway is now planning for the 2015 season with a further record attempt or longer swims likely.
Four long distance swimmers from Exmouth Swimming & Life Saving Society travelled to the Lake District to compete in two races organised by the British Long Distance Swimming Association on the 9th and 10th of August. First up was the Ullswater championship, 7 miles from end to end. With hurricane Bertha promising to spice things up a little, the race got underway early in calm conditions. However, by the end of the race the wind picked up, white horses for the accompanying kayaker, Jordan Hamilton to deal with. First man home in a time of 3hrs 01minute, and taking the trophy for Exmouth was Olly White who was competing in the freestyle race. Olly was involved in a tussle for the lead for much of the race but pulled away in the closing 2 miles. Mark Westaway, competing in the breaststroke event, not only won his race but knocked an astonishing 36 minutes off the old record finishing in 3hrs 49 minutes, a record that is likely to stand for some time.
Having dominated the Ullswater event on Saturday, Exmouth fielded two swimmers, Jamie Page and Adam Tapp in the 5 mile-Derwent Water championship. Very quickly it was the Exmouth boys who forged ahead. Page used all his experience of swimming the Channel in 2012 to set a good pace but Tapp, who is more accustomed to pool swimming, revelled in the calm conditions and it was he who emerged victorious, 2h 06 min later, with Page in second place in 2h16.
Only one other Exmouth swimmer has ever won a BLDSA event, Alan Franks back in 1997. Exmouth are experiencing a golden era of open water swimming with many talented youngsters coming through.
A team of Exmouth Swimming and Life Saving Society swimmers took part in the ASA South West Regional Open Water Championships on Sunday 29th June. Swimmers swam a range of distances from 750m to 3000m.
George Cornwell-Brown won the 17-18 years 3000m event in a time of 41.10.54 to become regional champion and qualify for the ASA Age Group National Open Water Championships in August.
In the 1500m competition Exmouth had a number of junior swimmers. Toby Gilbody came 13th overall and did well enough in his age group to also qualify for the Nationals. Other notable swims in the 1500m came from Joe Schunck who won silver in his age group, Sophie Spiller who also won silver and Jasmine Simpson-Currie who was third in her age group. Martin Sprigmore and Martin Brown also swam the 1500m and finished in 20th and 21st place overall respectively.
In the other distances Heidi Schunck won a silver medal in the 750m event whilst Kiera Jordan finished 10th and Aidan Spiller finished 4th in their respective 2000m competitions.
Many of the swimmers are now looking forward to the club’s Starcross swim and the Devon ASA open water championships which are to be held later in the summer.
On Saturday 31st August 2013 Exmouth Swimming and Life Saving Society channel swimmer Mark Westaway competed in the British Long Distance Association Windermere Championships.
Westaway has swum the 10 and a half mile length of England’s longest lake on a number of occasions; completing a two way swim whilst training to swim the English Channel. However this swim was different as Westaway had decided to swim the entire length of the lake Breaststroke.
Over the last few years Westaway has been competing in shorter swims to train and build up his endurance over the new stroke. He has competed in the Exmouth Fairway and Starcross Swims, Coniston and Ulswater winning the Breaststroke championships in all four championships; last year breaking a 48 year old record for swimming the length of Ulswater in Breaststroke.
The championship started around 9.30 in the morning and swimmers would be swimming throughout the day against a head wind. This hampered Westaway in making any attempt on the Breaststroke course record and added at least half an hour onto the duration of each swimmer’s swim. Despite the difficult conditions Westaway’s supporters were never in any doubt that he would complete the swim. Westaway was supported by coach Alan Franks and fellow channel swimmers Olly White and Jamie Page who rowed Westaway’s escort boat. Westaway was also accompanied on the water by a number of other teammates who followed his progress down the lake and supported him throughout his swim.
Westaway completed the longest Breaststroke swim in Exmouth Swimming and Life Saving Society’s history in a time of 6 hours 44 minutes, winning the Breaststroke championship. He was raising money for Vranch House, an Independent Day School in Exeter for children with significant physical difficulties, a centre for the treatment of outpatients, and a provider of various therapies throughout Devon.
This year’s Devon ASA open water championships held at Odicombe on Sunday 4th August were a success for Exmouth Swimming & Life Saving Society as they defended the team trophy they won last year.
The 50th annual Fairway Swim took place on Sunday 9th June. The swim attracted 30 swimmers from around the country including English, Irish and Bristol Channel swimmers. Swimmers benefited from ideal conditions with the sun on their backs and light winds which meant that sea conditions were relatively calm for swimmers and their kayak escorts.
Harriet Tuck from Plymouth Leander regained the title she won in 2011 and won the swim overall in a time of 1:16:35. Local Exmouth Swimmer Olly White was the second swimmer, and first male, home in a time of 1:17:42 to win his fourth consecutive male title. David Orders from London’s Red Top Swim was narrowly beaten in to 3rd overall by 6 seconds at the end of the 4.5 mile swim. Completing the top 5 was 2nd Exmouth swimmer Jamie Page who was fourth (third male) and Red Top Swim’s Guy Moar. Next to finish were three Exmouth swimmers with Adrian Rotchell in 6th place overall, Liam Spiller (the youngest swimmer to enter the swim) in 7th and 2nd lady Tara Dudley in 8th place overall. Other notable swims came from Exmouth Breaststrokers Mark Westaway, who defended his men’s title in a year where he is aiming to swim the 10.5 miles of Windermere in Breaststroke, and Kathy Anzuino who was the first lady to complete the course swimming Breaststroke in 20 years.
The swim can only take place each year due to the efforts of swim organiser Barry Westaway, swim referee and Exmouth open water coach Alan Franks, a number of volunteers from Exmouth Swimming and Life Saving Society, and support from the RNLI, Coastguard, Beach Rescue, St John’s ambulance, boatmen, and kayakers who assist in the running of the swim each year.
As part of Mark Westaway’s Windermere challenge he is raising money for Vranch House; an Independent Day School in Exeter for children with significant physical difficulties.
On Tuesday 17th December 2012 Exmouth Swimming and Life Saving Society swimmer Mark Westaway presented Vranch House, an Independent Day School in Exeter for children with physical difficulties, a centre for the treatment of outpatients, and a provider of various therapies throughout Devon, with a cheque for £1000.00.
Westaway, who swam the channel in 2008, raised the money by swimming the length of Windermere, England’s longest lake, breaststroke. Westaway and his family experienced the important work of Vranch House first hand when Mark and Nicki’s son attended school there and they wanted to give something back to the charity.
Over the last few years Westaway has been competing in shorter swims to train and build up his endurance over the new stroke. He competed in the Exmouth Fairway and Starcross Swims, Coniston and Ulswater winning the Breaststroke championships in all four championships; last year breaking a 48 year old record for swimming the length of Ulswater in Breaststroke.
Westaway completed the longest Breaststroke swim in Exmouth Swimming and Life Saving Society’s history in a time of 6 hours 44 minutes, winning the Breaststroke championship and battling a strong headwind throughout his swim.
Exmouth Swimming and Life Saving Society swimmer Mark Westaway recently broke a 48 year old British Long Distance Association record for swimming the 7mile length of Ulswater Breaststroke. Mark turned to long distance Breaststroke events having completed freestyle events all over the country before successfully swimming the Channel in 2008.
Ulswater is the second longest lake in the Lake District and is one of the highest and coldest lakes; the temperature of around 13degrees Celsius proved a challenge for Mark as the lower stroke rate required to swim breaststroke did not enable him to maintain his body temperature as well as swimming freestyle would have done. Westaway’s kayaker Kevin Brown called over the safety team a number of times during the swim to discuss Mark’s condition and the distance to the finish. Once within sight of the finish having rounded the lake’s final bend Mark dug into beat the cold and complete the course in the new record time of 4:25:01, breaking the 48 year old record by 6minutes and 15seconds.
As well as winning the Men’s Breaststroke championship trophy Westaway was also awarded the Taylor Trophy for endeavour to mark his feat of endurance and determination in completing the course.
Jamie Page successfully swam the English Channel from England to France to become the second Exmouth Swimming & Life Saving Society member, along with Tara Dudley, to do so in 2012 writes Alan Franks. Starting from Samphire Hoe, Dover he completed the challenge in 12 hours 53 minutes, Thursday 6th September, completing over 30 miles during the swim.
Jamie, 35, achieved his life time ambition after devoting the last three years to an intensive swim training program; he is absolutely thrilled all the planning & preparation came together on the day.
Following the success of the recent Starcross swim, Exmouth Swimming and Life-Saving Society’s senior and junior open water swimmers braved the cold water of Oddicombe Bay on Saturday 18th August writes Alison Cornwell-Brown.
With its amphitheatre style steps, Oddicombe Bay offered the perfect view for the large group of supporters who were able to watch the swimmers complete a 1500m circuit. The senior swimmers had to swim two laps of the course for their 3000m competition.
The swimmers were joined for a while by a large grey seal, a regular visitor to Oddicombe Bay.
Exmouth’s Cameron Carpenter-Warren was first senior home, and also took the medal for first Devon swimmer. In the boys’ junior event Liam Spiller fought hard to take third place, as did Kiera Jordan for the girls. All the swimmers completed the course including Joe Schunck and Eveie McGlinn who had their first taste of Open Water swimming.
Exmouth’s swimmers were delighted to take home the team shield for the fastest team made up of the fastest senior male and female and junior male and female swimmer from each club.
Swimmers in the junior competition were:
Exmouth Swimming and Life Saving Society held their annual Starcross to Exmouth open water swim on Wednesday 1st August 2012. The club’s open water swimmers, who include channel swimmers Olly White and Mark Westaway and Tara Dudley who is scheduled to swim the channel in the coming week, were joined by competitive and development and masters swimmers some of whom were competing in the open water for the first time.
The swim from the Starcross jetty to Carlton Slipway on Exmouth sea front is tidally assisted and a strong tide and tail wind meant that swimmers completed the course in some fast times. The swim was won for the 5th consecutive year by Cameron Carpenter-Warren in a time of 31.09 with last year’s junior champion Liam Spiller pushing him all the way. Open water and master’s swimmer Ian Lang narrowly beat 2nd placed Junior George Cornwell Brown by two seconds to claim 3rd place overall. Tara Dudley finished in fifth place overall to defend her women’s title. Ladies club captain Eve Birrell won the Junior Ladies competition in a time of 35.31 which narrowly beat Yvonne Carpenter-Warren for 2nd place in the overall ladies championship. Mark Westaway was the only swimmer to complete the course swimming Breaststroke and finished in 16th position having just returned from the Lake District where he beat the 48 year old British Long Distance Swimming Association Breaststroke record for swimming Ulswater.
23 of the 25 swimmers who started completed the course. Juniors Eve Birrell, Kiera Jordan, Katherine Cornwell-Brown, Lewis Webb, Aidan Spiller, and Kaylee Sprigmore all completed the course for the first time. Claire Loman, Julie Thomson, Virginia Hill, Polly Woodward, Alison Martineau and Martin Sprigmore were also new to the swim whilst Karen White returned to the swim after many years.
Open water secretary and swim organiser Barry Westaway said that it was encouraging to have such a big interest in open water swimming from the society’s junior swimmers who can continue the tradition and success that Exmouth have as an Open Water squad.
The 49th annual Fairway Swim took place on Sunday 3rd June 2012. The swim attracted 27 swimmers from around the country including English, Irish and Bristol Channel swimmers. Swimmers swam a shortened course inside Pole Sands due to adverse weather conditions turning early and swimming against the tide back to the finish. All 27 swimmers completed the course.
Stockbridge Pentaqua swimmer Nicola Fraser entered the swim for the first time and beat last year’s winner Harriet Tuck of Dinnaton swimming club to win the race overall in a time of 1hour 6minutes 17seconds. Alyson Phippen completed the top three beating Exmouth and first male swimmer Olly White into fourth place by eight seconds. Olly won his third consecutive Exmouth Journal Cup and also won his 13th consecutive Exmouth men’s title. Completing the top 5 was first Exmouth Lady Tara Dudley who won her fifth consecutive Exmouth Title. Jamie Page was the next Exmouth swimmer to finish in a time of 1.11.31 placing him 7th overall and 3rd male. The final Exmouth swimmer to finish was Mark Westaway who came 19th overall (11th male) whilst completing the entire course Breaststroke winning the Ron Snowshall Breaststroke championship for the fourth consecutive year.
The swim can only take place each year due to the efforts of swim organiser Barry Westaway, swim referee and Exmouth open water coach Alan Franks, a number of volunteers from Exmouth Swimming and Life Saving Society, and support from the RNLI, Coastguard, Beach Rescue, St John’s ambulance, boatmen, and kayakers who assist in the running of the swim each year. Plans are already underway to mark the golden jubilee of the swim in 2013.
The Exmouth team are now continuing to train for other swims around the country; including Tara Dudley and Jamie Page who are scheduled to swim the channel in August and September respectively.
Tara Dudley added to Exmouth Swimming & Life Saving Society growing reputation for producing successful English Channel swimmers after completing her gruelling challenge of swimming from Dover to France. Swimming to raise money for Cancer Research she completed the challenge in 12 hours and 50 minutes on Friday the 10th of August.
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