2014 Starcross Swim
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.
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.
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.
2014 Ullswater and Derwent
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.
2014 SW Open Water Champs
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.
2014 Exe to Exe Test Swim
On Saturday 24th May Exmouth Swimming and Life Saving Society tested out a new open water course which, it is hoped, will replace the annual Fairway Swim. The Fairway Swim had taken place for 50 years however changing conditions in the estuary meant the old route was considered unsafe, particularly for kayak escorts, by the swim’s organisers.
2013 Windermere Breaststroke
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.
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.
2013 Fairway Swim
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.
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 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.
Mark Westaway Ulswater Swim 2012
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.
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.
Jamie Page Channel Swim 2012
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.
2012 Devon Open Water Champs
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:
2012 Starcross Swim
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.
2012 Fairway Swim
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 Channel Swim 2012
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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