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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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’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.
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.
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.
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.
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