19 swimmers competed for Otter over 6 days of pool and 2 days of open water swimming. We had members flying in from all over to be part of the European Masters Champs, with some of us returning 11 years after Kranj last hosted the championships.Read More
I think it's safe to say that this year's exceptionally warm summer is winding down, and autumn is starting to creep around the corner. The wonderful climate over the last few months allowed for some fabulous open air competing, which various Otters took the opportunity to enjoy...
Best Fest 5km and 1.5km, Mallorca
A group Otters went over to Mallorca to race in part of the week long open water festival. They joined the Junior International teams from Canada, Great Britain and Germany as well as swimmers from all over Europe. Racing was frenetic with some good finishes given the high quality fields of the 5km and 1.5km. There were also some challenge events including a 3.8km guess your pace where the winner was the closest to their (chosen) time. Pip, Madeleine, John, Mike, Michelle and Leila all had a great time and would definitely go back.
12th-13th May 2018
London Region OW Champs 5km
This was the qualifying event for the 19+ race at Nationals (rather than Masters). Pip Bennett won the 19+ category winning a qualifying spot at Sheffield later in the year. It was a on a very small 500m loop which meant everyone got a chance to practise their turns!
24 May 2018
Trying a bit of wetsuit action, Pip Bennett finished 2nd overall at this race just west of London. The lead changed a few times between 1st and 2nd, but the junior powered home on the final straight.
16-17 June 2018
Open Swim Stars 5km and 2km, Paris
Pip Bennett took a swift trip across to Paris for the weekend and competed in the combined event in the Basin de Villette. This comprised of a 5km on the Saturday and a 2km on the Sunday (there were 10km and 2km with fins options!) He finished 2 overall in the combined event and was fastest non wetsuit.
1st July 2018
Henley Classic 2.1km
Straight after the London Region Champs, Pip went to Henley for the dawn swim up the famous regatta course. He won the traditional (Channel swimming rules for trunks) event and finished 9th overall.
12th July 2018
Aquathlon World Championships, Odense
Deborah Lowi travelled to Odense, Denmark, to compete in the Aquathlon World Championships. The event consisted of a 1km swim in the Baltic sea immediately followed by a 5km run. It was her first time representing the GB Age Group multi-sport team, as well as her first time competing abroad, creating a mixture of apprehension, nerves & excitement!
The sea was completely filled with jellyfish, many of which were as large as dinner plates, and those who were brave enough to go for a pre-race swim course familiarisation returned covered in stings! Despite the swarms of jellyfish, Deborah made it through the race in a finish time of 38:36 (swim 15:52, transition 01:19, run 21:25), placing 6th in her age group overall and 3rd out of the GB women in her age group.
The course was extremely challenging due to the mental demands of swimming through the
jellyfish and also due to the hectic mass swim start with 70+ women all scrambling to get to the first buoy at the same time. The run was equally tough in 30-degree heat and bright sunshine, but Deborah pushed hard and was able to overtake quite a few women during this portion of the race to improve my overall position.
Overall it was a great experience and she looks forward to training hard in order to improve on her performance at Europeans in October!
29th-30th July 2018
OW Nationals Sheffield 5km
Disappointingly Masters OW nationals were cancelled due to bad weather meaning Hayley Davis nor Pip Bennett could compete. Pip had qualified for the age-group event (19+) and finished 9th in some wet and windy conditions...exactly as it should be for open water!
4th August 2018
Salty Sea Dog Long Swims, Bournemouth 3.8km
Doubling up after winning the Otter Mile Club Champs event the night before, Pip Bennett went down to Bournemouth for a morning race where he was fastest male and also best all the wetsuiters. An Otter until very recently, Chris Grey finished second (pictured).
23rd August 2018
Big Dog Swim, Reading 3.8km
Final race before European champs saw Pip Bennett win overall at the Reading 3.8km. He is excited about putting all this work to use in Slovenia in September.
Sadly, one of Otter’s past Presidents and long standing member, Bob Burn, passed away yesterday (1 August).Read More
To avoid a clash with the Masters European Championships this year, we decided that our annual La Santa training camp would take place earlier than usual. So on the weekend of 22nd - 24th June, over 30 Otters and their partners flew to Lanzarote from London as well as Zurich, Barcelona, Bristol and Manchester!
All the ingredients were there this year to make this an unforgettable experience. We celebrated three birthdays with Olivia, Deirdre’s husband Mike and Oliver’s wife Aisha. Olli put together a challenging quiz for the Monday night and made sure the questions were kept secret as even Aisha couldn’t get hold of them! Tuesday’s group activity was a private bounce class in the sun, organised by Gina. We shared this class with our friends from Mid Sussex Marlins and it proved a challenge for endurance as well as coordination. Bucketloads of sweat later, many Otters were happy to go back to the pool if only to cool down. On Wednesday, we donned our Sparta costumes for the traditional night out in Puerto del Carmen. A sight to behold as many of us had done multiple ab-attack classes to look toned in the revealing outfits. On Friday night Otters and Marlins got together again to do some fun relays and to enjoy a BBQ. For those wondering what the fun relays are, imagine swimming backstroke but feet forward (ask Emma how that works!) or swim in a Sparta helmet
But of course, we were there not just to have fun but mainly to get fit. So there were two two hour swim sessions a day. Aeron returned for one week after saying goodbye to Otter earlier this year and she did a splendid job in making sure the sessions were both challenging and varied (who knew there was another warmup than 400/4x100/4x50?). Besides the pooltime, the stretch sessions as well as ab attack, HIIT and pilates/yoga proved popular not only with the swimmers, but also with HUBS and WAGS who joined in, trying their best to improve their fitness levels as well!
For those who are thinking about joining the Otter camp next year, it’s a great week of fun and hard work. Come and talk to anyone who’s been before if you’re still in doubt!
The 2018 Otter Half-Mile was held at Henley Sailing Club, Wargrave on Friday 20 July.Read More
We have decided to stop the Friday evening Oasis session as there has been insufficient attendance to justify the expenditure. The final session will be Friday 27th July.
Excitingly, we are in a position to trial twice weekly morning sessions at QMSC.Read More
The following Saturday training sessions have been confirmed for this quarter:
- 14th July: 11.00am-12.30pm @ Crystal Palace
- 21st July: 11.00am-12.30pm @ London Aquatics Centre
- 28th July: 11.00am-12.30pm @ Crystal Palace
- 4th August: 11.00am-12.30pm @ London Aquatics Centre
- 11th August: 111.00am-12.30pm @ Crystal Palace
- 18th August: 11.00am-12.30pm London Aquatics Centre
- 25th August: 11.00am-12.30pm @ Crystal Palace
- 1st September: 11.00am-12.30pm @ London Aquatics Centre
- 8th September: 11.00am-12.30pm @ Crystal Palace
- 15th September: 11.00am-12.30pm @ London Aquatics Centre
- 22nd September: 11.00am-12.30pm Crystal Palace
- 29th September: 11.00am-12.30pm London Aquatics Centre
From Friday, 8th - Sunday 10th June, The Plymouth Life Centre welcomed swimmers for The British Masters Championships 2018.
715 athletes from 202 clubs competed in the 3-day event, and 56 World/European/British records were broken. Otter proudly contributed 21 athletes to the mix, and also had their names carved into the record table as well.
London rivals, Spencer Swim Team was second with 274, and Out to Swim was third with 160 points.
With hours left of the annual competition, team Otter also provided an exciting finale in producing not just one, but two British Record swims in the 400m Medley Relay!
The mens' 100-119 team fought off close competition from Exeter's team to break a 5-year old record by almost 7 seconds! (Backstroke: Wade Rimbach, Breastsroke: Craig Gillespie, Butterfly: Fraser Peh, Freestyle: Martin Sartorius)
This was followed by the womens' team of the same age category going on to break the 5-year old record by 15 seconds. (Backstroke: Sophie Clarke, Breaststroke: Hayley Davis, Butterfly: Abigail Hucker, Freestyle: Catherine Demont).
Enjoy the race report below:
Friday, 8th June 2018
After a long journey to the south-east, the meet kicked off with the 800m Freestyle. Enrique Ruiz took 2nd place with a season's best, and Pip Bennett took gold in his age category. This was followed by the Mixed 400m Medley Relay, where the 100-119 team (made up of Sophie Clarke, Craig Gillespie, Wade Rimbach & Catherine Demont) narrowly missed a British Record time.
There was strong representation in the infamous 200m Butterfly, with Catherine Demont & Abigail Hucker taking gold & silver medals in their age category respectively, with Derek Parr, Enrique Ruiz & Hayley Davis also achieving first place in theirs. Craig Gillespie won the 100m Breaststoke with a season's best time, as did Sophie Clarke in the 100m Backstroke.
The first day came to a close with another gold medal for the Men's 280-319 400m Freestyle relay team, made up of Robert Thomas, Roger Lloyd-Mostyn, Derek Parr & Peter Rae.
Saturday, 9th June 2018
An early start on Saturday morning saw Catherine Demont take first place in the 400m Freestyle, as well as Pip Bennett, who also achieved a master's best time. The afternoon saw Craig Gillespie, Matt Wai Kwong Wan & Can Bozkurt take medals in the hotly-contested 50m Breaststroke, and all 3x Otters who swam in the 100m Backstroke took medal-winning spots (Sophie Clarke, Martin Sartorius & Matt Wai Kwong Wan).
Senior Otters dominated the 50m Butterfly, with Derek Parr (70-74) & Roger Lloyd-Mostyn (75-79) both taking gold in their respective age categories. Peter Rae & Roger Lloyd-Mostyn both won their respective age catergories for the 100m freestyle, whilst silver medals were won by Jane McMenemy, Abigail Hucker & Hayley Davis in the 200 IM. On top of that, Fraser Peh acheived masters' best times in both events!
Saturday came to successful close, with both the Men's 100-119 (Wade Rimbach, Craig Gillespie, Fraser Peh & Martin Sartorius) & 280-319 (Robert Thomas, Derek Parr, Roger Lloyd-Mostyn & Peter Rae) 200m Medley relay teams adding to the growing collection of gold medals.
Sunday, 10th June 2018
The final day of the meet began just a strong as the previous days, with Martin Sartorius swimming a personal best time in the 50m Backstroke, and all 4x Otters competing in the 400m IM achieving medal-winning positions (Derek Parr, Enrique Ruiz, Abigail Hucker & Hayley Davis).
Casper Stops & Elizabeth Shaw swam season debuts of the 200m Freestyle, and Derek Parr, Hayley Davis & Pip Bennett all won gold medals in the 1500m Freestyle in their respective categories.
Here's to many more years of success, and see you in Swansea for next year's champtionships!
Would you like to coach some of the top masters swimmers in the country? Would you like to be part of one of the biggest and oldest masters swimming clubs in the UK, which in 2019 celebrates its 150th anniversary? If so, Otter Swimming Club would like to hear from you about its Head Coach (Swimming) role.Read More
Forgoing the Royal WEdding, and intrepid group of Otters travelled to Box End Water Park near Bedford for an open water season opener.
Under glorious sunshine the Otters were victorious and are looking forward to the varied challenges to come until European Champs in September.
- Mens 5km - 1st, Pip Bennett
- Men 5km - 3rd, John Talbott
- Womens 5km - 1st, Hayley Davis
- Womens 5km - 1st, Maddie Parra