Swim England Masters Nationals

The last weekend of October saw the annual "Masters Short Course Nationals" held at Ponds Forge National Sports Centre in Sheffield, where 29 Otters competed and returned with an impressive total of 68 medals (17 Gold, 27 Silver, 24 Bronze).


Not only did the team break 35 Club Records (14 Men, 9 Women, 9 Relays), but 2 British Records were broken by Peter Dixon in the same race! He achieved record-breaking 800m and 1500m times for the Men's 50-54 age group in the 1500m Freestyle event with times of 9:11.82 and 17:19.97 respectively.

Our Ladies 160-199 4 x 100m Freestyle team broke the existing European Record of 4:12.06 by over two seconds with a time of 4:09.99 but sadly they were just edged out by Teddington by 0.11 seconds who now hold that record. Well done and commiserations to Gina Hobson (1:00.73), Emma Shkurka (1:03.74), Hayley Davis (1:01.51 and Jane McMemeny (1:04.01) for that result.


The team’s total of 68 medals were made up of 53 individual races and 15 relays. The individual medals were won by 17 of our swimmers and notable mentions go to the following four individual gold medal winners:

  • Derek Parr (Men's 70-74): 50m Freestyle, 100m Freestyle, 200m Freestyle, 100m Burterfly, 200m Butterfly, 200m Individual Medley.

  • Peter Dixon (Men's 50-54): 200m Freestyle, 400m Freestyle , 1500m Freestyle.

  • Roger Lloyd-Mostyn (Men's 75-79): 100m Butterfly.

  • Hayley Davis (Women's 30-34): 200m Butterfly.

And the following six relay teams won national titles:

  • 120-159 Women’s 200m Freestyle: 1:56.43 Gina Hobson, Alice Dinsdale-Young, Camille Vrain, Sarah-Jane Law

  • 160-199 Mixed 800m Freestyle: 9:02.26 Nico Barber, Chris Morgan, Jane McMenemey, Hayley Davis

  • 280-319 Men's 200m Freestyle: 2:35.13 Roger Lloyd-Mostyn, Tony Ray, Peter Rae, Roger Sharpley

  • 280-319 Men's 400m Freestyle: 5:27.75 Derek Parr, Roger Lloyd-Mostyn, Roger Sharpley, Peter Rae

  • 280-319 Men's 200m Medley: 2:50.10 Bob Thomas, Roger Sharpley, Derek Parr, Peter Rae

  • 280-319 Men's 400m Medley: 6:54.58 Bob Thomas, Roger Sharpley, Derek Parr, Roger Lloyd-Mostyn

Overall, many swimmers recorded personal best times and there were 62 individual swims faster than their times entered (based upon personal bests from the previous two years) so we can celebrate a great success all round!

Click here for the full list of Otter results from the swimming.org website.

You can also click here find the full list of Club Records through the Records & Hall of Fame page on our web site.

Q4 Saturday Sessions

The following Saturday training sessions have been confirmed for this month:

  • 6th October: 09.00am-11.00am @ London Aquatics Centre

  • 13th October: 11.00am-12.30pm @ London Aquatics Centre

  • 20th October: 11.00am-12.30pm @ London Aquatics Centre

  • 17th November: 11.00am-12.30pm @ Crystal Palace National Sports Centre

  • 1st December: 11.00am-12.30pm @ Crystal Palace National Sports Centre

Tying up the Open Water Season

On Saturday 29 September four Otter swimmers took part in the Outdoor Swimming Society’s Hurly Burly event. Despite the cold temperatures, both in and out of the water, the sun was out and the quick current made sure that it was a thoroughly enjoyable swim.

Sam took part in the 10km swim, completing it in 1 hr 35 mins. Dave Warren, James Dickinson and Gina Hobson took part in the run-swim, combining an 11 km run with the 10 km swim as follows:

  • Dave: Run 0:45:04, swim 1:25:56, total 2:10:59

  • James: Run 0:52:27, swim 1:21:47, total 2:14:14

  • Gina: Run 1:09:49, swim 1:33:36, total 2:43:24

James finished third and Dave finished first in the run-swim.

The event promotion questioned if this is “The Fastest 10k Swim in The World?”, as the swim times suggest, it certainly could be! The full report from the Outdoor Swimming Society can be found here: https://www.outdoorswimmingsociety.com/hurly-burly-2018-event-report.

James also participated in the Serpentine six mile event the previous weekend, finishing in 2hrs 17mins and winning the event.


A Summer of Open Water Swimming

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...


May 2018

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! 

4 London Region Champs.JPG


24 May 2018

Bray 3km

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.

3 Bray.JPG


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

5 Henley Classic 1.JPG


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.

5 Henley Classic 2.JPG


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!

6 OW Nationals.JPG


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.

Yet Another Successful Training Camp!

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!

Q3 Saturday Sessions

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: 12.00pm-1.30pm Crystal Palace

  • 29th September: 11.00am-12.30pm London Aquatics Centre