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. There was a great mix of experienced and those new to international competitions joining for all or part of the week.
Otter came away with an impressive one gold (ladies 4x50fc relay), one silver (Hayley Davis, 200IM) and two bronze (Lex Higlett, 400fc, and the mixed 4x50fc). Plus there were many top 8 (‘diploma’) finishes for: Dave Adamson (100fly, 50fc, 50fly, 200fly), Pip Bennett (3km OW), Hayley Davis (200bk, 200fly), Enrico Hahn (200br), Lex Higlett (800fc, 200fc, 100fc, 3km OW), Gina Hobson (100fly, 50fc, 100bk, 50fly, 100fc), Maddie Parra (3km OW), Peter Rae (400fc, 5km OW), Olivia Reynolds (200fc), and Emma Shkurka (100br), along with numerous club records broken.
But it wasn’t all about swimming. There was plenty of sampling of the local Slovenian wine (generally rated positively, particularly given how cheap it was!) and food (the Slovenian dumplings and Bled cake being highlights, and some really rated the sausage). Adventures were had, with Otters exploring different bits of the beautiful Slovenian countryside. And then we made the most of being so close to Lake Bled and spent a lot of time pottering around and in it on boats, paddle boards, or just swimming.
All in all a great week. Thanks to everyone who came along and congrats on some strong performances!
Full results, including times, can be found here: http://emc2018.microplustiming.com/swimming/index_web.php
The Open Water part of the competition saw a host of Otters competing, several of whom are actually living in very different parts of the world. This meant there was a great team atmosphere which was the envy of those racing who travelled alone. From an Otter point of view it was such fun splashing about in the beautiful Lake Bled and being able to properly catch up with teammates.
This edition of the championships had two options for racing: a 3km on the Saturday and a 5km on the Sunday. The results show that most people opted for just one or the other while the occasional keeno battled through both. For some of the Otters this was a change from their usual pool racing at the sprint end of the programme, for others it was the whole reason to come to Slovenia.
The course was picturesque to say the least and in fact was part of a rowing lake meaning sighting was straightforward. Under the bright sun, a pleasant change from rain earlier in the week, swimmers set off in their waves at 15 or 20 minute intervals. The start as always was frenetic but the field tended to thin out enough by the first turn buoy at 500m for the proper racing to begin. Some swimmers found groups to work off, others had to go it alone. Lessons were learnt about pacing, recovery and an awareness of the relative positions of other swimmers. In highly competitive fields the Otters has many pleasing finishes.