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ACT Interclub Meet – 4 June 2017

Report by Ian Spencer

Sunday, 4 June 2017 saw the running of the second ACT Interclub Meet for 2017 hosted by Tuggeranong Vikings.  As a new swimmer with Tuggeranong and with only a few weeks swim training completed after a 28 year rest phase, Ian found himself quietly thinking ‘what have I done?’ as he drove towards Lakeside Leisure Centre.  He need not have worried as the happy greetings from other swimmers quickly identified Masters swimmers as a friendly lot with a welcoming attitude.

Invitations for the event were sent far and wide and 46 competitors signed up including 24 Vikings, 15 Water Dragons, 6 Ginninderra Masters and lone entries each from the Novocastrian Novos and Penrith Masters.

Masters Swimmers in warmer climes had clearly read the Canberra weather report and couldn’t find enough jumpers in time for the meet. Well done to the hardier souls who attended.

After a well organised warm up, timekeepers were called for, the starting gun was tested and the first swimmers were away swimming 100m Backstroke.  Anne Smyth, Kylie Lane and Caz Makin showed their Tuggeranong teammates how it was done with some very smooth and fast swimming. Event 2 was the 50m Butterfly and Ian sheepishly wished he had been brave enough to sign up for it … next time!   The 50m Freestyle was next and unsurprisingly was the most popular event.  Nick Grinter posted the fastest time of the day for Tuggeranong closely followed by Paul Quinn, with an impressively quick first attempt at 50m Freestyle by Ian Spencer (sorry Ian … editor’s privilege to add this in!!). Event 4 was 100m Breaststroke with nice swims from Donna Campbell, Richard Phillips, Al Byrne and Ian Hampton.

Being a Masters event and therefore very civilised, tea and cake were served at the midway point and various awards presented for what can only be described as extraordinary feats of endurance swimming during 2016 – well done to all those swimmers who received their endurance towels. Thank you also to those who provided the plates of delicious food for afternoon tea.

The performance enhancing properties of cake and chocolate brownies became obvious in the final events with some fast individual swims and even faster relays.  Ian particularly enjoyed the timekeeping for the 200m events, getting to know other club members who were also helping out and watching some very smooth and effortless looking swimming from many Masters.

After the relays bringing the event to an end, the Tuggeranong Vikings had enough points to win the day, followed by the Water Dragons and Ginninderra. The club point scores were as follows:

Women – Team Scores

Tuggeranong Vikings


Molonglo Water Dragons


Ginninderra Masters


Novocastrian Novos




Men – Team Scores

Molonglo Water Dragons


Tuggeranong Vikings


Ginninderra Masters


Penrith Masters




Combined – Team Scores

Tuggeranong Vikings


Molonglo Water Dragons


Ginninderra Masters


Penrith Masters


Novocastrian Novos




As a new member of the club, Ian found the afternoon especially enjoyable …

Masters swimmers are a social and friendly crew, thank you for welcoming me.  To anyone hesitant to join because they have not swum for a long while, I would certainly encourage you to just join and start.  There is a wide range of abilities and you will be made to feel welcome.  Lessons for me from the day were have a go at butterfly, tighten the googles and eat performance enhancing cake.  Thank you to all the organisers and officials on the day whose efforts made the day such a success“.

Full results are available.

World Masters Games – Auckland – April 2017

Report by Caroline Makin, Club Captain and Anne Smyth, Head Coach

The World Masters Games 2017 took place at the end of April 2017 in Auckland, New Zealand. The World Masters Games takes place ever four years and this year saw 28,000 participants from 106 countries for 10 days of 28 sports at 48 venues with a whopping 21,000 medals awarded.

We should congratulate and acknowledge our small team of swimmers who competed in pool swimming at The Sir Owen G. Glen National Aquatic Centre which is part of the AUT Millenium Stadium Complex, and also in the open water swimming at Takapanu Beach. It was a wonderful event where all competed under the spirit of the Games’ motto “For the love of Sport”.

Some Vikings were fortunate to come away with medals and all had good swims. It was a competitive but relaxed event where you could meet and chat with swimmers from around the world.

The racing was done as separate Female and Male events, and for the 200m, 100m and 50m events the top ten fastest in each age groups swam in the final heats together.  This made for great racing and spectating!

Pam Munday (400 IM – Gold, 200 BU – Silver, 200 BR – Silver, 200 IM – Bronze, 240+ NSW Mixed Medley Relay)

David Bale (S9 Multi-Class Category: 400 FR,  200 FR, 100 FR, 100 BU, 50 BU – Gold)

Caroline Makin (800 FR – Bronze)

Anne Smyth (2.5k Open Water – Silver)

John Collis (100 BR – Silver)

Jeanette Droop, Jill Blomeley, Joan Bratton, Troy Watkins and Ron Watkins all recorded some good swims in very competitive age groups, featuring in many final heats. Jill also competed in Half Marathon!!

They even had Backstroke starting wedges to use, which was very exciting for the Backstrokers! …. Apparently Masters Swimming Australia have just announced that they will not be implementing Backstroke starting wedges within masters swimming, which is rather disappointing as they were great to use!

Outside the pool, Auckland was buzzing with athletes and supporters everywhere … instantly recognisable by their WMG backpacks!

On the 30th of April, the closing ceremony put an end to a 10-day festival of single biggest multi-sport event on earth. At the closing ceremony the tournament flag was passed on from Auckland to Kansai, the venue hosting the next WMG.

The WMG organisers are committed for the next four years to make that event as attractive as ever in 2021. For more information follow the WMG 2021 Kansai Official Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/wmg2021/ and website at http://www.wmg2021.jp/en/.

So that gives us all something to aim for – always good to have a goal!

NSW State Long Course Championships – 8/9 April 2017

Report by Ann Reid

Twenty Vikings (including Kim and Joan from Ginninderra and John and Paul from Molonglo Water Dragons) headed to SOPAC to take on swimmers from 42 other clubs at the 2017 NSW State LC Championships.

With equal numbers of men and women we were able to field 17 relay teams; amazingly with three teams in the 280+ age group. Caz spent a lot of time deliberating over possible team combinations to get the best across the age groups. Our two Women’s Medley teams won gold while several other teams finished in an incredibly close second place in their events.

The relay we all watched was the truly inspiring 360+ Men’s relay team from Warringah (including 87 year old “youngster” and recent Tuggeranong second claimer Max van Gelder) in their National Record swim. Our four 70+ men (Gary, Ron, Paul and Ian) are already planning to break this record in 15 years time – don’t forget to tell us which nursing homes we will be collecting you from fellas! [http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2017-04-09/over-90s-swim-in-masters-break-record/8428692]

Tuggeranong finished in third place from the 43 competing clubs on total points but also scored the highest on average points per swimmer of 24 clubs with 4 or more swimmers competing. We also won the Biddy Hall Memorial trophy for the highest average score per swimmer of the clubs with 10 or more swimmers. Go you Vikings!

Four swimmers won medals in each of their five individual events:  Pam, Katrina, Cecelia and Gary and there were lots of fantastic individual swims, lots of PBs, some great relay swims and lots of team esprit!

A few asides:

Some last minute instructions regarding legal turns when swimming the individual medley earned Richard a gold medal rather than a nasty DQ after his name.

Katrina learned about filming upside down on her iPad.

Ann showed off her new Viking “helmet”. 

At dinner on the Friday evening in Blacktown, Cecelia won some Easter eggs in the raffle!

During the lunch breaks on both days various awards for 2016 were distributed. Anne Smyth was awarded the Ian Davis award: the NSW board selects the winner of this award – someone under the age of 60 years who has contributed to their club and the branch. Congratulations Anne!

Some very bright orange embroidered towels were given to the swimmers who accrued the most BPS points in each age group across NSW Masters Swimming. Our youngsters, Jenna and Kade, were both named age group champions for 2016. Nic Grinter, who has been training with us since taking up employment in the ACT, also won his age group and was also awarded for reaching his three million metres.

There were also a number of certificates for National and Branch records presented.

Full results are available.