Vikings lap it up at the Great Barrier Reef Masters Games 2023

Report by Caz Makin, Publicity Officer

The Great Barrier Reef Masters Games are held every two years in Cairns. The sixth edition took place from 25-27 May 2023, with the swimming event being run by Masters Swimming Queensland at the Tobruk Memorial Pool over three days, attracting 162 participants from 45 clubs around the country. 

Donna, Caz & Kris at the Tobruk Memorial Pool

Three Vikings: Donna Campbell, Caz Makin, and Kris Kennedy headed to beautiful North Queensland to participate.

One additional Viking, Ron Watkins, who lives locally in Cairns also participated.

The medals on offer were slightly different from the usual format, being made from carved wood rather than metal. The Viking warriors brought a fair amount of wooden bling back to Canberra with them!

Participation was sadly a lot lower numbers than in 2021, which meant some very fast turnarounds between swims with little recovery time!

Donna Campbell enjoyed the GBRMG for the second time, claiming it was “a beautiful pool, beautiful weather, and beautiful Cairns“. Donna was happy with her two gold and two silver placings after a disrupted training schedule in the lead-up.

Kris Kennedy “had a great time at the Games both in and out of the pool” and the highlight for Kris was her gold placings in the four Backstroke events: 50m, 100m, 200m, and 400m, and a bronze in the 200m Individual Medley.

Donna and Kris were excited and chuffed to have met Leisel Jones as well as Arianna Titmus and coach Dean Boxall whilst at the event. Donna and Kris stayed on in Cairns for a couple of days to do some tourist activities including a boat trip out to the reef.

Kris and Donna with Arianne Titmus
Donna and Kris with swimming legend, Leisel Jones

Caz Makin was also a second-time participant at the Games, and had “lots of fun at the pool hanging out with NSW and QLD swimming friends“.

Caz scored four gold and three silver placings plus she broke Games Records in the 100m, 200m, and 400m Freestyle.

Caz also swam with a team of NSW Ladies in the 4x50m Freestyle who placed first and a 4x50m Mixed Medley relay with Qld swimmers, also placing first.

NSW Ladies Freestyle Relay Team: Megan, Caz, Bel & Lauren
Caz with River City swimmers

Dinner location in Port Douglas!

Caz had lots of social time with Brisbane swimming pals, which even included a trip to Port Douglas for dinner to enjoy amazing food at the beautiful Harrisons Restaurant at the Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort.

Ron Watkins, who swims magnificently in the 80-85 age group and lives in Cairns, swam in four individual events: 50m and 100m Freestyle, 50m Butterfly, and 50m Backstroke securing four gold placings. Ron also caught up with his son Troy who swims for Woden Masters in Canberra and was also participating in a number of pool events.

Read the full report from Masters Swimming Queensland.

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Vikings Go Hard at National Championships 18-22 April 2023

Let’s Go Vikings, Let’s Go!!

Report by Kylie Lane, Club Captain

It was a relatively small team of Vikings that ventured to the Apple Isle, where the 2023 National Championships were held at the Doone Kennedy Aquatic Centre, Hobart 18-22 April 2023.

Tuggeranong Viking 2023 Nationals Team

Tuggeranong Vikings were represented by a team of ten eager swimmers consisting of Katrina
Burgess, Lesley De Lorenzo, Bex Dunn, Andreas Faulkenau, Kurt Gruber, Kylie Lane, Caz Makin, Elizabeth Merenda, Ann Reid and Anne Smyth.

The atmosphere at the pool was electrifying with enthusiastic chants and cheers from the Perth Superfins lifting other team’s spirits in supporting their fellow teammates.

Our Vikings swimmers swam well with PB swims and club records being broken, and overall, the club finished in 16th position from a strong field of 76 clubs… an amazing effort from everyone.

Elizabeth Merenda and her support crew

Elizabeth bagged a swag of 11 Gold medals and was ranked as the third-highest female swimmer of the meet based on FINA points.

Medals also went to: Kylie 2 silver, 1 bronze; Andreas 1 silver, 2 bronze; Anne 2 bronze; Bex  1 bronze; Katrina 1 bronze. 

Ann and Bex ready to take off in the 400m Individual Medley

The 400m Individual Medley event is not for the faint-hearted as it is regarded to be one of the hardest events in swimming because of its combination of every stroke, the endurance fitness required, and the perfect race strategy needed. Six Viking swimmers took part in this grueling event with Bex Dnn recording a massive 31-second PB. 

Many club records were broken, some swimmers shaving hundredths of seconds!

One highlight was Andreas’s 100m Butterfly which saw an almost second improvement since MSNSW State Championships only a couple of weeks before Nationals.

Club record tallies were: Katrina 6; Andreas 4; Caz 2; Anne 1; Kurt 1; plus our Women’s 200+ Medley Relay: Elizabeth, Katrina, Kylie, Caz

As always, a big thank you to Pete for volunteering his time at the medal table and Ann for
her official duties.

Congratulations and thanks to all the officials and volunteers for assisting in running a seamlessly smooth National Championships.

It was fantastic to catch up with other like-minded swimmers from all around Australia with many new friendships formed and existing friendships strengthened. 

Until next time …. MSA National Championships 2024 will be held in Darwin, Northern Territory. Watch this space Vikings … let’s do it!!

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Valiant Vikings at MSNSW State LC Championships | 1-2 April 2023

Report by Kylie Lane, Club Captain

A tribe of 23 Viking swimmers dove right into the action at this year’s MSNSW State Long Course Championships held at the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre, Sydney on 1-2 April 2023.

The incredible team swam their hearts out. Some of our swimmers were competing at States for the first time, some returning from injury or a hiatus from swimming. We saw all swimmers competing strongly in their respective age groups, and our club walked away with pride finishing 4th overall, and 3rd from 42 clubs for the highest average point score per swimmer.

Vikings Team

Many medals were won and PBs achieved. A total of 19 individual club records and two relay records were broken, with the individual tally as follows:

4: James, Liz N
3: Katrina, Andreas
2: Brian
1: Georgia, Cecelia, Brenda

With 14 Vikings relay teams racing, like always, these were fun to swim and watch. The highlight of our relays goes to our Women’s 240+ Medley Relay team of Leisa, Kristine, Anne, and Ann with a nail-biting finish, supporters jumping up and down, cheering Ann on to claw back the lead from Oak Flats, only to finish within millimeters of claiming gold, but unfortunately, having to settle for silver. This demonstrated, our teams never give up!

Other special mentions are:

Female Swimmer of the Meet, Elizabeth

Elizabeth – who was awarded Female Swimmer of the Meet for the highest Fina points across five individual events.

Lucy, Adam, Georgia, and Kristi – who attended their first State Championships in Sydney.

Brenda and Katrina – who returned again to racing post-recent injury.

Donna – who organised the team accommodation.

A special thank you to Pete Sharman for volunteering his time over the weekend at the medal table and as always, doing a great job handing out medals under pressure!

Check out the full meet results.

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