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Australia Day 2019 – Vikings Oz Day Lake Swim

Report by Web Editor, Al Byrne.

In what has become something of an Australia Day holiday tradition for the Vikings, a keen group of swimmers and families of swimmers again made their way to the shores of Yarralumla Bay, Lake Burley Griffin, on Monday 28 January 2019 for an afternoon swim followed by a picnic at the beach.

While we didn’t initially get to enjoy quite the sunshine that we’ve seen in previous years, it didn’t faze the fifteen or so swimmers (including our one four-legged swimmer – Rosie – Nicolee’s excitable Schnauzer).

This year, our safety-conscious prez, Greg Gourley, even decided to forgo the swim himself, and made the lap of Spinnaker Island by kayak, acting as our safety boat. Whether he liked it or not, he was ‘assisted’ at random intervals by Rosie!

In an innovation aiming to assist the navigationally challenged among us (ie: those of us that can’t swim in a straight line – your correspondent definitely included!), Anne even dragged her fluorescent orange safety float behind her for the whole swim. Thank you Anne!

As always, great company and a picnic accompanied by a glass or two of holiday cheer, made for a wonderful relaxed afternoon.

Annual Awards Night & Xmas Party – Sat 01 Dec 18

Report by Editor, Al Byrne, including photos by David Bale.

In a change from the ‘barefoot bowls’ we’ve enjoyed for the last couple of years, Social Secretary Donna Campbell booked our club’s annual Christmas function at Capital Brewing, Fyshwick.

This place has it all – it’s a shed located around the corner from the sewerage farm, with burgers and beer. What more do you need?

Seriously – a good choice Donna! Thirty plus Vikings and friends/family of Vikings had a great night.

In addition to presentations of the formal perpetual club awards listed below, a number of, ahhh, ‘novelty’ awards were also dished out to some unsuspecting recipients. To save some embarrassment, no names listed for those ones, so you’ll need to ask!!

More photos, including award winners, are up on our Instagram page.

Gill and David Buckley Encouragement Award 2018
Pauline Rohan

Tuggeranong Masters Swimming Encouragement Award 2018
Kris Kennedy

Tuggeranong AUSSI Masters Most Improved Swimmer 2018
Kylie Lane

Postal Swimmer Of The Year 2018
Richard PhillipsKylie Lane

Endurance Performance of the Year 2018
Brenda Day

Iron Person of the Year 2018
Katrina Burgess

Judy Gallagher Memorial Trophy for Swimmer of the Year 2018
Caroline Makin

Club Person of the Year 2018 (President’s Choice)
Donna Campbell

MSNSW Relay Meet – SOPAC – Sun 15 Jul 18

The weekend of 14-15 July saw a troop of Vikings make the trip north from Canberra to Sydney for the Masters Swimming NSW (MSNSW) relay meet, held in Short Course format at the iconic Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre (SOPAC) on Sunday 15 July 2018.

In the absence of a few of our more seasoned competitors, the Vikings team (with some supplementation from our friends at Molonglo) consisted of six women (Anne Smyth, Ann Reid, Jeanette Droop, Kris Kennedy, Annette Britten and Helen Morris) and seven men (Al Byrne, Nick Thorne, Jon Collis, Gary Stutsel, Richard Phillips, Tom Boyce and Kim Beamish).

Naturally, we had to make a social event of the weekend, with most of the team spending the night at the Travelodge motel adjacent to the Workers Sports Club in Blacktown, thanks to co-ordination efforts of our absent President, Greg Gourley. A couple of our ladies were lucky enough to be invited to stay with a Viking recently moved to Sydney, so they didn’t join us, but – after a scenic drive up the coast – they apparently arrived at their destination a bit earlier than expected, thus there was no-one home to let them into the house. Readers are invited to ask Annette or Jeanette exactly how they got in!

Besides bumping into a famous cricketer in the club, and ordering way too much dinner, the rest of us enjoyed an uneventful stay until the following morning when one learned the hard way that the club’s underground car park is locked until 10:00AM! Bugger! Once the escape was achieved, everyone made it to the venue with time to spare.

As seems to be the case every year at this particular event, the atmosphere and the buzz of the big crowd of enthusiastic swimmers and supporters made for a great day in and out of the pool. With only one exception, every Viking swam their maximum allowable number of events, and, as well as actually winning a few heats (see full event results here), almost everyone bettered their Personal Bests or seed times – some by a significant margin!

It was particularly impressive to watch one of our more senior breaststrokers put in a great effort to overtake the competition, taking the lead in his heat at the very last second!

Notably, during the presentations, Jon Collis was kind enough to accept a certificate on behalf of fellow Molonglo Water Dragon Geoff Llewellyn, who had, during National Titles at Perth earlier this year, set a new age record for 800 metres, as well as collecting several other medals. Well done Geoff!

Despite most of us only swimming a total of about 500 metres of actual competition for the day, a great day was had. For those that haven’t been inclined to have a go at a Masters competition meet, this one is the one to try – the atmosphere generated by a couple of hundred enthusiastic swimmers actually makes the frantic pace of the day and the organised mayhem of the marshalling area exciting! This event really does put the ‘fun’ into the Masters Swimming motto of ‘Fitness, friendship and fun’.

And, finally, a very sincere thank you to a couple of partners-of-Vikings, who, besides supporting their own partners, gave excellent support to the team as a whole and to the meet. Genuine thanks to Paul Kennedy for his photography efforts, and to Peter Sharman for spending almost the whole day timekeeping down on the pool deck! Your efforts are very much appreciated.