Cracker of a gala at Sidmouth
Sidmouth Pool hosted the annual Christmas Cracker competition, which is organised by East Devon Swim Squad and has Exmouth, Honiton and Sidmouth Swimming Clubs competing against each other. In recent years a cup for the winning team has been donated by the Bradnam family in memory of Peter Bradnam who was a coach for East Devon Swim Squad and Sidmouth, writes John Beglin.
The 100m races in all four strokes and an Individual Medley across all the age groups from U9 through to the open (17+) were fiercely competitive and held in front of a record crowd for the venue.
For some of the younger swimmers it was a first opportunity to experience the atmosphere of a gala and all swam with great credit in their events. Across all the age groups, Sidmouth recorded over 90 per cent personal best times on the night which was a great achievement and reward for the effort put into their training by the swimmers, who maintained their good strokes technique throughout the evening. With such a large number of exceptional performances, it is difficult to single out any one individual from what was an excellent team effort.
The gala went on late into the night and those who stayed until the end witnessed the highlight of the night the ‘skins’, a knock-out event contested by the fastest five male and female swimmers on the night. Sidmouth swimmers who contested the skins were Ed Bugler, Ed Rafipay, Jess Jenkins and Julia Walkden. Julia was just touched out in the final of the female skins with Ed Rafipay winning the male skins to the biggest cheer of the night.
The event ended with Sid Vale Sharks (789 points) being declared winners and retaining the trophy by a clear cut margin from Exmouth (580 points) and Honiton (189 points).
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Special thanks to all the pool staff for enabling so many parents to come in and watch, which created a brilliant atmosphere, and for the LED for supplying some cracking prizes for the raffle. The many parent helpers, ably co-ordinated by Jane Easton (Exmouth), made the evening run smoothly. We couldn’t do it without you!
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