Ten swimmers from West Norfolk Swimming Club competed in the Regional Open Water Championships at Whitlingham Great Broad. This event also doubles up as the County Championships for all the Eastern Region member counties, attracting guest swimmers from far and wide. With temperatures a little lower than the previous day’s scorching levels, conditions were ideal for racing.
There were five events on the day; 800m, 1500m, 2000m, 3000m, and 5000m. West Norfolk had a swimmer in every event bar the 5000m. For Abigail Whiting, Jake Hall, Ryan Sykes, Alice Ireland, Rebecca Baxter, Natalie Warnes and Kayleigh Venables, this was their first open water event. In addition, experienced open water swimmers Keely Empson, Joseph Wells, Nathan Wells and Samuel Chandler all gained new personal bests.
Abigail Whiting took top honours for the club in the 800m, finishing first in both Region and County in the 13/14 age group. Abigail has had a stunning season and this result was a well deserved reward for all her hard work in training. In the same event, first timers Rebecca Baxter, Kayleigh Venables, Natalie Warnes and Alice Ireland also competed. Alice put in a very strong performance for such a young swimmer, finishing 3rd in County and 13th in Region in the 11/12 age group. Kayleigh found herself in a very competitive race in the 13/14 age group, with her fierce determination bringing her home in 4th for County and 12th for Region. Team mates Rebecca and Natalie went head to head in the 15/16 yr race with very little to choose between them in the water. Natalie just edged ahead to take 2nd in County and 4th in Region, with Rebacca 3rd and 5th.
In the 3000m, Mens Club Captain, Ryan Sykes and Vice Captain, Samuel Chandler, were involved in a very competitive race. From the start the pair were very evenly matched with no more than a body’s length separating them at any point. They finally demonstrated great team work to cross the line together, gaining joint 1st in County and 4th in Region.
Jake Hall and Nathan Wells were involved in another very tight race in the 13/16 age group. Nathan continued his excellent form shown all season to take 1st in County and 4th in Region. Jake, in his first open water event, finished strongly for 2nd in County and 11th in Region.
The last event was the 1500m featuring Keely Empson and Joseph Wells. Keely had a superb swim and used her wealth of experience to take both County and Regional 1st places in the 17/19 age group. Joseph swam with his trademark determination to finish 3rd in County, 12th in Region in the 12/16 age group.
This excellent set of results reflects the hours of training put in by the swimmers, and the continued support of their families. A full set of results can be seen on West Norfolk’s website.
Authors: Ryan Skyes and Sam Baxter