Denise’s Last Swim

We say a fond farewell to Denise who is moving away after 10 years swimming with Cally Masters. All the best from all of us and keep swimming!IMG_1879

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Nationals 2015

On the weekend of the 23-25th October, a depleted but dedicated team headed up to Sheffield for the 2015 Masters Nationals. The lengths that some underwent to get out of a few races was extraordinary: Luka Crnjakovic arranged a trip to Spain to avoid the Sheffield weather during October and Rebecca Adam literally broke her leg by throwing herself down a bus stairwell to avoid the 100m Fly.

This meant that Cally team relays were off the agenda and it was all about individual performance. Sara Perry used the 200m Freestyle and 100m Breaststroke on Friday to stave off her impeding illness and get into the swing of it. Sara wasn’t that happy with her 200m Free (2.46.88) but the first race at Nationals is a bit like making pancakes – the first one never works. In saying that, Sara still managed top 10 for both the Freestyle and Breaststroke (1.36.05). Nick Warren only showed up on Saturday (similar to training really so let’s hope the pool police don’t notice) but did ok with only being 1 second off his best pace in both the 100IM (1.09.94) and 100 Free (59.2) and mid-field for the age group, around 15th. The 100 Fly was a different story: although the overall time and place was around par (1.10.35 – 18th), there is clearly a lot of work to do when the first 50m split was 30% faster than the 2nd 50m – #armsfelloff. More training necessary for that chap. Christine Jaeggi had a much sharper 100m Fly with a 1.13.19 and top 5 finish. Very impressive for her first fly race after baby (FFAB).

That left it to Sara to bring it home with the 50m and 200m Breaststroke. And what a performance! The sprint was 43.88 and the 200m 3.23.68. Her 50m was her best of the season and the 200m was only just off this and included a 100m split time that was a second faster than her 100m from the Friday.

An honourable mention needs to go out to Natasha Morgan. She has a close affiliation with Cally Masters and you will see her from time to time, although generally swimming down with Southwark club. Natasha knocked out no less than NINE races over the three days. That is more than half of the entire programme and far more dedicated than pretty much anyone else racing up there. Despite the workload, Natasha hauled in some metal as well: she won the 200 Breaststroke (2.49.07), and came third in both the 100 Breaststroke (1.18.95) and 400IM (5.30.75). I didn’t realise it was legal to continue making people swim 400IM; that’s 5 and half minutes you probably never want to experience again.  She was in the top 10 for all the other races so quantity went hand-in-hand with a lot of quality. Well done and we would love you racing under the Cally Masters’ banner any day.

If anyone is keen to learn a little more about the competition programme at Cally Masters, come and have a chat. We are keen for participation (it is good for club ranking) and Masters comps really are designed for everyone so it’s definitely a case of the-more-the-merrier.


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Padstow to Rock Swim

Four Cally swimmers, Sara, Jo, Helen and Ewan, took part in this swim on the 12th July. Here’s Ewan’s report on it:

On Sunday 12 July, we joined the wetsuited throng on the quay at Padstow, Cornwall for the annual Padstow to Rock Swim in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care.

Padstow and Rock lie on opposite sides of the Camel Estuary in North Cornwall. Once a transatlantic port with boats sailing to Canada, Padstow is now best known as a tourist destination and seat of Rick Stein’s seafood empire.

After the safety briefing (no mention of the estuary’s infamous ‘Doom Bar’) and directions (“keep the big yellow buoys on your left …”) we tiptoed down the slipway to the water. The harbour side crowd gave us a countdown and we were off.

Surviving the starting mêlée, I tried to draft another swimmer. When in open water, do as the open water swimmers do, to garble the song. Too slow! I wove around him and out into the estuary. The sandy riverbed below seemed to be moving at a decent rate. Looking up a few minutes in (“sighting”, in the parlance), there were a reassuring number of red swim-hats around but no-one to draft.

Head down again and the sandy river bottom gradually disappeared from view as the light green water darkened and cooled across the central channel of the estuary. Occasional glances up showed the big yellow marker buoys off to the left.

The riverbed once again came into view and I found myself next to another swimmer. We finished the last few hundred metres level with one another and swam through the shallow water without the competitive sprint that would, of course, have been obligatory between lanes in a pool-based Masters Swim Session.

Wading out of the shallows, we crossed the narrow beach to a victory walk up the packed slipway and out into the carnival atmosphere on the harbourside. It felt like the end of a Tour De France leg with stalls for free hot chocolate, pasties (Rick Stein’s!), tee-shirts, a world away from the little medals you receive from an official at a trestle table at a Masters Swim Gala. Masters Cheerleaders… could it take off?

Four of us set off on the swim and four of us finished. Between us we raised £1748 for Marie Curie, and we’d all like to thank those who very kindly supported us. We were all delighted to have completed it. Roll on 2016!

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Norwegian 10km Swim!

On Saturday 11th July, Hilary took part in a 10km swim from Horton to Moss in Norway. We are extremely proud that she took 3rd place in the women’s category! Well done Hilary! Here’s her report:

It’s the second year they have done an organised swim from Horten to Moss; last year they had 23 people and this year 66.

Only 11 women entered and 7 completed the swim. One of my oldest friends, Janina, won the women’s category  (without a wet suit) and I finished third in a time of 3hours 16min.

The swim kicked off at 7.30am and the water temp was 18c to 19c. The swim itself is a mixture of a 5.5km crossing and a 4.5km coastal swim.

We even made the local paper

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Middlesex County ASA Masters Competition

We took a large contingent of swimmers to this gala and it really paid off with a 2nd place finish overall. Even more impressively, the women’s team secured 1st place! The men’s team finished 3rd overall which gave Cally a very comfortable second place behind Otter Swimming Club. Well done to everyone who competed! Next year we are looking to maintain the women’s fantastic result and get a few more men swimming for us.


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Open water swimming in London

For anyone looking to get into or practise open water swimming, the Stoke Newington West Reservoir centre is a great facility. It’s open for the whole summer on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Have a look on their website (it’s a Better run facility) or look at Capital Tri if you are interested in racing there. Here’s a picture taken on the morning of a race there in May.20150517_093217

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South East Regions Long Course Masters

The weekend of January 31st and February 1st, 2015 saw the first gala of the year with Cally Masters swimmers competing at the South East Regions Long Course Masters in Crawley. Medals included bronze for events in 50m breaststroke and freestyle and Ewan was pleased to win gold as the last man standing (or swimming) in his age band in 400IM.

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Cally Masters at the Nationals!

Congratulations to the five swimmers who headed to the British Gas ASA National Masters and Seniors Championships in Sheffield during the weekend of 24th – 26th October 2014.
The championships, held at Ponds Forge 25m pool, are the biggest short course competition of the Masters calendar; plenty of world, European and British records were set over the three days so the competition is certainly fierce.
Our five swimmers, Rebecca Adam, Luka Crnjakovic, Adam Nicholson, Sara Parry and Nick Warren swam an amazing 22 events between them and they can be proud of some excellent positions and times, racing against many of the top age-group swimmers in the country including 6 gold medallists from the World Championships this year.
A special mention goes to Sara for her bronze medal in the 100m breaststroke!
Adam Nicholson
50m Freestyle 35-39: 35th 28.38
50m Butterfly 35-39: 34th 33.10
Luka Crnjakovic
50m Backstroke 35-39: 8th 31.47
400m Freestyle 35-39: 7th 4:45.16
200m Backstroke 35-39: 4th 2:26.39
100m Backstroke 35-39: 5th 1:06.90
Nick Warren
100m IM 35-39: 20th 1:11.41
100m Freestyle 35-39: 25th 1:00.14
100m Butterfly 35-39: 11th 1:12.51
50m Freestyle 35-39: 26th 27.08
50m Butterfly 35-39: 29th 31.12
50m Breaststroke 35-39: 17th 35.91
Rebecca Adam
100m IM 30-34: 13th 1:17.09
100m Freestyle 30-34: 10th 1:04.19
100m Breaststroke 30-34: 9th 1:23.62
50m Freestyle 30-34: 11th 29.37
50m Butterfly 30-34: 12th 32.81
Sara Perry
200m Breaststroke 55-59: 4th 3:22.84
400m Freestyle 55-59: 6th 5:50.46
100m Breaststroke 55-59: 3rd 1:33.60
50m Freestyle 55-59: 11th 35.05
50m Breaststroke 55-59: 4th 43.14

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Cally Masters swim to silver at Middlesex Masters

Congratulations to Cally Masters at the recent Middlesex County Masters and Senior Age Group competition 2014!!

This is the main team event of the year and Cally Masters are going from strength to strength each year. This year we came home securing SECOND PLACE in the overall Women’s, Men’s and combined team results! AMAZING results everyone!!

There are still a number of event in the calendar this year so don’t forget to register for events – it’s great to have targets to focus on!!

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Cally Masters pick up a haul at the Scottish National Masters Championships

Last weekend four of us (Rebecca Adam, Sara Perry, Adam Nicholson and Luka Crnjakovic) travelled up to a very sunny Aberdeen to represent Cally Masters at the Scottish National Masters Championships.

As well lots of laughs there was also some pretty good swimming.

Well done everyone some fantastic performances. Hope this inspires some others to join us at competitions the more the merrier and it is very relaxed with a lot of laughs.


Rebecca Adam –
50m Butterfly – 4th
100m Freestyle – 2nd
200m Freestyle – 2nd
50m Freestyle -2nd
50m Breaststroke 2nd

Sara Perry –
100m Breaststroke – 1st
200m Freestyle – 1st
200m Breaststroke – 1st
400m Freestyle – 1st
50m Breaststroke – 1st
50m Freestyle – 1st

Adam Nicholson –
50m Butterfly – 5th
100m Freestyle – 4th
100m IM – 5th
50m Breaststroke – 7th
50m Freestyle – 6th

Luka Crnjakovic –
200m Backstroke – 2nd
100m Backstroke – 2nd
400m Freestyle – 2nd
50m Backstroke – 1st

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