Congratulations to Brandon High, a Cally Masters swimmer, who took part in the Swim Serpentine Festival in Hyde Park last weekend. Brandon, who is disabled, swam a mile loop of the Serpentine in just over an hour.
Brandon was swimming to raise funds for Pimlico Penguins, a swimming club for people with physical and learning disabilities in Westminster. The club is run by volunteers and is dependent on donations for things like bespoke swimming aids and accessible transport to the pool.
So far Brandon and a fellow swimmer have raised 90% of their £1500 target. If you have not donated already, you can do so here.
During the summer months, many Cally Masters took part in the Fix Splash Open Water Challenges hosted by Capital Tri at the West Reservoir, Stoke Newington. This reservoir is the outdoor swimming venue of choice for London’s “hardcore athletes” to quote the Evening Standard.
Sunday 29th September was the final event of the season. It was a dark, drizzly and windy day, with a water temperature of just 15 degrees. Not surprisingly, there were fewer Cally swimmers than at the previous events. But four intrepid Cally swimmers did line up for the 7.30am start. And they made sure that it was worth it!
All four Cally swimmers opted for the longer 3K event. Katie Curd was the fastest female swimmer and the fastest overall swimmer with an astonishing time of 40:11.
Closely following was Laura Coulier, who was 3rd female swimmer with a time of 46:09. Not far behind were Steve Lorimer, 9th male swimmer with a time of 49:52, and Bethan Cash, 8th female swimmer with a time of 52:31
The Lake Zurich Marathon Swim is held annually and is run by the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team. Solo and relay teams start in the morning from Rapperswil towards the south end of the lake and swim all the way up to Zurich at the north end. It is a distance of 26km and swimmers take up to 12 hours to complete the distance.
It is a beautiful swim in lovely clean water and spectacular surroundings. We would massively recommend it to other Cally swimmers!
This year, on August 4th, Cally took two teams of three swimmers to the event. The swimmers were Alex, Csaba and Luka (Cally Masters) in one team, and Katie, Lorenzo and Nils (Team Cally) in the other.
Cally Masters finished in third place, shortly behind the second place team. Team Cally finished first and broke the wetsuit relay team record for the course. Great swimming team: congratulations!
Members of Cally Masters have taken part in several open water events recently. There was a strong turn-out at the Capital Tri West Reservoir event in May and there were several podium places. As we’ve said before, this is the perfect (and local) event for those new or getting into open water swimming.
Four of our swimmers went to the Jubilee Swim which is a 10k swim down the Jubilee River. There were over 400 finishers. Sally was our only non-wetsuit swimmer; Beth, Gary, Laura and Nils were our other swimmers, all finishing with very respectable times and places: Gary was second in his category, Laura was third in hers and Nils took first place overall. Well done to all!
There were also very impressive results at the Swim Solstice event in a sailing lake in Ripley, Surrey. This is a three hour event where solo swimmers or teams of two or three complete as many laps as possible in the time. Laura and a friend were the first in the two person teams, ahead of a team of Clare (who recently left us but who we still claim as a Cally swimmer) and her friend in second place. Alex, Csaba and Nils were the first-placed of the three swimmer teams, ahead of Ewan, Jo and Chris who were runners-up.
It was swim, swim, swim and win, win, win for Cally Masters at the Middlesex County Masters Swimming Championships at the weekend! Cally smashed the opposition to win the overall competition scoring a whopping 466 points. In second place Out To Swim, London’s LGBT aquatic club, managed 305 points, and third placed Barnet, 295.
The women also won the trophy for the top women’s team. Every Cally swimmer left the Barnet Copthall pool where the event took place clutching medals.
Special mention goes to Paul Botham who proved that age is no barrier when it comes to improved performance. Swimming in the 70+ age group, he recorded his best breaststroke time for over 5 years. Rebecca Adam (38) recorded the third best time of all women in all age groups in the prestigious 50m freestyle. Despite a major goggle malfunction, Sara Perry achieved a decisive victory in the 60+ age group.
Perhaps the real stars were Rebecca and Sara who produced a masterplan for the relays ensuring the every swimmer was used to best advantage. With not a single disqualification in the relays this year, they proved to be Cally’s greatest weapon. Well done everybody!
Cally Masters’ Lorenzo was in outstanding form at the National Masters Swimming Competition in Sheffield last weekend. Swimming in the 30-34 years age group, he began this 3 day competition by winning silver in the 1500 metres freestyle, the longest event in the pool and a gruelling 60 lengths. His time was a personal best by 3 seconds. To put it into context, it’s around 1 minute 10 seconds per one hundred metres.
Lorenzo then went on to win another silver medal in the 800 metres freestyle (another 32 lengths) and smashed his PB by 8 seconds! He came 4th in the 400 metres freestyle (a mere 16 lengths) but with another 3 second PB.
Lorenzo was delighted with his achievement, particularly as he has been struggling with an elbow injury over the past couple of months.
A small group of Cally swimmers attended this meet on 23rd September and came away with an impressive haul of medals. It would be great to get more swimmers there next year as it is only a short way up the road and is always so well organised. By next year, the event should take place in the brand new pool currently under construction. So make a note in your diary now for next September!
Gold 50 fly
Silver 100 IM
Bronze 50 breast
Bronze 50 free
David (who competed in an impressive 8 events):
Silver 50 back
Gold 50 fly
Silver 100 free
Silver 100 breast
Silver 100 free
Bronze 100 breast
Bronze 100 IM
Also congratulations to Valeria who swam in her first Masters Meet for Cally in an excellent time!
Sara also discovered that there are certain benefits from reaching a certain age…
Five Cally swimmers headed to Lago d’Orta in the Piedmont region of Northern Italy. Lago d’Orta is a stunningly picturesque lake with its own island town near the centre.
The race is a 27km swim up one side of the lake and then back down the other. 23 solo swimmers entered the event along with ten relay teams all (apart from one) made up of three swimmers. There was a mix of those in wetsuits and those swimming skins.
The rules for the relay teams meant that each swimmer would swim for an hour and then the next would take over. The team members not swimming would stay on the boat next to the swimmer and get a chance to rest and refuel.
The solo swimmers started first on Saturday morning , each accompanied by kayakers to guide them and look after their nutrition. The relay teams headed off shortly after.
The two Cally teams led out from the start and had gained a healthy lead by the first change-over after an hour. The two-man team then started to forge ahead and by the half-way mark both Cally teams were well-out in front of the rest of the field.
Towards the end of the race all members of the relay teams were able to swim the final part together and so Lorenzo and Nils swam in together for a first place finish in a time of a little over 6 hours. Csaba, Alex and Luka joined them around 30 minutes later, followed by the first solo swimmer around another half-an-hour after them.
It was an amazing race to take part in and the organisers were delighted to have two teams coming over from London and made up of five different nationalities.
We’d highly recommend it to other swimmers looking for a long-distance relay or challenging solo swim!
Callymasters win again – this time at a 10K open water swim in the Jubilee River. The event has over 450 entrants and marks the beginning of the season. By the time the race started, the river was drenched in sunshine and looked stunning as it meanders through the Berkshire countryside. The water was almost bath temperature at 17.5 degrees C – the warmest it been in the 7 years of the event.
It was a one-two again this year for Cally: Lorenzo won the event with Nils second, both beating their times from 2017 and coming in under 2 hours. Laura took a huge chunk off her previous time and just missed out on the podium for the women in a time of 2 hours 12 minutes. Gary took over 16mins off his PB to complete the 10K in under 2.30min. Sara, Rebecca and Helen all overcame pre-start concerns and nerves and had terrific swims to complete the course in excellent times.