Cally Secure 2nd Place at the Middlesex Masters

Cally Masters were out in force at the Middlesex Masters Swimming Gala held at Barnet Copthall Pool last weekend.

Everyone swam well and Cally Masters achieved a well-deserved overall second place. Cally excelled in the relays in which all members of the team took part. These were a fun but gruelling set of 24 different events, all completed in less than an hour!

Cally’s Swimmer of the meet was Cath in the 65-69 years age group, who struck gold in all 6 of the individual events, scoring a maximum 36 points for the club. Cath’s 50 metres butterfly was an outstanding swim. In the men’s competition, Gary (26 points) and Richard (25 points) were Cally’s top swimmers. Both men swam in the 60-64 years age group and the competition between the two was greater than with the rest of the field in the freestyle events. Richard triumphed in the longer 200 metres and Gary in the sprint 50 metres. A special mention goes to Ingrid and Bethan who were competing in their first gala for Cally Masters. Bethan won gold in the 50 metres freestyle and 50 metres butterfly in her age group (30-34 years).middlesex1

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Cally Masters are Middlesex Champions!

Middlesex 2017

The Middlesex Masters Competition is the annual gala open to all masters clubs in the region. This year it was held at Barnet Copthall on Saturday 29th July.

A team of 19 swimmers represented Cally Masters. Swimmers competed in age-group events of 50m freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly as well as 200m freestyle and 100m individual medley. There are also a variety of relays to take part in.

Swimmers gain points for each top 6 place in their age group and so every swimmer earns points for the team. There are also lots of points on offer for relays.
Cally had won the women’s competition for the last two years and this year we maintained this proud record. Well done to the women!

Our men’s team improved our standing from the last couple of years and came in second to a large, strong team from Out to Swim.

This improvement meant that we took first place overall and are the Middlesex champions!

Congratulations to all that swam (and those that couldn’t make it but have pushed us all at training)!

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The Big Welsh Swim

Here is Sally’s write-up of a great weekend…

If you noticed that the Saturday morning session was quiet last weekend it was because it seemed like half of Cally Masters had decamped to Wales to take part in The Big Welsh Swim. Seventeen swimmers from the Cally travelled to deep dark Wales to take part in the open water event in Lyn Padern (a lake!). It really was a perfect event with something for everyone – distances that attracted a variety of swimmers from the club – distances available ranged from 1.5k up to 9k,  and you could swim in a wetsuit or ‘skins’. 

Ominously the week started out with a rather alarming email from the organisers saying that Saturday was going to be WINDY – who then outlined many ways you could downgrade the distance you’d decided to swim ‘if you felt like you wanted to’. Not very auspicious.

However the gales forecasted only lasted on Friday, and by Saturday morning, at the start of the event, the skies were blue, the lake was calm and looked – dare we think it – inviting! 

 Lyn Padern is 3k long, and a little tourist  train runs the length of it. So the swims were one-way, two-way or three-way depending on what you’d elected to swim. We all met before hand at registration for morale-building/nerve-calming/team-photos. Jo C turned up just in the nick of time as registration was closing, and Dylan had to walk for an hour down from his hilltop campsite to get there – talk about a good warm up! It was great seeing everyone at the start. 

We had entries in every category of race except the 1.5k: 

Nick, Amy, and Jo swam the 3k (also swam by a Parliament Hill lido friend of Dylan and Cath’s – Janet – who we adopted for the weekend). 

Sally, Hilary, Jon K and Paula swam the 6k, 

Sage, Katie C, Laura, Lorenzo, Nils, Luka, Gary, Steve and Dylan showing their mettle in the 9k. 

With the training for this being ‘sketchy’ from various quarters, and with some people carrying injuries, everyone was delighted to have finished their races. 

Amazing results from everyone for finishing – especially Dylan in the non wetsuit category  (although Dylan is in the middle of his Channel training so probably saw a mere 9k swim as a taper). In the 9k there was yet another clean sweep 1-2-3 for our great competitive Cally men and also a 1 and 3 placing for Cally women showed us as a strong team. Amy deserves a special mention for coming overall 1 in the 3k – ahead of any of the women and the men. We were in the top three for at least one category for all distances!

This event really does have something for everyone – a variety of distances, not too cold water (17.5C), amazing scenery, a little train ride (!) and good organisation. Llanberis is a sweet little town that very nearly coped with an invasion of hungry swimmers as well as a whole swathe of runners who were setting off the following day for the Snowdon marathon!

If you need any more persuading to come and take part in an event like this then here are a couple of pictures of the Saturday evening meal and the Snowden hike led by Gary on the Sunday morning.

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Capital Tri Races at the West Reservoir

As has now become usual, a team of Cally swimmers headed to the Stoke Newington West Reservoir for the ‘Splash’ races run by Capital Tri.

There are races of 750m, 1500m and 3km.

Ingrid swam for Cally for the first time and came in in a great 5th place (beating all men doing the same distance).

Sara, Mari, Jo and Amy P all swam the 1500m and posted very handy times; Amy came in second and earned our first medal of the day.

Katie C took home the second medal and just sneaked a gold – winning her 3km by a narrow 10 minutes. Hilary and Clare C were just outside the medal places, finishing just 3 seconds apart from each other.

Luka, Csaba and Nils swam the men’s 3km and filled up all 3 podium places with a very satisfying Cally 1,2,3!

If you haven’t raced there yet, hopefully this might inspire a few more of our swimmers to join us next time.

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Barnet Copthall Masters Distance Meet

Several of our swimmers swam at Barnet Copthall on the weekend of the 8th and 9th of July.

It was a distance meet which gave Richard, Sue and Lorenzo the chance to race 800m freestyle. Lorenzo and Luka also took on the 400m freestyle.

The full team of Sara, Luka, Sue, Dee, Richard and Lorenzo (as well as Natasha who competes for us) also raced several 100m and 200m swims.

Lorenzo especially hit some really fast times (which won’t be a surprise if you’ve seen him training!):

200m freestyle : 2.08.56
400m freestyle: 4.32.57
800m freestyle: 9.22.77

Well done to all that raced!


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Jubilee River Swim

A group of nine Cally swimmers headed out to Berkshire for the 10km Jubilee River swim on the 11th June 2017. The swim has been running for a few years and is a chance to swim down a lovely stretch of a river constructed as a flood relief channel for the Thames. There are three weirs along the course where swimmers have to exit the river and run a short distance (as well as get a chance to refuel at the feeding stations) before continuing the swim.
It was a glorious day both in terms of the weather and in the results for Cally Masters.
Lorenzo powered away from the rest of the field and won the event in a stunning time of just over 2 hours. None of the things sent to test him (almost swimming down the first weir, not being able to find his energy drink at a feeding station, not being recognised by somebody who swims next to him at least a couple of times a week) put him off his stride and it was a well-deserved victory!
Nils and Luka made up the next two places of the male swimmers for a Cally 1,2,3!
On top of this, Sara and Rebecca  were half of the first placed female relay team (along with ex-Cally swimmer Camilla and her sister), Laura C finished as 7th placed female swimmer, Gary B and Katy G finished close together in the top 100 and Dylan H did the whole thing without a wetsuit (and with a relay swimmer attached to his feet for one of the legs).
We’re pretty proud of the results and hope that we can send a contingent next year to keep it u


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Cally Swimathon

Here is Laura’s write-up of the event. Thanks for organising it Laura!

On Sunday 9th April Team Cally Masters 1 and 2 descended on the pool for a Swimathon organised for Marie Curie. No, I did not come up with the names, I obviously would have named us Team Sparkle Pants and Team Bubble Masters.

It didn’t start off too well: Lorenzo confessed to only having been awake for an hour (and there was some suspicion of a hangover) and Bronwyn went to the wrong pool.

Luckily Sue was on time, changed and ready to swim, Bronwyn found the right pool and Lorenzo pulled a speedy swim out of the bag. Abigail even brought her daughter (hello mini Abigail!!), and Csaba had a ball of a time overtaking everyone and decidedly not wearing the bright pink cap I chose as our team colour (sparkle pants!) Sue was so dedicated that it was difficult to make her stop by the end and she swam two extra lengths.

All in all, it was a really lovely way to spend an afternoon. Thanks to all who turned up to swim for such a good cause, and hopefully see you all there again next year!

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Cally Christmas Party

Thanks so much to Gee for organising our party! It was a lovely night and is always a highlight of the year: great company, delicious food and Christmas hats. Hope that others enjoyed it as much as I did!

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Bournemouth Pier to Pier


Luka Crnjakovic, Nick Warren and David Blakemore headed down to Bournemouth on the 7th of August for the postponed race after wind and large swells made the June date impossible. Unfortunately, the intended 8 strong team had in the meantime been whittled down with two swimmers heading to Lithuania (it’s very nice to have alternative options), heatstroke and sickness affecting a couple (who said England doesn’t have a summer), work commitments another, and a Leeds v QPR match taking priority over the revised swim date (??).

Notwithstanding our diminished team presence, Luka managed to carve out the 1.4 miles faster than anyone else in the 10.00am wave. Quite possibly he now has his picture in the local newspaper… Nick maintained a lower celebrity profile with a top 10 finish (we think – as this isn’t actually a race we aren’t sure about times or exact ‘places’ other than 1st). Nick credits his fine performance to finally learning how to get his ancient wetsuit on correctly. Luka is now enthused about the possibility of ‘defending’ his title so plenty of training time for others to join in next year.

David Blakemore also undertook a commendable swim in the 12.00 pm start. The later start definitely had a larger and more difficult swell but David battled through this very well.

Well done guys!

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Cally Masters ventures to Cornwall

On Sunday 31st July, 10 Cally Masters members participated in the Padstow to Rock swim in Cornwall in aid of Marie Curie. Set among the beautiful beaches along the Camel Estuary, over 500 swimmers took part in the mile crossing.

For many participants, the swim was a personal challenge to cross the Camel Estuary from Padstow to Rock, but for many of our Cally Crew, it was simply an opportunity to visit this beautiful area, raise money for a good cause and swim in a new idyllic spot.

Despite the lack of timing chips, there was still an opportunity for some of our more competitive swimmers to shine, with an initial elite race allowing our speedy Cally crew to race to the other side. Well done to Luka who came in third with Nick and Lucas shortly behind him in the top 10. It was a little tricky to spot and time people – Sara, Jo, Julia, Clare, Gee and Ewan were clearly too fast to check in!

After a fabulous swim, all participants were awarded with certificates, t-shirts, bags and, most importantly a traditional Cornish pasty! It was a fabulous long weekend of swimming, coastal walking, camping and pubs and we would all definitely recommend it.

Please do visit the Just Giving page if you would like to sponsor us in aid of Marie Curie.P to R 2016

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