2010 Event Reports

Bala Swim & Andy Wright on BBC Radio Wales

Dolphins were well represented at Bala over the weekend and members competed in the 1km, 3km, 6 mile and 3 mile events including Kay Gorzko and Eileen Sharman (1km), Andy Sharratt and Kevin Saunders (3km), Michaela Richard & Caroline Lewis (6 mile) and Christian Wade (6 + 3 miles).

Stephen O'Brien won the 6 mile breastroke event, Sarah Beresford completed her first 6 mile swim in a solid time and Jo Norton-Barker significantly improved on her times from the previous year in both the 6 mile and 3 mile swims.

In a strong field, Eve Fellows took 3rd place in the senior 6 mile event and 2nd in the 3 Mile event. Charlotte Dickenson also took 2nd in the junior 3 mile.

Last but not least Joe Coy completed roughly 4 miles butterfly on the Saturday and then returned the next day to complete 3 miles butterfly! Even more amazing considering the choppy conditions.

As organiser of the event Andy Wright had five minutes of fame when he was interviewed for BBC Radio Wales on the Jamie Owen and Louise Elliott show on the 9th July.

Full results will appear on the BLDSA website.

BLDSA Derwent Water

31 July 2010

Surrounded by the spectacular Skiddaw, Catbells and Blencathra mountains near Keswick, Derwent Water is a breathtaking setting for a swim.

This event had only three entrants from the Dolphins this year but with the water at a reasonable 16c and the weather better than at recent swims it was a fine day for open water swimming.

Eve Fellows again had a strong swim and despite suffering from cramp, took first place in the Ladies 5 1/4 mile race.

Christian Wade also completed the 5 1/4 mile swim coming in 4th gent, whilst enjoying a tour through the weeds at the top end of the lake and getting in to a heated debate with his kayaker (his long suffering Dad) about the best route back to the finish line.

Stuart Ainsworth, no doubt spurred on by the sight of a large pike at the start of the 2 mile event, had a great swim to finish 1st veteran (2nd gent overall). (As a result, Stuart will be making an appearance in the fast lane with Russ at training this Friday.)

As ever, full results will be posted on the BLDSA website.

Budworth Championships 2010 Results

The Full Results are now available to view

Dolphins Albert Dock Championships


Warrington Dolphins held their 25th annual open water swimming championships at the Albert Dock. It is one of, if not the longest running sporting event at the Docks.

In the shadow of the three graces on the impressive Liverpool water front, nearly 60 swimmers from around the country took part in 2 mile and 4 mile events through the Dock complex.

Apart from one possible sighting of a 'Mersey Salmon' the water was clean and clear as usual. The water was a little cooler than in previous years but this happily meant the jelly fish population was greatly reduced.

There were some very impressive swims in the 2 mile junior ladies event with Lucy Grainge from Swim Trafford finishing in a blistering 38 min 15s, closely followed by her team mate Heather Lawson with Lucy Gale from Boldmere in 3rd.

Warrington Dolphins Courtney Dean overcame her initial shock of swimming with jelly fish to finish a respectable 6th. She also continued after the 2 mile finish, swimming for 2 hours in the 16c water to qualify for the channel relay team. Michaela kindly stayed in the water after her own swim to keep Courtney company for the final 1/2 hour.

In the senior 2 mile events, Julio Lopez-Navarro from City of Liverpool SC took 1st spot in the gents race in 40m 21s followed by Greg Banham from Chester and Jack Colley from Scarborough SC. In the Ladies event, Emma Couch from Scarborough grabbed 1st in 46m 24s closley followed by Kate Mansfield from Stockport and Erin Thompson from Barrow.

Other Dolphin's swimmers in the 2 mile events were Steve Connor (5th), Tony Fillingham (8th), Stuart Ainsworth (9th), Rob Waters(11th swimming breastroke), Amanda Reid (6th) and Mick Gallagher (14th).

In the gents four mile event Chris Malpass from Chester stormed in to 1st place with a time of 1hr 19m. Clem Jones from Rochdale Aquabears managed to hold on to second place only 1 sec ahead of the veteran champion and 1st Dolphin home, Graham Padgett. Dolphins were also represented in the gents event by Christian Wade (4th), Kevin Saunders (9th) and Andy Sherratt (12th).

In the ladies race the ever impressive Rebecca Lewis from Barrow took 1st in a time of 1hr 23min followed by Jane McCormick with 1st Dolphin lady, Michaela Richard in 3rd. Julie Mainwaring was 1st veteran lady (4th overall) with June Morris(5th) and Sarah Beresford(7th).

As ever, a fine buffet followed in the Blue Bar for the presentation. Thanks to Andy Wright as swim secretary, Alan Pomfret and all other helpers on the day.

Finally, a special word of thanks to the kayakers from the Friends of Allonby who provide vital safety support year on year at the swim.

Dolphins Ladies Victorious at Coniston Relay

17 July 2010

Held on the Saturday before the Senior Coniston swim this is a rare relay event on the BLDSA calendar. Teams of three swim two lengths of Coniston Water covering a total distance of 10.5 miles during the day, with each team member swimming twice.

The water temperature was 'fresh' after recent rain fall but certainly not too cold as a field of thirteen teams started the race around 9am.

The Dolphins were represented by three ladies teams and one mens team this year but due to a last minute illness, Dave Bowker gallantly stepped up and became an honorary lady for the day. He did however decline the offer of a full costume or mankini, prefering to swim in his usual speedos.

Superb swims by Eve Fellows and Charlotte Dickinson ably assisted by Michaela Richard saw the 'Dolphins Youngsters Bar One' take first place overall, beating some strong competition including all male teams from as far away as Exmouth.

All the other Dolphins teams successfully completed the swim and included:

Dolphins Warthogs - Richard Walsh, Christian Wade and Andy Sherratt, who was celebrating his birthday on the day.

Dolphins Petunias -Sarah Beresford, Mandy Reid & June Morris

The Three J's -Jennifer Carter, Jo Norton-Barker and Dave Bowker (as sub for Julie Mainwaring).

The weather could have been worse during the day (see Senior Coniston news) and we were even treated to some spells of sunshine which contributed to an excellent day overall.

Many thanks to all the drivers and safety support crew for Dolphins teams and to our own Andy Wright who organises the event for the BLDSA.

In only its second year, this BLDSA event is set to increase in popularity. Hopefully Dolphins can continue their strong ladies presence and enter more mens teams next year (although the men do need to come up with some decent team names!)

Dolphins Overcome the Elements at Coniston

18 July 2010

At the 9am swim registration the weather was miserable with steady rain and a breeze picking up. It turned out to be the best conditions of the day!

As the scheduled 12 noon start approached, swimmers, crews and spectators stood huddled on a rocky outcrop watching the weather steadily deteriorate and the cool waters of Coniston rise.

Swimmers were growing frustrated by delays as some of the crucial support boats struggled in the increasing wind to get in place for the start.

Already cold and wet they were eventually counted in to the water pleased to be finally underway.

Showing complete disregard for the bad weather, Eve Fellows once again shone. Demonstrating what a talented open water swimmer she is by finishing a close second to the highly experienced Rebecca Lewis from Barrow.

Michaela Richard also had a great swim narrowly missing third place to claim fourth.

Other swimmers happy to complete the 5 1/4 mile swim were Christian Wade, Mark Blewitt and Jo Norton-Barker.

Thankfully the weather did ease a little for the presentation but with a number of seasonsed Coniston swimmers remarking that it had been the worst ever conditions at the swim, it is likely that this year will be a benchmark for conditions at future Coniston swims.

It was still a great swim in a fantastic location and the weather just added an extra dimension, which is what makes open water swimming such a challenge. Certainly a day to be remembered.

Howe Bridge 1500m

A great event with Pam Kay, Tony Fillingham, Andy Sherratt, Barbara Harding, Dave Bowker and Mandy Reid all representing Dolphins.

Barbara, Tony and Mandy were in the 1st wave of 5 of the night - all completing the swim in less than a mintue of each other. Mandy beat her own Marbury time by 10 minutes to come home in 32.12. Tony's time was 31.42 and Barbara 32.17.

Andy (27.18), Pam and Dave (32.32) all took part in the 2nd wave with Pam posting the best Dolphins time of the evening in 26.55.

The water was described as 'lovely and cold' and the event was well supported with Barrow SC alone bringing around 20 competitors plus supporters to make a real night of it.

The evening was rounded off with a presentation in the bar along with the usual raffle and excellent buffet with plenty for everyone - Wigan pasties and pies went down a treat after a hard swim.

Kevin Saunders Loch Oich Swim

Masters Results 2010

More Dolphins Success at Llyn Padarn

24 July 2010

Always a popular event, a number of Dolphins took part in the 2 mile and 4 mile swims organised by Howe Bridge Marlins.

Laura Holland had a superb swim finishing first in the ladies four mile. Conor Dean also swam well to pick up third in the gents four mile race. He might have placed higher if he hadn't taken it easy so he could stay in the water for two hours to qualify for the channel relay.

In the two mile swim the evergreen Graham Padgett was 2nd gent overall (1st veteran).

Full report below from our man Kevin Saunders who completed both the 2 mile and 4 mile swims:

Unusually for Llyn Padarn there was no sun so it was similar to Bala; overcast, rainy, windy, with the water a bit lumpy, especially the last mile & a half of the 4 miles.

At the start of the 2 miles Dave Reason said it was around mid 60's (18 c) but he must have been using
the standard BLDSA dodgy thermometer as it was cooler and by the start of the 4-mile briefing the temperature was 'adjusted' to low 60's. (15 c)

Inclement weather aside although a number of other entrants sensibly retired due to various reasons
such as cold and being sick. All Dolphins who entered the water completed their events.

In the 2-mile myself and Graham Padgett completed the course.
We didn't win the 2-mile team trophy as there were strong teams from Barrow, Scarborough, Howe Bridge Marlins and Arfon (flaming youngsters, no respect for their elders).

After a suitable stocking up on carbohydrates it was back in the water for yours truly for the 4-miles where
I was joined by fellow Dolphins Conor Dean and Laura Holland. Needless to say the last time I saw Connor was when I was approaching the 2 mile turn buoy as he came flying back past me with Laura not far behind (who I nearly collided with). I managed to reach the turn buoy in just over the hour but as I headed back
due to a combination of strong wind (not me the weather) making the water lumpy and the "wheels coming off"
I completed the return journey in 1 hrs 25 mins .

Windermere Championships 2010

4th September 2010

A long season of swimming mostly in pretty awful weather culminated in the BLSDA premier event at Windermere on Saturday with warm temperatures, sunshine and calm conditions.

Despite the Great North Swim cancellation due to toxic blue green algae, Dolphins were undeterred, especially after weeks of training in the dark green waters of Budworth Mere!

In fact the algae was only in isolated pockets around the lake and the BLDSA had deemed that it was safe for the championships to go ahead.

Dolphins were well represented in the 33 strong field which included endurance swimmers from all over the country and one competitor from Malta.

Eve fellows crowned a superb first season as a senior swimmer completing her first attempt at the 10.5 mile course in an impressive 4 hours 39 minutes taking 3rd place.

Even more impressive is that she had completed all her previous events during the season without any feeding during the swims. Although she has been so fast she did not actually spend that much time in the water.

Michaela Richard seemingly getting faster each year, ignored the pain in her shoulder to complete the course in 4 hours 57 minutes (4th lady). Great swim Michaela.

Christian Wade swimming for Cancer Research UK finished in 5 hours 45 minutes followed home by Jo Norton Barker and Caroline Lewis in 6 hours 27 mins and 6 hours 43 mins respectively.

Jo has been consistently improving on her times all season and she took an incredible 1 hour 25 minutes off her time for the previous year.

As if the swim is not challenging enough, Joe 'the fly' Coy attempted to swim the whole distance butterfly but had to retire around the half way stage. A great feat of endurance all the same.

There are rumours that Joe will be attempting all events next year whilst towing a large boat with his teeth.

A short Video from the BBC of the start can be viewed here, Michaela (yellow hat), Joe Coy (fly), Eve (blue Hat), Caroline (pale blue), & Jo-Norton(black),& Christian (blue ) can all be seen at the start.