2011 Events

Albert Dock Championsips

Reports from the Swim Secretary David Bowker and our own Stuart Hall, Andy Sherratt

Barrow SC 1500m Event

A number of Dolphins made the long trip to Barrow for this new 1500m event organised by Barrow SC. They were joined by swimmers from Barrow as well as Howe Bridge Marlins and Rochdale Aquabears.

Michaela, showed some great pre-season form with a time of 22 minutes which was good enough to place her second in the competition.

Despite not being seen at training recently Andy Sherratt managed to improve on his time from Howe Bridge November 2010 with 27:08.

Julie Trevor was third fastest Dolphin of the evening with 28:28 followed by Tony Fillingham, taking over 2 minutes off his Howe Bridge time with 29:47 and Mandy Reid couldn't quite match her time of last week finishing in 33:37.

Budworth Mere Championships 2011

SATURDAY 28th MAY 2011

Budworth Mere end of season Handicap Chase Results

Congratulations to Kay who won the 1 Mile’ish (1760 meters) Handicap chase on the final Tuesday outdoor swimming session at Budworth.
This session has been well attended by 37 members over a period of 21 weeks..

Thank you to all who supported the session either by swimming or helping with Safety cover. And we hope to see you all their next year late April.

Champion of Champions and GNS

18th and 19th June

In demanding windy conditions and water temperatures of just 14c in Dover Harbour, the organisers had to cancel the 3 mile swim and alter the course for the of 5 mile and 1 mile swims to protect support craft from the conditions. Michaela Richard, Jo Norton-Barker and Tony Fillingham overcame the challenging conditions for Warrington Dolphins completing both freestyle events. Steve O'Brien completed the 1mile event swimming breaststroke and completed an arduous 9 of 10 laps in the 5 mile swim.

Andy Sherratt, Tony Fillingham and Barbara Harding also joined thousands of other swimmers at the Great North Swim in the beautiful setting of Lake Windermere. Finally, completing an epic feat of distance driving and endurance sport, Tony Fillingham rounded off his weekend with a 13mile half marathon in Freckleton. Lancs.

GNS Report from Andy Sherratt.

Great North Swim 2 mile Waves - Windermere, Friday 17th June 2011

Another week, another swim. This time it was off up the M6 to Ambleside for the latest event in the Great Swim Series. Around 730 swimmers were taking part over three waves. Three representatives from Warrington Dolphins participated - in wave one we had Tony Fillingham, in the second wave, Andy Sherratt and in the final wave of the day, Barbara Harding. Before each wave, we donned our wetsuits and took part in a bit of aerobics to warm up. The races were started by international elite swimmers David Davies and David Carry, and we all trooped into the 16.4 degree water looking like a long string of black puddings. After two miles of fairly testing conditions, Tony completed the event in 1:10:48 (298th), Andy in 1:06:14 (220th) and Barbara in 1:18:10 (422nd).

In a sad postscript to this years event, a competitor died during the one mile swim on Saturday, and a one minute silence was held as a mark of respect earlier today.

Dee Mile 2011

29th June 2011

This historic event has always been popular with Dolphins and with a new, shorter, novice race and competitors now walking to the start rather than taking a boat, there were around 200 competitors taking part.

Dolphins ladies have a great record in this event and this year was no different. On a warm pleasant evening and comfortable water temperature Eve Fellows won the ladies title in the all comers (non-wetsuit) event with last years winner, Michaela Richard 3rd.

Although called the Dee Mile, the swim is actually held over a 2000m course and with only a lazy current in the river times were a little slower than might have been expected.

Dolphins Results attached below and full results on the Chester Tri website.

Exmouth Fairway Buoy & GSS

15 May 2011

In a busy opening weekend of the open water season, Dolphins were in action at the Budworth Handicap, Carlisle Masters, Great Salford Swim and Exmouth Fairway Buoy Swim.

30 swimmers competed in the 48th running of the historic Exmouth Fairway Buoy Swim.

Starting from a running start on the beach, swimmers enter the estuary water swimming out to the Fairway Buoy positioned just under 2.5 miles away in the English Channel. Timing is crucial as a swimmer arriving too late at the buoy would face the impossible task of swimming against a fast incoming tide.

In waters of 12C over 4.75miles only one swimmer retired. Four Warrington Dolphins completed the course with Eve Fellows 3rd in 1:30:37, Michaela Richard 7th in 1:34:18, Jo Norton Barker 21st in 1:44:12 and Mark Blewitt 23rd in 1:45:51.

At the Great Salford Swim, Tony Fillingham was the only Dolphins representative. A mass participation event which is part of the Great Swim Series, Tony rubbed wetsuits with elite GB open water swimmers such as Kerri-Anne Payne, Cassie Patten and Dave Davies. Tony completed the swim in 33.20 shaving 6 secs off his time for last year.

See Masters Section for Carlisle Masters Results.

Howe Bridge 1500m 26 Nov 2011

Six Dolphins made the short trip to Howe Bridge nr Leigh for the annual 1500m hosted by Howe Bridge Marlins. With large contingents from Barrow and Atherton and Tyldesley Tri in attendance the event was close to capacity.

Tony Fillingham was first in the water for Dolphins, having dropped back from the second heat. Tony set out at a steady pace and fell a little behind in the early stages but finished well to win his heat in 29.52.

Next Dolphin to take to the water was junior Sarah Roberts. She also swam well and turning on a powerful kick for the last 100m or so she completed the swim in 25.12 taking home the Junior Girls Trophy.

Andy Sherratt made his appearance in heat four and proudly wearing his striking Manx swimwear he bravely battled the effects of man flu to finish in 27.14 taking 4 seconds off his previous PB. Well done Andy.

Michaela Richard, Christian Wade and Thomas Roberts all had to wait until the final heat, taking to the water with Barrow's record breaking channel swimmer Rebecca Lewis.

Despite the pool water temperature being a little high for open water swimmers Thomas put in a great performance, chasing Rebecca Lewis all the way, to finish just 30s behind her in 19.44 and winning the Junior Boys Trophy in the process.

No doubt dragged along in the wake of Rebecca and Thomas, Michaela and Christian finished in 21.53 (4th) and 20.48 (2nd) respectively.

There venue for the presentation changed this year and took place in the Cricket club bar at the rear of the sports centre. Thankfully the excellent buffet was unchanged.

Barrow took home the team award for the night, so come on Dolphins lets get some numbers there next year and we can try to win it!

Dolphins own 1500m swim will take place on 4th Feb followed by the Barrow 1500m in March.

Ivan Percival Results

11 Dolphins braved the chilly, jelly fish infested waters of the Salthouse Dock in Liverpool for the 1 mile, 2 mile and 4 mile events hosted by Liverpool SC.

Jo Norton-Barker continued an impressive start to the season with a 1st place in the veteran 4 mile. Kevin Saunders also picked up third in the veteran gents event with a time a little under 2 hours.

Michaela Richard placed 4th in a tight ladies event with a more than respectable 1hr 37min.

Joanne Carter demonstrated the benefits of her open water training taking 1st in the 1 mile event.

Other Dolphins taking part were:

2 Mile

Chris Carter (3rd)
Dave Bowker (4th)

4 Mile

Tony Fillingham
Sarah Beresford
Andy Sherratt

Ineterestingly Chris Malpass (Chester) and Rebecca Lewis (Barrow) posted identical times in the 4 mile event which might herald the start of some tough competition between them for the rest of the season.

Full Results below.

Llyn Padarn 2 & 4 Mile Swims

In a marked contrast to 2010 when the weather was inclement to say the least, Zeus was obviously in a better mood this year as the sunshine remained for the afternoon’s 4 mile event, with just a light breeze at water level. This year, rather than complete lengths of the lake, swimmers negotiated four laps of a triangular course of which the ‘father of geometry’ Euclid would have been proud. For the benefit of those swimmers of a certain vintage who don’t do this new fangled Celcius temperature scale, the water temperature was measured at 62oF. After the pre-race briefing by Dave Reason (looking very well after his recent health scare), four Dolphins took to the water at around 1.30pm. Fastest male was the 2011 6-mile Bala champion William Bott, finishing in an impressive 1.33.02. This swim was however discounted, due to the rules regarding late entries, and the championship was awarded to Kevin Welsh, of Spondon Masters. Pick of the Dolphins was Kevin Saunders, who despite having to negotiate severe traffic jams on the A55, arrived just in the nick of time to swim a fantastic 2.13.26. Next home was Jo Norton-Barker, producing another excellent swim following on from participating in the morning’s 2 mile event to be the 2nd placed lady behind Oundle’s Amy Mellor. Not far behind Jo was Andy Sherratt, who despite suffering from ‘goggle issues’, finished in 2.23.03. Finally was Tony Fillingham in 2.53.33, which is another great effort after a massive week in which he completed the Coniston Relay, Senior Coniston and just over 48 hours earlier, a Channel Relay crossing.

Llyn Tegid, Bala

9th & 10th July

Heavy rain, gale force winds and 12c water were all conditions absent from Llyn Tegid this year. (Although those camping the night before certainly experienced the first two.)

Swimmers and spectators were instead treated to clear skies and bright sunshine on the 1st day of swimming at the BLDSA LLyn Tegid Championships.

With water temperatures pushing 15c, the weekend of swimming opened with the 1Km and 3Km events with record numbers turning up on the day for the 1Km. (some competitors even wearing those odd black romper suits)

Kay Gorzko and Eileen Sharman represented Dolphins in the 1Km and both completed the swim with ease. They will no doubt be planning a step up to the 3Km event next year.

In the 3Km, Kevin Saunders narrowly missed out on 3rd spot and was followed home by Henry Lowther and David Bowker.

In the build up to the six mile swim the more familiar Bala winds picked up, serving up a few waves for the swimmers to get their teeth in to as they set off for two lengths of the lake with the sun on their backs. Open water swimming does not get much better than that.

Michaela Richard swam a great race, reaching the 3 mile turning buoy in sixth place she powered back down the return leg earning herself a well deserved 3rd.

Steve O'Brien also had a great swim winning the 'camping stove' Trophy for 1st Breastroke swimmer home.

Christian Wade completed the swim taking 10 minutes off his time for last year and Jo Norton-Barker demonstrated that her hard training schedule was paying off with a another great time.

Tony Fillingham completed his longest swim to date winning his personal battle with the lake after a little over 5 hours of swimming.

On the second day there was only the 3 mile event, however, wet weather more recognisable to Bala veterans returned. Tony Fillingham, Jo Norton-Barker and Eve Fellows were no doubt eager to get in to the water and underway.

From the start Eve Fellows once again kept pace with the lead swimmers chasing home Dee Llewellyn to finish 2nd. Jo Norton-Barker again swam well posting a personal best time of 1hr 30mins for the 3 mile swim.
Tony showed no signs of fatigue from his battle the day before and reached the end of the lake in just over 2 hours completing a great weekend of swimming for Tony.

Finally, a word of thanks to the organisers of the swim. Our own Andrew Wright and his long suffering wife Sandra together with their small army of helpers worked tirelessly all weekend to ensure that the record number of swimmers had a safe and enjoyable event. It is a testament to their efforts before and during the swims that the weekend was such a great success.

Dolphins' Results


19th Kay Gorzko 00:18:22.70

37th Eileen Sharman 00:32:23.00


4th senior gent Kevin Saunders 00:54:51.90

5th senior gent Henry Lowther 01:02:00.30

12th senior gent David Bowker 01:41:52.30


9th gent Christian Wade 03:11:15.70

11th gent Stephen O'Brien 03:55:15.65 (1st breastroke)

15th gent Tony Fillingham 05:08:54.25

3rd lady Michaela Richard 02:51:06.90

11th lady Jo Norton-Barker 03:39:08.65


14th gent Tony Fillingham 02:05:25.00

2nd lady Eve Fellows 01:10:58.55

8thlady Jo Norton-Barker 01:30:22.35

Loch Morlich

Swim report from Kevin Saunders Attached

Manx Mile Ocean Challenge

Saturday 2nd July 2011

Warrington Dolphins were represented by Christian Wade and Andy Sherratt in this event, which is organised by the Isle of Man Open Water Swimming Club and takes place annually at Chapel Beach, Port St. Mary, as part of the islands’ “Queenie Festival”.

Around 65 competitors took part, with eight making the trip over from the UK, and one travelling from the USA. There were two main events; the first was a 0.5 mile swim for juniors and novices, which was then followed by a 1 mile senior swim. The swim followed a triangular course, each lap being around 0.5 miles, although was perhaps a little closer to 2K.

Most swimmers opted to don wetsuits, but a few hardy souls went for the more traditional costume option. Conditions were near perfect - the water was 13oC but felt considerably warmer under the hot sun, which along with clear blues skies and calm water, made for some excellent swimming. Furthermore, although these waters are more known for their abundance of jellyfish, we were joined by small shoals of pollack and mullet during the swim.

The junior and novice swim started on schedule at 2.00pm, with the seniors event following immediately after this was completed. Christian motored along in the senior swim like the great Joey Dunlop on his Honda doing laps of the TT course, and was the first non-wetsuit swimmer home in just over 29 minutes. Andy’s pace was more akin to George Formby riding the ‘Shuttleworth Snap’, but he still managed 2nd place in the non-wetsuit category in a time of around 35 minutes.

The event was a great success, and much of the credit must go to Mark Gorry and his team at IOMOWSC for their professionalism, and ensuring that everyone enjoyed the day. Of course, the swimmers needed replenishing after their efforts in the water, so the day was rounded off by retiring to the festival where we consumed “Queenie” scallops and a few pints of Bushy’s.

Full results and pictures below.

NW ASA Open Water Festival Salford

June 2011 Held at Salford Keys only three Dolphins attended this local swim. All completing the 2000m event were:

Pam Kay 11th 40:39
Jo Carter 14th 43:00
Chris Carter 16th 45:10

Sandycove Swim Ireland

Report from our rambling reporter Kevin Saunders

Sea Horse Swim - Dorset

26th June

After a delayed strat due to sea mist, Andy Wright was the sole representative of WDLDSC at this 3.6Km event held at Knoll Beach in the exclusive Sandbanks area of Dorset. He achieved a creditable 7th in the non-wetsuit event and even presented prizes in his official BLDSA capacity.

Swim report and pictures on the EDOWSC website:

Torbay BLDSA Championships

Eve Fellows and Jo Norton-Barker took part in this 8 mile sea swim. Eve Fellows still not fully fit after recovering from a foot injury and tonsillitis put in an impressive performance coming in 4th lady with a time of 3hrs 44min. Jo had to battle with dehydration and jelly fish stings but still completed the course in 4hrs 45min.

Ullswater 7 Miles

In what must be one the finest swimming locations anywhere in the world, the BLDSA Ullswater championships where held on a day where suncreen was the order of the day rather than waterproofs.

This is a geat swim for those looking for a stepping stone between 5 and 10 miles and a two way swim can be used to step up from 10 to 20 miles.

The organisers announced the water temperature to be 14c (57f) but it felt far warmer. With strong sunshine warming the crystal clear water and a glass like surface, conditions were just about perfect as the swim got underway just after 10am.

Only three Dolphins were in attendance, Sarah Beresford, Jo Norton-Barker (both supported by the now famous award winning Dolphins Support Crew) and Christian Wade (with his not so famous but just as dedicated Dad).

The swim starts by the steamer jetty in Glenridding and winds its way up the lake through stunning scenery to the picturesque Lakeland village of Poole Bridge. The lake itself can be broken down in to three sections which give swimmers convenient reference points during the swim.

Christian arrived in Poole Bridge touching the finishing buoy in 3hrs 35min (4th male) although, as usual, the 'wheels fell off' around 5 miles. Sarah Beresford had an excellent swim and was next Dolphin home in 3hrs 56min with Jo chasing her all the way and finishing in just over 4 hours.

The presentation was held shortly after the swim in the beer garden of the Crown Hotel by the banks of the River Eden. There is nothing quite like rounding off a good swim sitting in the sun with a cold beer.

Wykeham Lake

12 June 2011

Michaela Richard missed narrowly missed out on a podium finish, after 5km of hard swimming she was just 7sec behind the 3rd placed lady from London. Other Dolphins completing the 5Km course were; Andrew Wright, Kevin Saunders, Jo Norton-Barker Andy Sherratt and Tony Fillingham. Taking to the water for a second time on the same day, Richard grabbed second place and Norton-Barker 5th in the 1km event.

Report from Andy Sherratt.

Liverpool SC’s Joe Coy, yours truly and Dolphins very own Kevin Saunders arrived at 10.45, in plenty of time for the pre-race briefing. Here we were joined by many familiar (and some new) faces, eager to take up the challenge.

Depending on who you spoke to, the water temperature was either 14 or 16 degrees. As the swimmers gathered after the briefing, and we were all ‘getting into the zone’, a reporter from BBC Radio York thrust his microphone into mine and Michaela’s face. We politely declined this offer of giving a live broadcast to the peoples republic of Yorkshire, and the undoubted fame it would bring, so we left him in the company of Margaret Smith who was only too glad to provide the BBC with the much sought after interview.

In the 5km (5 x 1km laps) swim we had Michaela Richard, Jo Norton-Barker, Tony Fillingham (sporting a rather nifty Dolphin tattoo), myself, Mark Blewitt, Kevin Saunders, Mick Gallagher and Andy Wright participating. After a short break Michaela and Jo also swam in the 1km event. A few others were also considering the extra 1km but chickened out at the last minute when we realised the boiler had broken and there were no hot drinks left.

Overall impressions from the swimmers was that the course was somewhat longer than 5km, and even longer for me as I headed off in completely the wrong direction on lap 4. Super swim from Joe Coy, who swam butterfly for the entire 5km, in around 3 hours (we’ve no confirmation of the results, since we all buggered off home when it started persisting down). Returned home at just before 8.00pm in the pouring rain, after taking a detour to Bradford to drop Gwyn Llewellyn off at the Bradford vs. Saints game, which ended in a 14-all draw thanks to a last minute penalty by Jamie Foster.

Full results on the BLDSA website.