A record 17 Hemel swimmers participated in the East Region Winter Regionals at Luton over the weekend of 6th and 7th December, which was the sixth biggest representation from clubs in the whole of East Region which includes Herts, Beds, Cambs, Suffolk, Norfolk and Essex.
Highlights included Emily Jelfs becoming the first Hemel girl to swim 100 free in under a minute, two new Summer Regional qualifiers in Jack Christie (who broke the 25 second barrier for 50 free for the first time) and Josh Gaines, and 11 new Club records, many of which had only been set at Club Champs in the previous two weeks. The ladies Open 100 free record was even broken twice by different swimmers in a 5 minute spell!
38 Club records were broken during the recent Club Championships. Aimee Abrey led the way with nine, Charlie Rayner set a further six, and Emily Jelfs five. Special mention must be made of 8 year olds Holly Robinson and Tilly Stratford, both of whom broke the previous 25m backstroke record, with Tilly edging out Holly to be our youngest record breaker. Full details of all the newly set records can be found here. Some of the records that were broken were almost ten years old and had been set previously by swimmers like Bowden, Egan, Godridge, Varti and Woodhouse; names that will bring back fond memories for those who have been around the Club for a few years.
There were some great performances over the last ten days of competition in the 2014 Club Championships. Over 180 swimmers took part entering 1,400 swims and producing over 750 personal bests times, many of them improving on times set in the last few months, whilst almost 200 were first time swims. 38 Club Records were smashed, 3 swimmers obtained their first ever Regional qualifying times and 16 swimmers qualified for County Championships. Full results are available on the online database, Meet Mobile or can be downloaded from here.
We are delighted to announce that the Club's new "Olympic-style" starting blocks have been installed and will be used for the first time in anger during the forthcoming Club Championships. The adjustable raised back foot plate of the blocks (technically called the "OSB11" manufactured by Swiss Timing) allows the swimmer to exert greater force when pushing off from the starting block, resulting in a faster initial speed into the water.
Following on from a strong Round 1 performance in the National Arena League, Hemel Hempstead Swimming Club were drawn in Round 2 in Basildon with teams from Epping Forest, Potters Bar, Basildon, Anaconda, Sudbury, Hitchin and Saxon Crown. Despite many of the squad having been back for less than a week from an intensive training camp in Tunisia over the half term week there were some superb performances.
A huge vote of thanks to Tom Sherriff who masterminded the highly successful 2014 swim camp in Tunisia over the autumn half term. It’s taken a year to plan and included organising a sponsored swim and bag packing to help fund the trip as well as arranging sponsorship for the coach to the airport and the special red camp hoodies that you’ll now see at training. Tom also had to battle with the availability of accommodation, pool time and flights for a whole range of options before eventually settleing on Tunisia, but all the feedback suggests that it was time very well spent.
With a temporary lull in domestic competition Hemel Hempstead Swimming Club is a celebrating a record number of qualifiers for Winter Regionals, the first regional competition of the season held in early December. 20 swimmers have qualified to enter just under 120 events in a competition which traditionally has tough qualifying times.