16th November 2009

At the end of a stormy November day, the atmosphere inside the Pavilions pool on Saturday night was electric as Atlantis took on Dover Lifeguards, Orpington Ojays, Beckenham B, Braintree and Bocking and local rivals East Grinstead in the second gala of the National Arena Swimming League South (NASLS), Division One East series.

The club’s aim this season is to emulate last season’s performance (its first in this higher division), by consolidating a mid-table finish. Atlantis - lying 10th after the first round of galas – was up against 3 of the top 4 teams and facing a tough contest.

Roared on by a capacity crowd, the young Atlantis team rose to the occasion and put on a fantastic all-round team effort. The result was in the balance right up until the last race, with only a few points separating the top 4 teams. This set up a thrilling blanket finish with the noise inside the pool reaching fever pitch. In the end Atlantis edged out East Grinstead for 3rd place with a final points total of 200 ˝, just 1 ˝ points behind 2nd place Dover Lifeguards and a mere 5 ˝ points behind 1st placed, table-topping, Orpington Ojays.

A measure of the team’s all-round performance is that Atlantis won or came second in 26 of the 50 events (14 firsts and 12 seconds) – more than any other team on the night.  The 9 - 11 girls demonstrated once again that they are untouchable in this league, while the senior swimmers also weighed in with some gutsy swims.

The results of the first 2 galas determine which gala clubs will compete in for the final round on 12th December.  After Saturday night’s result Atlantis has maintained its mid-table 10th position and will compete in the “middle” gala against Hastings, Woking, Elmbridge Phoenix, Southend on Sea and Erith & District.  Atlantis has accumulated more gala points in the league so far than all of these teams, with the exception of Woking, who have picked up 4 ˝ more.  However, there will be no complacency in the Atlantis camp; all the swimmers know they will have to perform at their best if the club is to secure it’s highest ever league placing. 

This guarantees the club’s position in the division for another season and puts Atlantis in a good position to go all out to try and win the final gala.

A delighted Atlantis Chief Coach Bill Penny said at the end of an evening of high drama and emotion: “I don’t want to single out anyone. This was a great team effort. All my swimmers did themselves proud. They punched above their weight. I was especially pleased to see the talent and technique shown by our young swimmers. This augurs well for the future.”

Further Information: Andy Lobley: 07801 676269 or Andrew Dunlop: 07710 352023