What a Cracker!

8th December 2014

With almost 100 Atlantis Swimmers and 26 clubs from the South East, the Christmas Cracker had all the makings of a fantastic event, and the spectators were certainly not disappointed. The positive atmosphere pool side and up in the stands certainly added to the festive spirit! There were, once again, many gushing comments from visiting spectators about the efficiency in which the gala is run, and one lady even praised the silky tones of our commentator! It has to be acknowledged that the support of the many parent helpers is what makes the Christmas Cracker such a spectacular event. From Lorraine and her team who organise the raffle to the infallible Gill Sutherland who sorts out the hundreds of entries, we are truly blessed with great support. The coaches and committee would like to thank everyone who gave up their time to volunteer their services. Now onto the swimming….

The gala began with the boys’ 400m Free. With CQTs from Dan Jones and George Charter, SERQTs (B) from Sam Hawkins and Ed Hundleby , and massive PBs posted by Oliver Etheridge, Sam Clarke and Matt Boyes, it was an auspicious start to the weekend. Not to be outdone, the boys’ 200m breaststrokers came into force in the third event, with every legal swim being completed in a personal best time. Dan Jones and James Hartley cruised to SERQTs (B) in this event and the 50m breaststroke, but there is a sense that both these boys have still got plenty left in the tank for the forthcoming season. The success of these initial events resulted in the girls getting the bit between their teeth in the 50m Backstroke. Atlantis fielded an enormous 50 entries; there were 31 PBs but special congratulations go to Isabella Hayes, Amber Ranson, Jess Mace, Emma Morris, Ellie Smith, Holly Porter, Gaby Eltham, Chloe Baker and Freya Fulcher for achieving CQTs and to Ethel Whyman and Maddie Carey for posting SERQTs (B). Ethel continued her rich vein of form by gaining 6 further SERQTs (B) in the 100 & 200m Backstroke, 100m, 200m & 400m freestyle and 200 IM.

There is friendly rivalry amongst the Atlantis swimmers and this is always clearly in evidence during the girls’ 100m breaststroke. We are blessed with some extremely talented individuals in this event and although we could not be treated to Lily Davis’s usual emphatic display, as she was too quick to enter, we did see some outstanding performances from Emma Morris, Lauren Pedel and Anya Elvin who swam some excellent PBs to gain SERQTs (B). Lauren also stormed to a 6 second PB in the 200m breaststroke to gain the first automatic South East Regional qualifying time of the weekend. To complete the trio of breaststroke events, our girls were also out in force in the 50m with Anya and Lauren achieving SERQTs (B) and Rebecca Barber gaining an SERQT (A). Rebecca also proved that she is a force to be reckoned with in the 200m IM where she posted an impressive time of 2.41.96 to bag herself another automatic regional qualifying time.

Golden boys Aiden Sparling and Joe Carter had a very impressive weekend. They dominated several events, both to come away with 5 gold medals each, and Ed Hundleby who gained a SERQT (B) in 400m Freestyle was not far behind with 4. Team mate, Matt Fulcher, also had a very successful weekend by achieving 5 SERQTs (B) in the 50m, 100m & 200m Butterfly and 50m & 100m Freestyle. Cavan Murphy swam a 1 second PB in the 100m Freestyle to secure a South East Regional base time and Michael Pallister, who had already had a busy time picking up 3 gold medals at the East and South East Junior Schools Championships, swam with his usual grit and determination to post a 22 second PB in the 400 IM and gain a SERQT (B) into the bargain.

Congratulations to the following swimmers who gained ‘Top Gun’ trophies for highest points accrued in the 50m events:

William Carey    11 Years    84 Points

Aiden Sparling    15 Years    86 points

Amber Ranson    9 Years    71 points

Maddie Carey    13 Years    84 points

Lucy Lee & Chloe Baker    16 Years    79 points



(Many thanks to Kate Carey for this report)