15th December 2014

Atlantis crowned a sparkling 2014 with a resounding victory in the Division 1 final gala to ensure their return to the National Arena League South Premier Division for 2015. Despite the loss of their main training facility at the Horsham Pavillions over the last fortnight the club's professional coaches Bill Penny and Andy Lobley produced a highly motivated team who after getting their noses in front approaching halfway in the 50 event programme kept their excited supporters breathless as they repelled the challenges of close rivals Crawley and Brighton. The orders of the night to the team were to keep their discipline and fight for every possible point and they delivered fantastically with no disqualifications and storming finishes from everyone. The final podium placings were Atlantis 212, Crawley 193, Brighton 187. This success cements their position as Sussex's top swim club with the next big challenge coming in February and March when the club defends their County top overall points title.

With the Pavillions pool not due to reopen until February the club's coaching staff will be hard pressed to keep their charges in top shape using a wide spread of alternative facilities and starting as early as 5.30am at Billingshurst & Steyning, Saturday's success was a great overall team effort motivated by some outstanding individual efforts. The 11 yrs girls were outstanding with 6 wins from 6 with Rebecca Barber taking the breaststroke & free, Ethel Whyman (back) Emma Morris(fly) and joined by Ellie Smith to romp home in both relays. Our 11/10 boys Michael Pallister(fly&free) Jacob Davis(breast) and Will Carey (back) with Oliver Etheridge (relays)swam well gaining valuable points and experience. Dan Jones (breast & fly)and Sam Hawkins (back& free)led the 13/12 boys challenge joined by James North, Nick Cooper and Cameron Holden for the relays. The 13/12 girls scored big with Freya Fulcher(fly & back) Maddie Carey(free) and Eve Clarke(breast) with Isobel Hooker in the relays. Beth Britton (free & back) and Lily Davis (breaststroke) won their races in the girls 15/14 with Isobel Storey(fly) & Lauren Pedal (relays) Beth & Lily then joined Yasmin Hooker (back)and Jade Stocker (IM) Chloe Baker(relays) to contest the open events with good results. Although still recovering from an injury Rebecca Lobley, currently swimming and studying at Loughborough University, joined in to bolster our open girls relay. The 15 /14yrs boys James Hartley,Aiden Sparling, Hamish Skilman,Ed Hundleby and Joseph Carter are developing rapidly and scored well as are our young open swimmers Matt Fulcher,Andrew Kershaw,Cavan Murphy & George Charter who were joined by veteran evergreen Chris Tait for the final relay. 

Andy Lobley added to Bill's report:  "Tonight we saw the hard work and effort of team building and creating a desire to win all come together in our club. All of our swimmers swam wanting to do their best for their teammates, coaches and the large amount of supporters in the stands and they did that and more. We have won all three of our qualifying rounds and that in itself is something very special for us as a club and I know the experience of racing against the best next season will be tough,but will give our swimmers a great experience that we can tap into as we work to develop this club to the standards we want in the future. Atlantis is a first class club and the team of people that coach, help run the club and volunteer should all feel a massive sense of achievement tonight. It is a great end to the calender year and we still have a lot of racing to do this season so we mustn't be complacent we need to continue to work really hard and as the season progresses we will get even more great results from our swimmers."