6th July 2010

Horsham’s competitive swimming club Atlantis has finished runners-up in a nail-biting conclusion to the Sussex League.  This is the Club’s highest ever finish in the competition and is a further indication of the Club’s continuing and steady march forward.

The final gala took place on Saturday night at K2 and pitted Atlantis against near neighbours Crawley and Mid Sussex Marlins.  In last year’s competition, Atlantis finished third behind both clubs.  The night lived up to the promise of high drama and the tightest of finishes, with the result in doubt right up until the final race.

Although this final round included the top 3 finishers from last year, only Atlantis and Crawley had gained enough points in previous galas to win the league this year. Mid Sussex Marlins, based at the Triangle in Burgess Hill, still had a very important part to play in the gala and were after maximum points from the final round to secure second place in the final league standings.

All the teams were missing key personnel.  Atlantis had suffered the big blow of losing one of the Club’s most reliable points gatherers, Cam Lambourne, to a freak cycling accident just days before the event.  This did not however dampen the mood prior to warm up, and the spirit was one of quiet confidence and determination.

The gala started with all three teams generally sharing the points.  A third of the way through the gala found Atlantis trailing the field with Crawley out in front. Gradually as the gala wore on the Atlantis swimmers started to claw their way back into contention.  At the end of a strong middle session, Atlantis had overhauled Mid Sussex Marlins and had drawn level with Crawley.

The final race of the evening is a mixed “squadron” relay with 8 competitors of boys and girls of different ages from each club swimming for double points. An announcement over the tannoy told all the teams that it was down to the wire and that there was everything still to play for in the last race.  Crawley took an early lead and held onto it to the finish to finish just 4 gala points ahead of Atlantis by 347 points to 343, with Marlins on 318.  

The final points meant that Crawley finished top of the league with Atlantis just one league point behind in second place. Commenting on the result Head coach Bill Penny said “Many of our swimmers had to swim a lot of races tonight.  I am thrilled by the effort and application they showed.  They all swam for each other to give us our best ever finish in the league - testimony to the team spirit within the club.  We will have to see if we can go one better next season”.

For more information: Andy Lobley – 07510 710266