We were celebrating last Sunday at our annual end of season swim followed by a lunch and awards, held at the RNLI college in Poole. We've had a very successful season with record numbers of new members and record numbers of swimmers attending our sessions. The lunch was well attended as was the rather chilly swim beforehand at our Shore Rd HQ.
In 2017 we increased the number of taster sessions and also the number of swim & social sessions, both of which give us the opportunity to welcome lots of new members. One Tuesday evening session saw a new record attendance of 68 swimmers entering the water at Shore Road. The swim & social sessions were popular, although to be fair it's not usually that difficult to persuade most swimmers to combine cold water immersion and baked goods.
A growing number of club members enjoy swimming through the winter and Sunday's weather was perfect: sunny, cold and crisp. Water temperatures are dropping like a stone at this time of the year and a hard frost meant that most people limited their swim times. Many thanks to Chris Millener and Richard Crump who came along to make sure we were all safe and administer hot drinks - very much appreciated.
Swimming hats were swapped for paper crowns later at the RNLI college. After drinks we headed to the restaurant for a three course lunch. It was great to also welcome our special guests, Tom Watch, Sue Dors and Stuart Gleeson. Tom is a local swim coach and pilot who has helped many aspiring Channel swimmers over the years, training his first Channel Swimmer in 1951. Sue Dors is the Western Counties ASA Open water Swimming Committee Chairperson. Stuart Gleeson is a Channel Swimming Association pilot and owner of 'Sea Leopard'. Stuart has piloted many of the club's Channel swimmers in the past and has two club Channel Relays and solos booked in over the next two years.
End of Season Awards Presentation
Eoin McDowell and Liz Mills
Dorset County ASA Achievement Awards
Mark Critchlow and Kirstie Foweraker
Most improved swimmer
Jon Tribbeck and Fred Rogers
Best Event Organiser
Western counties ASA open water swimmer of 2016