Swindon Dolphin Novice Gala

Our U12 novice swimmers were invited to compete at a gala along with Bradford on Avon, Royal Wootton Bassett, Dolphins, Cirencester and Marlborough at The Link on Saturday 16th October 2015. Whilst the team included many of our junior squad members, for many others it was their first taste of team competition. Unfortunately, I haven’t got enough editing space or time to emphasise the fantastic effort showed by all of our swimmers, so I have only named the ones who had top 3 finishes. Here’s how they got on.

In races 1-10, we placed 1x1st, 2x2nd, and a 3rd. The 1st place was for Olivia who won a tough battle with Cirencester by just 4 tenths of a second in the girls 12/u 50m freestyle. The 2nd places came in both the boys and girls 10/u 50m butterfly. For the boys, Max put in a great swim, whilst Annabel fought for the top 3 all the way in her race, digging deep to take 2nd. A fantastic swim from Addison in the boys 8/u breaststroke earned him a 3rd place finish.

In the next 10 races the team managed 2x1st, a 2nd and 3x3rd places. In another closely fought race in the boys 9/u 25m butterfly, Max just stretched his arm out enough to win by a touch, whilst in the girls 12/u 50m breaststroke, Caitlin was neck and neck halfway, but pulled away to win by 2 metres. Alice took the 2nd in the girls 11/u 50m freestyle in yet another closely contested race. The 3rd places came in the boys 10/u 4×1 freestyle relay (Max, Tim, Harvey and Harry); Riley in the boys 8/u 50m backstroke, just beating Bradford on Avon; and Abigail G with a fab swim in the girls 8/u 50m backstroke.

There was 1x1st, 2x2nd and 1x3rd in races 21-30. Addison led from start to finish in the boys 8/u 25m butterfly, winning by 3 seconds. The first 2nd place was for the boys in the 9/u 4×1 medley (Joe, Addison, Max and Harry), who were battling to be in the top 3 at halfway, but were unlucky to be pipped for 1st by Cirencester. In the girls 12/u 50m, Sasha was also pipped by just 2 tenths into 2nd. Charlie bucked the trend of being pipped in the boys 12/u 50m backstroke as he held on for a 3rd place finish.

At halfway in the gala, Dolphins led with 128 points from Cirencester (124), Wootton Bassett (105), Swindon ASC (104), Marlborough (99) and Bradford on Avon (65).

Tyler and Sasha led the way in races 31-40 with dominating performances in the 12/u 50m butterfly. Aaron had to fight Cirencester over the last 15 metres to earn a 2nd in the boys 11/u 50m backstroke and in the boys 10/u 50m breaststroke, Max just missed out to Bradford on Avon and Wootton Bassett for 3rd.

Race 41 saw another battling effort from Addison holding on to 2nd in the boys 8/u 50m freestyle. In the following race for the girls Freya put in a really strong 2nd length to take 3rd. The boys 12/u 4×1 medley were 2nd throughout their race, but the girls followed up by smashing the field for 1st. Harvey took a 3rd and Annabel was 2nd all the way in the 10/u 50m backstroke and Max blew the rest away to take 1st in the boys 9/u 50m breaststroke.

Going into the last 10 races the team were still 4th, just 15 points behind Dolphins in 3rd.

The last 10 races brought 1x1st, a 2nd and 2x3rd places. The first 3rd was in the boys 10/u 4×1 medley (Harry, Max, Harvey and Tim) with just ½ metre separating the top 3. The boys 12/u 4×1 freestyle (Aaron, Charlie, Alisdair and Tyler) were a close 2nd ahead of Wootton Bassett at the 50m turn, but were pegged back into 3rd place. A strong start for the boys 8/u 4×1 medley (Riley, Addison, Harry and Daniel), was equalled by a strong finish giving them a well deserved 2nd place; and in the final race of the night, the awesome foursome of Sasha, Caitlin, Olivia and Alice, dominated all the way in the girls 12/u 4×1 freestyle.

At the end of a really enjoyable evening, Marlborough finished 6th on 107 points, Bradford on Avon 5th with 189, Swindon ASC 4th on 216, Wootton Bassett 3rd on 230, with Dolphins 2nd on 240 and the winners Cirencester on 252.

Well done to all our swimmers, especially those experiencing their first gala. A huge thanks as always to the coaches, officials and helpers and of course to the parents and family cheering the swimmers on.

As always, the club will keep you informed of upcoming events by email, but you can also follow us online at swindonasc.co.uk or visit our Facebook page.

Remember, there’s no lessons or squad sessions between 24th October and 31st October and if you haven’t done so, get your entries in for the club champs. November is a big month with the club champs, the start of Winter League and everyone’s favourite the Club Presentation and Disco night on 28th November. Look out for more details in the coming weeks!

Have a great half term and terrifyingly frightening Halloween from all the team at Swindon ASC!

Mike Bevan
Swindon ASC

Wiltshire Leagues

Wiltshire asa arrange two league competitions; Summer and Winter League. Swindon ASC are very pleased to take part in these leagues each year as they offer an opportunity for the swimmers to swim as a team, rather than as individuals.
These events are fun, fiercely contested between the clubs and have a great atmosphere.

The clubs involved are:
Bradford on Avon, Calne Alpha, Chippenham, Corsham, Devizes, Durrington, Marlborough, Malmesbury, Melksham, Royal Wootton Bassett, Salisbury, Swindon, Swindon Dolphins, Tigersharks, Trowbridge, Warminster and Wroughton.

Summer League

Wiltshire ASA Summer League is made up of 6 divisions. Each division consists of 4 clubs. The clubs swim against the other teams in the league over 4 rounds with each club hosting a round at their home pool. Winners of the division are promoted to the league above and the 4th placed team are relegated. There are 50 events across the following four age groups. The top 3 divisions swim events of 50m for the two lower age groups and 100m for the older age groups. The lower divisions swim events over 25m and 50m.

The events include individual events and relays:

Event U12 U14 U16 Open
Freestyle 50/25 50/25 100/50 100/50
Backstroke 50/25 50/25 100/50 100/50
Butterfly 50/25 50/25 100/50 100/50
Breaststroke 50/25 50/25 100/50 100/50
4 x 1L IM n/a n/a n/a
4 x 1L Medley Relay
4 x 1L Freestyle Relay

Winter League

Winter League is a unique format where every club in the league is swimming against every other club in the league. Ideally a pool with enough lanes for each competing club would be used but there are not many of these around so we compete in separate pools and each event time is collated to calculate the points.

There are 24 teams so the fastest team in each event gets 24 points and so on down to one point for the slowest. No points are allocated for a disqualification or if a team does not compete.

The league is swam as two divisions (The top 12 teams at the end of the Winter League will compete as Division 1 in the following year’s competition and the remainder as Division 2.), but points are awarded as if there is one division, the divisions are formed so that clubs of comparable strength can compete together.

Each round is a competition of 39 relay events, each event being scored on position. A winning team is usually announced at each gala but these points do not count towards the overall ranking and are just an extra bit of fun on the night.

After three rounds the league positions will dictate which teams compete in the top final for the Winter League Trophy and which teams compete in the other finals.

At this time the top ranked Division 2 team are the Division 2 Champions.

All previous points are discarded in the finals and each gala is run as a separate event on a straight head to head so timekeepers are not required.

The competition format on this scale is probably unique in swimming, on each of the qualifying rounds it collates 936 times with the help of 8 referees, 4 starters, 24 judges, 8 chief timekeepers, 46 timekeepers, countless other helpers and of course the swimmers – about 700 of them.
The winter league has been in existence for over 35 years but only changed to its current scoring method in 1995.