‘Nemes Nutters’ Open Water Gala – Holborough Lakes, Wednesday 26th September 2012

With the open water swimming season drawing to a close, a hardy group of swimmers took the plunge at the inaugural open water gala at Holborough Lakes on the evening of 26th September. Following recent, prolonged heavy rain the water temperature had dropped to a chilly 16 degrees although on arrival at the lake the sun came out and gave us the only rain-free weather window for the past three days. Our swimmers chose to wear wetsuits apart from Josh Dunk who has acclimatised well during this year’s season and decided to brave the cold.

The events on offer were 100m, 200m, 400, 800m and 1600m, finishing with a 4 x 50m relay. First into the water was Sammy Allen in the 100m event who, after coming home in second place, said she wasn’t doing any more, it was too cold! She soon changed her mind and swum again in the second of two heats of the 200m to come home in first place. The first heat had already seen first and second place finishes for Josh Dunk and Lauren Joy with all swimmers then having to swim again to determine overall placings. The result was a clean sweep for Thanet with the final standings of Josh in first place, Lauren in second and Sammy in third.

Up next was the 400m swim which was one complete circuit of the lake. Josh was in the water again for this event and stormed home to take his place on the top of the podium for the second time that evening.

The 800m event saw a full compliment of Thanet girls (and lady!) who once again cleaned up the medal places with Lauren Joy in first place, Lauren Palmer Jones in second and Sammy Allen in third place. I would add that the more mature Thanet swimmer taking part sadly missed out on a podium place but didn’t come last!

The start of the 1600m swim saw a rather chilly Josh take to the water again for his final swim of the night and his favoured event. The sun was sinking by now and the air and water temperature sinking with it which undoubtedly spurred the swimmers on to notch it up a gear! Josh and Sam Crabtree put up an impressive fight against a large field of older and more experienced open water swimmers to bring it home again for Thanet with Josh first and Sam second. The boys shared the podium with one of our friends from Sevenoaks swimming club Abigail Oram, who claimed third place.

The glow sticks came out for the relays as the sun had well and truly sunk below the treetops. The Thanet team made up of Lauren Joy, Lauren Palmer-Jones, Sam Crabtree and Sammy Allen absolutely stormed home 50m ahead of the rest of the field to take the relay crown!

The presentations followed and saw all of our swimmers come home with a first placed trophy each and medals galore! What an outstanding event this was for our swimmers and a superb experience for the novice open water swimmers to get a feel for racing. This is the venue that will be used next year for the open water swim of the Club Championships as the safety procedures and water quality are excellent. A huge thank you must also go to the staff of Nemes Diving Academy and Watersports Centre for inviting us and making this a great event. The Thanet Team was: Josh Dunk, Sam Crabtree, Lauren Joy, Lauren Palmer-Jones, Sammy Allen and Alison Allen.

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