Marlins Masters break records!

Swim England South East Masters Championships – 18th & 19th January 2020

K2, Crawley, an early, icy start marked the beginning of a two-day Swim South East Regional Championships for the Marlins Masters.

Day one started with the 400 Freestyle, and as a statement of intent, Alison Gwynn opened up the medal haul capturing not only the first Gold of the meet but also a new Club Record with Rose Dudeney collecting the Bronze in the same age group.  More medals and records were claimed shortly after in the 100 Butterfly with a Silver for Victoria Rittner.  Sally Mills, ageing up took not only the Gold medal, but also a NEW BRITISH RECORD!

The 200 Backstroke also proved profitable for Mid Sussex with club records now coming thick and fast, Kathy Bidnall and Mary Johnson both claiming Gold and new club records, and Rose Dudeney picking up her second individual medal of the meet with Silver, completing a Marlins one-two in the same age group as Mary.  The Breaststroke events saw a Silver for Judith McKerchar in the 50, followed by Bronze for both Dan Valovin and Linda Hooker in the 200, Linda also setting a new club record!  There were more medals won and records broken in the 100 Freestyle, with Bronze medals picked up by Jill Rocky (club record), Gina Hobson (club record) and Mary Johnson; Alison Gwynn winning her second individual Gold.

The 50 Butterfly saw another age-group one-two with Gina Hobson (Gold) and Alison Webb (Silver) picking up medals, and a Club Record for Gina. Sally Mills also earning her second individual Gold and a Marlins Club Record. Jill Rocky and Ernesto Paniccia both taking Bronze.

Along with the great individual meadal haul, the day one relays saw Marlins collecting more than just medals.  As a result of the age groups available in the competition the Marlins 4×100 Freestyle team of Alison Gwynn, Rose Dudeney, Mary Johnson and Sally Mills were entered in the 240+ age group, despite their combined age of 280 years, this quirk led to a bizarre situation where the ladies total time of 5:38.02 earned them a Silver medal to go with their NEW WORLD RECORD! Breaking European and British records at the same time.

Day one ended with the 200 IM. The deleterious effects of a long day poolside had at least one coach hunting down a coffee, but couldn’t slow down the Marlins swimmers – who continued to scoop up the medals with Alison Gwynn (Gold and a new Club Record), Jill Rocky (Silver) and Clare Chilton (Bronze) to round off the day.

Marlins opened their account on day two in the 200 Freestyle with Gold for Jill Rocky and Alison Gwynn, Silver for Victoria Rittner and Mary Johnson and Bronze for Susan Bull.  In the 100 Backstroke it was Gold and a new Club Record for Kathy Bidnall, Silver for Ann Gale, Sarah Davison and Richard Arthur and Bonze for Alison Webb.

Marlins ladies were in amongst the medals again in the 50 Freestyle with Gold for Alison Gwynn and Gina Hobson, Silver for Jill Rocky and Bronze for Victoria Rittner.

Only one Marlins swimmer found the 200 Butterfly to be an attractive option, but Gina Hobson made it look easy as she took her third individual Gold.

The day two relays did not disappoint, with a total of 4 Gold and 1 Silver.  Once again, in the 4×50 Freestyle, the 280-year-old team of Alison Gwynn, Rose Dudeney, Mary Johnson and Sally Mills, (who yet again were pipped to the Gold by Marlins 240-year-old team) picked up a Silver medal in the 240+ age group to go with their NEW BRITISH RECORD!

The afternoon session of day two began with the 100 Breaststroke and Silver medals for Linda Hooker (Club Record), Clare Chilton, Dan Valovin and Bonze for Roland Brenner.  The penultimate event for the Marlins Masters, 50 Backstroke, was a good one for the men – Ernesto Paniccia, Dan Valovin and Shaun Finch all picking up Bronze, with a new Club Record for Ernesto in the process.  The ladies, not to be outdone by the men, had a touch of Gold-fever with Alison Webb, Sarah Davison, Ann Gale and Kathy Bidnall (Club Record) all adding to the medal tally, Jill Rocky adding a Bronze to her individual haul.  To round off a successful weekend, Alison Gwynn (Gold and new Club Record) and Rose Dudeney (Bonze) made the final additions to the Marlins totals in the 800 Freestyle.

When all was said and done and the dust had settled, Mid Sussex Marlins returned along the A23, (after a small delay at the Pease Pottage roundabout) with a total of 25 Gold, 16 Silver and 20 Bronze medals. 19 Club records, 3 British Records, 1 European Record and 1 New World Record – Not a bad return for a cold weekend, three weeks after Christmas!