Wednesday, 18 June 2014

The History of New Zealand Masters Swimming - Meet the Author, Roger Eagles

NZMS, wishes to congratulate Roger Eagles on the launch of his book The History of New Zealand Masters Swimming 1973 - 2013 which he started writing in 2012. This is a fantastic 40 year historical overview of NZMS.  Roger says that this was a great experience and he has learned a lot from it. The History of NZMS is the first book ever written by Roger, but he is hopeful that it won't be the last and is waiting for another subject to grab his interest to start his second book.

Roger kicked off his swimming career at the young age of 7 years old, he went on to represent the Bay of Plenty for many years at the National Championships and captained the team for the last two years of his younger career. After this he joined the Foveaux Masters Swimming club of which he became the first President.  He was elected Vice-President of NZMS in 2003 and went on to become President in 2005 and served for three terms. He broke many records in his younger career and has broken five NZMS records in his masters career.

In 2006, Roger was appointed as the first Chairman of Aquatics New Zealand Inc where he served as Chairman until 2011.  In 2009 he was appointed to the FINA Committee and has recently been re-appointed for a further four years.

Who is Roger when he is not competing in every NZMS National Championships?  Four years ago he married his lovely wife, Lily, in China. Roger has two sons, Marshall and Morgan and one adorable 18 month old granddaughter, Elena.  Lily has one son, Yan Xin, who is currently a tennis coach in Beijing.  Eight small finches and canaries
form part of the Eagles household and when Roger is not listening to his birds' cheerful singing he is a successful lawyer in a firm he founded in 1978 and has no intention of retiring anytime soon. Apart from swimming four days a week, Roger enjoys indoor rowing, which he says makes a nice change from swimming. When he is not in the pool or rowing you can find Roger on his VFR1200, being a bike fanatic he has owned thirteen bikes throughout his life and likes nothing more than a long road trip.

Roger in his own words:  "Masters swimming has been wonderful for me. Not only do I enjoy the sport of swimming so much, but the making of friends and contacts has been so beneficial and after getting appointed to the FINA Masters
Committee contacts with other Master swimming enthusiasts from all around the world followed, together with trips to fascinating destinations like Gothenburg and Riccione. This year it will be Montreal and next year Kazan in Russia. Being on the FINA Committee has made me more aware of the world-wide nature of swimming and where Masters fits in"

Well done Roger, what a fantastic effort! If any of you would like to purchase this book please email Mike Bodger on

Selfie Swim T3 Competition Winners

Congratulations to Glenn Pearce from TBSS, Central City for getting a whopping 16 likes for his selfie.  Glenn wins a $50 Swim T3 voucher.

The Selfie liker Swim T3 $50 voucher goes to Nancy Manning!

Thanks to all those who entered and bravely sent us their selfies!

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Swim Like a Ship - Article by Barry Young

Barry Young is not only one of our most enthusiastic master swimmers, current holder of several FINA Masters world records, he was also a senior lecturer at the New Zealand Maritime School with over thirty five years experience in teaching ship stability, propulsion and ship stress. In these two articles he points out the remarkable similarities between ships and swimmers as they both try to move through the water as efficiently as possible.

1. Shape:

Ship: Long, narrow ships are easier to move through the water than short, wide ships. The boat in the photo
has been specifically shaped to slide through the water easily. The centre hull is 12 meters long and only 1 meter wide. It uses only a half a litre of diesel fuel per nautical mile and is capable of travelling 2400 miles without refuelling.

Swimmer: There is not too much we can do to change the shape of our bodies but it is a fact that most of the world’s fastest swimmers are tall and slim. Weren’t those speed suits great? They definitely changed our shape. I always felt that Master Swimmers gained a greater advantage from them because they squeezed our lumps, bumps and wrinkles into a more lean, efficient hydrodynamic shape. Whenever I put mine on I felt like Superman – capable of slicing through the water without a ripple! You could particularly feel the difference with dive-starts and turns. The suits were an aberration and had to go, but they were great while they lasted! Wetsuits have a similar effect and, in addition, their buoyancy further reduces drag by lifting you upwards.

Conclusion: In all strokes we should be keeping our body as long as possible. Stretching out during the glide part of the stroke will make you more efficient. Rolling from side to side in freestyle and backstroke is good because your body offers less resistance when on its side than when flat on your front or back.

2. Interaction:

Ship: Whenever a moving ship gets too close to another object – like the sea bed, a canal bank or another ship – it experiences drag which slows it down. This is known as ‘interaction’. Apart from slowing down, a ship in shallow water also sinks lower in the water, which means that more of the ship is under water creating more drag. This effect is known as ‘squat’. In addition, the size of the ship’s bow wave and stern wave increase in shallow water which means less of her power is available for propulsion - see ‘wave making’ later.

There is one situation in which interaction can increase the speed of a ship, this happens when one ship closely follows directly behind another. In this situation both ships go faster.

Swimmer: Most of us have worked out that deep pools are faster than shallow pools. The shallower the pool the more drag you experience, this is why Olympic pools are so deep. Swimming close to the lane ropes or the wall also causes drag. In an open water swim it is possible to get a little help by drafting close behind one or more swimmers – which is why drafting is not permitted in some open water races.

Conclusion: The best place to be is in the centre of your lane. During starts and turns, remain half way between the pool bottom and the surface for as long as possible. In this position you are as far as possible from drag creating surfaces.

3. Propeller:

Ship: In the 19th century. when most ships were propelled with paddle wheels, there was a lot of discussion
and argument about the efficiency of paddle wheels as compared with the modern screw propeller. So two identical ships were built with identical engines, RATTLER on the left had a screw propeller and ELECTO on the right had two paddle wheels. The two ships were tied stern to stern as shown in the picture and a tug-of-war followed. The RATTLER won. It towed the paddle wheeler backwards all round the harbour. This proved beyond doubt that the propeller is more efficient than the paddle wheel.

Swimmer: For many years swimmers thought of their hands as paddles pulling straight back through the water. We now know that the hands are much more efficient when used like propeller blades. We achieve this, when swimming freestyle and butterfly, by moving each hand in an “s” shaped curve as it pulls backwards through the water. This is a three stage sculling motion. At the front of each stroke the hand starts the “s” by moving outwards, away from the body’s centreline. Then it moves inwards under the body, then finally outwards again to complete the “s” at the end of the stroke past the hip. In each of the 3 parts of the ”s”, the hand is slicing sideways through the water like a propeller blade. The angle (or pitch) of the hand changes each time the direction changes from outwards to inwards and then to outwards again. In backstroke, the “s” is there too, but the 3 parts are downward, upward and downward, ending under the hip. In breast stroke, the “s” is reduced to 2 parts, outward and inward, making it more of a diamond shaped stroke than an “s”.

Conclusion: At first it can be confusing and frustrating to try to force the hands to follow the “s” shaped curves, changing pitch twice each stroke as described above. Don’t stress about it! Just leave the idea sitting in the back of your mind while swimming. One day it will just happen. “Distance per stroke” drills encourage swimmers to lengthen their stroke and encourage the “s” movement of the hands. Sculling drills with the hands alongside the hips and ‘long dog’ drills also help.

4. Propeller speed:

Ship: Large ocean-going liners and cargo ships which are trying to move across the oceans as efficiently as possible while using the least amount of fuel, travel at a constant speed and have large diameter, slow turning propellers. These propellers are kept submerged at all times. High speed vessels, on the other hand, have smaller, high revving propellers. Some of these “sprint” propellers are only half submerged!

Swimmer: Think of your hands and feet as your ‘propeller blades’. If you are a middle distance or long distance swimmer, efficiency is more important than power. You will be wanting to get the maximum distance from each stroke with the minimum use of energy. A longer, slower stroke and kick will achieve this best. These swimmers need to have an excellent appreciation of “pace”. They are constantly asking themselves the question “can I keep this pace up for the rest of this race?” If they start out too fast, they will get into oxygen debt and be forced to slow down. If they go out too slow, they will not swim a good time.

Sprinters, on the other hand, are putting out maximum power in order to achieve the highest speed for a short period. Stroke rates are high, with little of the “s” shaped stroke mentioned above and the kick is furious. Sprinters are a strange breed – different to the rest of us. I have trained with some of our best sprinters over the years and am always amazed at the way they loaf through the training session until we get to the sprints – then there is no catching them! They only have one speed – flat out - and that is the way it should be. A sprinter who has an appreciation of pace is not really a sprinter.

Conclusion: Most of us sort out fairly early on in our swimming careers whether we are sprinters or distance swimmers – then we concentrate on refining our stroke and pace to best match our chosen distance. Some of us 200/400 meter swimmers occasionally get roped in for a 4 X 50 meter relay and you very quickly realise how much you need to change your stroke to be fast over the shorter distance.

5. Wave making:

Ship: A moving ship creates two sets of wake waves as can be seen in this photograph. First there are the
vee shaped “divergent” waves at the bow and stern, and then there are the “transverse” waves, which follow along behind the ship. Waves waste energy and leave less energy for forward propulsion. An efficient vessel slips through the water making as little fuss as possible, creating the least wake. The faster a ship moves, the larger the waves it creates.

Most large ships have a “bulbous bow” just beneath the surface, as shown in the sketch below. This bulb produces a wave, which is out of phase with and therefore cancels out, the ship’s divergent bow wave. Fuel savings of up to 15% have been claimed.

Submarines, at the same power settings, go faster when fully submerged than when on the surface. This is because, like ships, the wave patterns made when on the surface use up a considerable amount of energy and leave less energy for forward propulsion.

A submarine which is moving just beneath the surface will still make waves on the surface and will not be as fast as one fully submerged.

Swimmer: Some experienced coaches can tell a lot by observing the wake waves made by a swimmer. Efficient swimmers, like efficient ships, leave less of a wake behind them. There is a possibility that a swimmers head acts like a bulbous bow on a ship to cancel out the main wave created by the swimmers shoulders and torso. In order for this to be effective the top of the head would need to be at or just below the surface of the water.

During a dive start or turn, a swimmer just below the surface will still create waves and will experience drag, so it is better to remain well below the surface during the glide and then rapidly rise to the surface to start the arm strokes. The best place to be in a dive-start or turn is mid way between the surface and pool bottom.

Conclusion: Swimmers need to do everything they can to reduce wave making.

6. Skin friction:

Ship: Below the waterline, ships are painted with special paints which are designed to reduce the friction or drag on the hull as it moves through the water.

Swimmer: The speed suits we were allowed to ware for a while were coated with a friction reducing material. Now that these are no longer allowed, all we can do is to remove as much body hair as possible by shaving down before a meet. No serious male swimmer would wear a beard. “Smoothie” wet suits are designed to be as slick as possible.

7. Appendages:

Ship: Appendages are parts of a ship which stick out from the main hull - like the rudder and stabilizing fins. These cause drag so designers go to great lengths to remove them where possible or to streamline any essential appendages.

Swimmer: Our racing goggles are designed so as to have a low profile and to be recessed into our eye sockets as much as possible. Our ears are tucked under our caps to keep them flat.
Barry Young

Club Shield Interim Results

Placing ClubCode ClubName TotalClubPoints
2 DN5   DUNEDIN 447
7 JP5   JASI 229
9 KT2   KATIKATI 157
10 WH2   WHAKATANE 154
11 MN1 MANUKAU 147
13 CG2   CAMBRIDGE 124
15 FV5   FOVEAUX 87
17 TO2 TAUPO 81
19 LV4   LEVIN 66
23 HM2   HAMILTON 32
24 KM5   KINGS 32
25 WS5    WHALERS 32

Upcoming Events

NORTH ISLAND SHORT COURSE CHAMPIONSHIPS 2014: Inviting applications from Masters clubs to host this meeting.

SOUTH ISLAND SHORT COURSE CHAMPIONSHIPS 2014: To be hosted by Foveaux Masters club in Invercargill on 4th October.

STATE NEW ZEALAND OCEANSWIM SERIES 2014/2015: Dates for swims announced.
Bay of Islands Classic, Paihia, Saturday 22nd November 2014; Harbour Crossing, Auckland, Sunday 7th December 2014; Capital Classic, Wellington, Sunday 25th January 2015; La Grande Swim, Akaroa, Sunday 15th February 2015; Sand to Surf, Mt Maunganui, Saturday 21st March 2015 and King of the Bays, Auckland, Saturday 18th April 2015.

SHEAR MAGIC MASTERTON MASTERS: 2014 Half Hour Postal Swim. Swum anytime between 1st June and 30th June. Entry form and Split Time Sheets available on the NZMS website.

2014 SHEAR MAGIC SHEEP DIP CARNIVAL: Hosted by Masterton Masters on 26th July. Entry forms available on the NZMS website.

SOUTH ISLAND MASTER GAMES in Timaru 16 - 18th October 2014.  For more info contact Raewyn via email

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Upcoming Events

NORTH ISLAND SHORT COURSE CHAMPIONSHIPS 2014: Inviting applications from Masters clubs to host this meeting.

SOUTH ISLAND SHORT COURSE CHAMPIONSHIPS 2014: To be hosted by Foveaux Masters club in Invercargill on 4th October.

STATE NEW ZEALAND OCEANSWIM SERIES 2014/2015: Dates for swims announced.
Bay of Islands Classic, Paihia, Saturday 22nd November 2014; Harbour Crossing, Auckland, Sunday 7th December 2014; Capital Classic, Wellington, Sunday 25th January 2015; La Grande Swim, Akaroa, Sunday 15th February 2015; Sand to Surf, Mt Maunganui, Saturday 21st March 2015 and King of the Bays, Auckland, Saturday 18th April 2015.

SHEAR MAGIC MASTERTON MASTERS: 2014 Half Hour Postal Swim. Swum anytime between 1st June and 30th June. Entry form and Split Time Sheets available on the NZMS website.

2014 SHEAR MAGIC SHEEP DIP CARNIVAL: Hosted by Masterton Masters on 26th July. Entry form available on the NZMS website.

Swim Set of the Week - Tough Set of 100s

I haven't posted one of these for awhile so I have chosen to re-post an extra tough one!

 Warm-upSwim  ChoiceKick

Swim the first 100 VERY comfortably
the second one 3 seconds faster
the third another 3 seconds faster
the fourth still another 3 faster
finally, the fifth 12 seconds faster than the first
Rest almost a minute before repeating.

The interval should allow for 10 seconds rest for the first one.

5 x 100
5 x 100
5 x 100
5 x 100
5 x 100
  Swim-downKick  IM no board


If you have a great workout to share please comment below or email: 

Remember to Enter our Selfie Competition to be in to win a Swim T3 voucher

We have 2x $50 Swim T3 vouchers to give away:

  • The 1st $50 voucher will go to the selfie with the most likes on the NZMS facebook page
  • The 2nd $50 voucher will go to a selfie "liker". This selfie "liker" will be randomly chosen from ALL selfie "likers".  

How To Enter

1.  Take a "selfie" of yourself

2. Upload it to the NZMS facebook page or attach it via a message on the facebook page: NZMS faceboom page  and we'll upload it for you
3.  Email it to and we'll upload it to facebook for you

4.  Get your friends and family to like your selfie.  The selfie with the most likes wins.

5.  Like any selfie entered into the competition to go into the draw to win the 2nd $50 Swim T3 voucher

6.  Competition closes 16 June 2014

What is a Selfie?

"a photograph that one has taken of oneself"

Have any news to share? Then email

SwimT3 June Sale - 20% off everything in store