Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Win One Of Two Entry Passes to the ACM Herne Bay Swim 16 November 2014

To go into the draw to win one of 2 entry passes to the Herne Bay Swim on the 16 November 2014 all at this link .  The competition closes 1 November 2014 so make sure you enter!  Winners will be notified by email.

Enter HERE!!  Entry form for Herne Bay Swim

More About the Auckland Central Masters Harbour Swims  www.aucklandharbourswims.org.nz

Herne Bay - 16 November 2014
Chelsea - 23 November 2014
Bays - 8 February 2015
Rangitoto - 2nd March 2015
10km Marathon Swim - 26 April

Monday, 29 September 2014

FINA World Masters Swimming Championships, Montreal 2014 - A personal perspective from Richard Jongens

From Left:  Steve Prescott,  Katherine Johnstone and Richard Jongens
About 6000 swimmers and 2000 water polo, divers, and synchronised-swimmers gathered in th FINA World Masters Championships. Of the 6000 swimmers, only three men (Richard Jongens, Steven Prescott, and Colin Feltoe), and four women (Linda Feltoe, Margaret Fairhall, Margaret Radford, Katherine Johnstone), made the long trip from New Zealand. We were definitely out-numbered by the Aussie participation. However, our claim to fame was that the oldest competitor present was Katherine Johnstone at 97. Katherine travelled all the way from Auckland to Canada with her two daughters for the competition. A brilliant effort to come so far, and the crowd loved her. She lapped up the attention by waving to the crowd as she walked to the other end of the pool for the 50 m freestyle. She even dive-started the race, whereas some of her younger counterparts in the 85-89 and 90-94 age group had to step in to the pool first for a wall-start. One of her best achievements was finishing the 400 m Freestyle in 15.43.16, which broke the existing world record (17.08.08), also set by her in Riccione, 2012. That’s a whole minute and 25 seconds faster! Steve Prescott and I congratulated her after her 50m swim. We were struck by her infectious enthusiasm and laughter. One other Kiwi was also present at Montréal: Roger Eagles, in his official capacity as a FINA Masters Committee member. He did a lot of handshaking but no swimming, but it was good to see a Kiwi helping the FINA organisation.

Main Venue at Parc Jean-Dapau.  The main competition pool is on the top left, and the warmup pool is in the middle  with the diving pool at the bottom right
My team mate, Steve Prescott, and I decided to go to the FINA world champs back in December 2013, and trained towards that goal for much of the first half of 2014. Our swims at the Long Course Nationals in Dunedin (May 2014) weren’t great, but this was no surprise given that we were in the middle of hard training, with no taper. Fortunately, we tapered nicely for Montréal, and arrived four days before competition to get over the jet lag. Swimming facilities at Montréal prior to competition were limited because the two 50 m pools and warm up pool at Park Jean-Drapeau (on two islands in the middle of the St Lawerence River) were being fully utilised by the water polo and synchronised swimming teams. We swam at the Claude-Robillard Pool (the 1976 Montréal Olympic pool), out in the suburbs but because this pool remained open to the public and all competitors it was more like a washing machine instead of organised lane training. On top of that, we couldn’t figure out why our 100 m freestyle sets were so slow until we realised that the bulkhead was set at 30 m distance instead of the usual 25 m!

Packed crowds at the main competition pool
Come the first day of competition, we started the day warming up in the warm-up pool at Park Jean-Drapeau, along with about 1000 other people! You can imagine the chaos. There were two 50 m, 10 lane, 2 m deep competition pools. One was used for the womens events and one was used for the mens events. For each day of competition (8 days in all), the women and men swapped pools. One of the competition pools was a temporary pool made by Mrytha, and this felt the fastest of the two. Because the two competition pools were separated by a good 15 minute walk, Steve and I never got to meet up with some of the women kiwis that were competing (sorry Margaret). We did, however, catch up for dinner with Colin and Linda Feltoe. Temperatures hovered around 28 to 30 degrees outside so we stayed in the shade until our events. The first day was the 800 m and because there were 60 heats for the women, the competition went well after 10 pm at night. Other days were fortunately not so late. 

The Temporary Pool at sunset during the first day of competition.  800m freestyle heats continued well into the evening.  Note the geodesic dome (now a biosphere) on the right which was constructed during the 1967 world Expo in Montreal

Both Steve and I were really happy with our results. I had heaps of competition in the 45-49 age group (up to 180 men in the 50 Freestyle event) which made my 65th placing in the 50 m not so bad. The best I did was 12th in the 800 m which confirms that I’m a better long distance swimmer than a sprinter. Steve Prescott, as always, dominated his age group (60-64), winning 3 golds and 2 silvers (200m breaststroke, 200 fly, 400 IM, 400 & 800 freestyle). It could be said that in terms of the World Masters Swimming, Steve is probably the fastest all-round swimmer in his age group. However, the surprise of the meet was that I went faster than him in the 400 m Freestyle in a time of 4.46.19 compared to his 4.48.80. This was the first time I had gone faster than him, but to Steve’s credit, he is 14 years older than me.
The results and times for all the swimmers, including our NZ swimmers, can be found at https://finamasters2014.org/swimming-results/

Note that there are a lot of swimmers in the result lists that have a “NT” next to them. This is because they raced but failed to go faster than the qualifying time set for the event, and were therefore not given a time. A bit harsh I felt.

The 3km open water start for the 60 - 64 age gropu.  Steve Presescott is in there somewhere.  Note that some swimmers have  the full body swimsuits on (these are legal)
The 3 km open water swim was held at the 1976 Olympic rowing course, also on one of the islands in the St Lawerence River. Because it was on a rowing course, complete with buoys every 10 m, it was easy to follow with no real chop to contend with. One of the FINA rules that took us by surprise is that drafting is not allowed. We thought this would be hard to enforce but the referees (who were on several boats) would present a yellow flag (a warning) if they thought you were purposely drafting, and then a red flag (disqualification) if you continued to draft. Fortunately, Steve and I didn’t get a yellow flag, Steve getting gold in his age group having only passed the leader in the last 200 m, and I was 15th in my age group. Another FINA rule we were unaware of is that full body swim-suits that are sleeveless and without a zip on the back are perfectly legal in open water swims. We noted some swimmers that were slower in the pool, were slightly faster in the open water (relative to other swimmers) because of these suits.

The venue for open water swim was held in the rowing course (centre right) used for the 1976 Montreal Olympics. The St Lawerence Sea Way is on the right, and the main river channel is on the left
Overall, the FINA world champs is a great event and I highly recommend it. It’s the only chance to swim with people who are seeded at about your speed that are also in your 5 year interval age group. Heats in most other Masters meets are just based on time alone, irrespective of sex or age, so a 50 year old male could be racing against a 25 year old female and so on. We met lots of people from many countries including such diverse places as Egypt and Costa Rica. We even met a Fiji Masters Swimmer. Although it appears very crowded at times, it’s a great event and something worth striving for if you want to achieve personal bests. 

A thought about the upcoming World Masters Games to be held in Auckland 2017: I’m not sure what venue will be used for the swimming but if its anything like Sydney 2009, there will be lots of people (1800 at Sydney), and everyone will want to warm up before their race. It is extremely important that the swimming venue has both a competition pool and a separate warm-up pool that can adequately take this number of swimmers. Providing a warm up time before competition begins at say 8 to 9 am is not sufficient when your race may be at 4 pm in the afternoon. You need a separate pool where you can warm up within an hour of your race.

By Richard Jongens

Upcoming Events

NORTH ISLAND SHORT COURSE CHAMPIONSHIPS 2014: This annual swim meet will be hosted by Whakatane Masters on Friday 17th October (evening session) and Saturday 18th October. Saturday night function. Please support this meeting. We were close to not having a 2014 championships. Entry form here

SOUTH ISLAND SHORT COURSE CHAMPIONSHIPS 2014: To be hosted by Foveaux Masters club in Invercargill on 4th October. Entry form is on the NZMS website.

NZMS 800 / 1500 POSTAL SWIM - 1 - 31 October 2014:  Entry form can be found on the NZMS site

AUCKLAND CENTRAL MASTERS HARBOUR SWIMS:  www.aucklandharbourswims.org.nz
Herne Bay - 16 November
Chelsea - 23 November
Bays - 8 Feb 2015
Rangitoto - 2 March 2015
10km Marathon Swim - 26 April 2015

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.

SOUTH ISLAND MASTER GAMES in Timaru 16 - 18th October 2014. For more info visit their website: www.simasters.co.nz


Monday, 15 September 2014

Dawn Walker Speaks About the Samoa Swim Series and Her Struggle With Swine Flu

"At the end of July a large group of New Zealand ocean swimmers headed to Samoa to compete in the 3rd Samoa Swim Series (3 races in 3 days) organised by Seti Afoa. I, along with 4 other South City Masters swimmers (Giles Walker, Dan Feist, Deryn McGregor, Nicole Youman) were part of that group. This competition has now become International and is growing in popularity every year. 2014 saw over 150 competitors coming from NZ, Australia and the USA. Local Samoan swimmers also participated for the first time.

We arrived 2 days prior to the 1st race and within 24 hours I had developed a chesty cough and headache. Not thinking too much of it (I am not one to get sick, pull muscles yes, but not sick!) I eagerly looked forward to race 1 (Sails Restaurant Apia), a 4km race as a contingency course in stormy conditions. I put the vomiting and headache during the race down to the choppy conditions but struggled to scramble out of the water at the finish and was advised to see a doctor. Diagnosed with bronchitis and sent away with some antibiotics I was convinced I was going to get better

Race 2, was further a field at Falefa and conditions were perfect. My health was slowly deteriorating and the coughing was more intensive but I was determined to make all 3 races as ultimately that was why I was there. I managed to draft off 2 swimmers most of the way and was satisfied with another 4km finish.

Race 3 the following day was over on the southern side of the island at the stunning Sinalei Reef Resort. Weather conditions again were poor. In my 5 years of competitive open water race 3 was the toughest I have ever done. Strong winds and a driving current meant that swimming on the spot was par for the course. On top of this my respiratory infection had spread to my sinuses and I was struggling to breathe through my nose. I knew I had to complete it to stand a chance of a placing. I finished, taking 1 hour 11 mins to complete the 4km race but I was way down the pack. At the finish I was in tears, knowing something was wrong and frustrated that I felt so sick.

 That evening's prize giving and dinner saw a great show put on by Seti and his team, with local dancers and performers and Miss Samoa to present prizes. A swimmer's final placing is worked out as cumulative times over the 3 races. Remarkably, saved I believe by the first 2 swims, I was awarded 2nd female overall, with Sarah Mortimer coming first.

 The 2nd part of the trip saw many of us heading over to Savaii, Samoa's largest island for some relaxation. A beautiful island that I barely got to appreciate as I continued to struggle with nose bleeds, coughing to the point of chest pain, headaches and fatigue. Samoa has so much to offer that I feel I missed out on but good company meant that I kept good spirits in that 2nd week.

After 10 days in Samoa we returned to NZ and within hours I had developed a chronic middle ear infection on top of the still very present respiratory infection. Within hours I was at my GPs and sent to Middlemore immediately. Over the course of 3 days I saw many doctors who were baffled by my apparent fitness but unresponsiveness to antibiotics, until a routine test for H1 N1 Swine Flu proved positive. This resulted in me being swiftly removed from the ward and placed in isolation!  
It is now 7 weeks since I contracted Influenza, and it is only just in the last day that I feel like I am becoming my old self. I was off work for over 2 weeks, out of the pool for 5 weeks and have just started to get back in and get my toes wet. Prior to Samoa my training and fitness was at the best it has been in 5 years. It's amazing when you are sick and get can barely get out of bed what you miss....early morning training sessions, squad training, gym workouts, running with the dog. At the moment they are still on the wish list but there is light at the end of the tunnel and it's getting brighter. 

On a follow up visit to my doctor a couple of weeks ago he told me I should consider writing off the swim season. I told him it hadn't even started yet! He said I was extremely ill and too much pressure on the heart could mean long term damage. Out of curiosity I asked him how I had managed to race three 4 km races in the ocean with a potentially life threatening illness. He didn't need to say anything...he just pointed to his head. I interpreted it that he thinks I'm a nutter!
I could have contracted this illness anywhere, I was just unfortunate or unwise not to have had the vaccination this year.
I thoroughly recommend any open water swimmers to consider Seti's race series. The water temperature and lack of need for a wetsuit is a big draw. It's well organised and supported and will continue to grow. Give it a go."  Dawn Walker, South City Masters

Dawn, we wish you a speedy recovery and hope to see you back in the water soon!

Swim Set of the Week - 500s

Warm up
5 x 100 as odds swim, evens 25 drill/25 build. 10 rest 

5 x 500 (1min rest between each) as:
1st:   Moderate
2nd:  Easy
3rd:  25m Sprint / 75m moderate
4th: Easy
5th: Hard
Warm Down 200 Easy 

Win an Ocean Clinic Day Pass

We have a Day Pass for an Ocean Clinic up for grabs.

The open water season is upon us and this a great and fun way to prepare for your next open water swim whether you are a beginner or an advanced swimmer. The Ocean Clinics cater for a wide range of swimming abilities.  The winner will be announced mid October.

All you need to do is complete the form below and submit or you can complete the form at this link

  • Win an Ocean Clinic Day Pass

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More About The Ocean Clinics



Wednesday, 10 September 2014

OBITUARY - HOWARD HOLMES 28/8/1917 – 26/8/2014 (aged 96)

Written by Tony Gayford.  Secretary, Gisborne Masters swimming Club

Howard Holmes. - Master Swimmer since 1984, WW2, POW 4 ½ years, Tailor, Dry- Cleaner, Bird lover, Golfer, Dancer, Orchid Grower, Father, and Husband to Olga. 

I have known Howard since I joined Masters in 1989, when he was a sprightly young 72 year old.

One of the first stories he told me was when he was holed up in Crete, before capture, the platoon leader gave him a watch, and then left.  He still had the watch in 1990, and it turned out that the NCO was the father of a good friend from my school days. 

Howard enjoyed a fit and healthy life, packed with activity.  One would get the impression he wouldn’t sit around reading, or do other sedentary activity for very long.  He would do a swim session, and then golf in the same day and may even fit in a gym session. 

Howard enjoyed a long, active life. I felt that he had cracked the recipe for 90 plus years with his positive attitude and his generous spirit and actions, staying fit and walking a lot, and being a sought after partner at weekly dance sessions.

Sometimes his generosity did not extend to himself – he would be self effacing in conversation, much of it humorous and a bit of a tight wad when faced with paying for “dinners out,” “you can get all you can eat for $5.00 at the RSA”, one of his favourite haunts. 

Howard spent years, through the summer months, driving to orchards collecting and picking carloads of fruit, and then distributing it to his “elderly clients” most of them much younger than himself. 

Howard attended many swim meets, and swam every freestyle event at most, 50m to 1500m. To date, he still holds 13 New Zealand records from 80 to 90 year groups.

He was disappointed to give up in his early 90s, due to leg ulcers and a shoulder injury. He was valuable to our Masters teams, not only for swimming, but his years were a considerable advantage in relays.

A few glimpses of a rare character:  

·       Announcement at Napier Swim Meet:
“Would the person who left a bag with beer in the changing room please collect it from the      office”.  Howard’s secret weapon!

·       The stop at the Whakatane RSA for a “jug” before the meet.
·       The same trip, a bird in a covered cage needed to be fed every hour in the back seat of the car. Expecting some exotic avian, it turned out to be a Mynah!
·       Complaining about his sore shoulder – he injured it while learning a new rock and roll            move.
And some comments from fellow Masters:

From Barry McLean:

 I first met Howard in 1948 – He was one of the best senior swimmers in the Gisborne Swimming

and Surf Club I joined.  Also at that time he was among the best swimmers in Gisborne and Hawkes   Bay.

Always arriving immaculately dressed (he was a tailor and dry-cleaner) he was prepared to start in any freestyle event (50yards up to a mile. in those days) His loping slow arm action belied his speed, and his “eel” turns were both evident in his “Master years”

To settle his nerves before a race he would often “have a couple” and at the “after Meet Function” he would enjoy a couple more.

A character who also was a successful cage bird fancier and orchid grower will be missed for those weekly chats around the pool and fondly remembered.

From Kim Barbara:

I always remember Howard clearing the pool, by putting his togs on the heater in the men’s changing rooms, they caught fire, and everyone had to evacuate.

He then brought a new pair with the words “SPANK: on the rear. This enhanced his “eel turn”.

They had cost him $3.00 from the Red Cross Shop.

This gentle man will be missed by young and old. An inspiration to us all as to why life is worth living to the fullest.

From Edith Markie:

Howard at 65 yrs old was the first Gisborne Master Representative at an international meet, in 1984 at Christchurch. There were 1600 swimmers competing at the first FINA World Meet.

Howard was a modest generous fellow who loved telling stories about himself.

At 85 he presented back, at the NISC in Rotorua all the medals he had won over the years.

RIP   Howard, Swimmers everywhere will remember you.
Fittingly, the only Hymn at his funeral (Which was a large turnout), was:
“Onward Christian Soldiers”
He was one to the end
 The “Last Post ‘‘filled the Church.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Kurt Crosland - New World Record Holder in the 100m Men's Backstroke (25-29years)

NZMS awarded Kurt a certificate of achievement at the AGM this year for breaking a world record in 2013 and he also received a letter of congratulations from Aquatics NZ.
100m Back - Old Record - Chris King - South Africa - 00:56.89 -  15.06.12
25-29yrs -  New Record - Kurt Crosland - Dunedin -  00:55.87 -  12.04.13

Prior to the 100m backstroke world record, Kurt won 5 silvers and a gold at the Oceania Games 2012.  He says getting to stand on the podium with the NZ National Anthem playing for him was pretty awesome.  Kurt has also broken about 80 Otago Open Records and a few of Danyon Loaders' and was the overall points champion at the NZ Short Course Champs in 2013. In 2014 he was National 50m backstroke champ and 2nd in the 100m and 200m, just missing the Commonwealth Games qualifiers by .2 of a second.  Kurt says he has many achievements of which he is proud and he hopes to go on to inspire others.

Surrounded by an awesome large extended family, he lives with his beautiful girlfriend Riki-lee, her daughter Paige and his main man, son Riley.  Oscar the dog and Max the cat complete the Crosland clan. Kurt works as an aluminium joiner at Morlit Aluminium and says his goal is to own his own business one day.  When he is not in the pool or working he does what a swimmer does - eats and sleeps, although, he does say he loves to build things, hang out with his family and go for the occasional surf.  Good coffee and the odd beer, also form part of his healthy diet.
Being extremely passionate about swimming Kurt would love to coach swimming at a competitive level so that he can pass on his knowledge in the hope that it would help others to become successful not only in the pool but as a person too.
Kurt would like to give a special thanks and mention to Mr Duncan Laing.  Duncan, played a massive part in building the foundations of Kurt's swimming and was an incredible coach and a great man for whom Kurt has an enormous amount of respect.  He would also like thank the Dunedin Masters Swim Club for their support,  especially Steve Clarke and Richard Jongens.
Kurt in his own words: "Have a laugh whenever you can. Keep your elbows up, make your thumb touch your thigh, try 3 stroke breathing."

Congratulations, Kurt!  You are an inspiration and we wish you all the best for your future swimming career.

$50 Swim T3 Voucher To Be Won

This month's Swim T3 voucher will be randomly drawn from among all the entrants of the North Island and South Island Short Course Champs in October.  So if you want to go into the draw to win a $50 Swim T3 voucher make sure you have entered these events.

A big shout out to Swim T3!  Please support them  www.swimt3.co.nz

Upcoming Events

NORTH ISLAND SHORT COURSE CHAMPIONSHIPS 2014: This annual swim meet will be hosted by Whakatane Masters on Friday 17th October (evening session) and Saturday 18th October. Saturday night function. Please support this meeting. We were close to not having a 2014 championships.  Entry form here

SOUTH ISLAND SHORT COURSE CHAMPIONSHIPS 2014: To be hosted by Foveaux Masters club in Invercargill on 4th October. Entry form is on the NZMS website.

TAUPO BROWN TROUT SPRING FLING: Hosted by Taupo Masters on Saturday 13th September 2014. Contact: kcgray@xtra.co.nz .   Entry Form can be downloaded here .

JASI MASTERS SWIM CLUB: Their 25th Anniversary Celebrations on 6th September 2014 in Christchurch/ Please contact: secretary@jasimasters.org.nz for details.

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. 

SOUTH ISLAND MASTER GAMES in Timaru 16 - 18th October 2014.  For more info visit their website:  www.simasters.co.nz