Wednesday, 8 November 2017

NZMS Farewells Les O'Donnel

It is with sadness that we report that Les O'Donnell passed away on Tuesday 7th November.

Les, along with Jan who was later to become his wife, were founding members of North Shore Masters back in 1981. Although his health has deteriorated over recent years, until quite recently Les would still be seen ploughing up and down the lane at our club sessions, especially on a Sunday morning. He never followed "the programme" but was always happy just doing his own thing.

Our thoughts are with Jan and the rest of Les' family.

For those who wish to attend, Les' funeral will be held on Monday 13 November at 1pm, Dil's Funeral Services Ltd, 185 Schnapper Rock Road, Albany.

This picture appeared in the old MasterScrawl magazine shortly after I first joined North Shore Masters in 2001- it is the way many of us will remember Les.

Liz Davidson

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

What Dawn had to say about the World Masters Swimming Championships in Budapest, Hungary

In August of this year a team of 16 swimmers from NZ (Richard Smith, Rachel Richardson, Dawn Walker, Giles Walker, Ben Van Dyke, Malcolm Anderson, David Stekert, Michelle Lockhart, Mark Weldon, Marina McCartney, Helen Price, Julie Gunthorp, Jan Kordonski, Rebecca Perrott , Melanie Jones, and Robyn Crotty) headed over to Budapest, Hungary, for the World Masters Swimming Championships. Many of the swimmers had participated in similar events before but for some (like Giles and myself) this was a first. What an eye opener. We had thought the standard at the World Masters Games was high, but this was a whole new level!

The racing was held over 7 days, with 4 pools being used each day. We were fortunate to swim most of our events at the new Dagály Swimming Complex, which features 3x 50m pools, seating for a few thousand and the all important hot tubs! In all there were over 7000 swimmers, with the oldest being well into their 90s. In fact there were plenty of teams
competing in the 320+ age group relays. The highlight for me was being a part of 2 mixed relays with Giles, Rachel Richardson and Richard Smith. The real spirit of the sport comes out in relays.

Overall NZ performed fantastically with many stand outs. For a small team we won 7 golds- Julie (4),Rebecca(1) and Mark (2) and a number of silvers and bronzes- also included in these were Robyn and Ben. Mark and Julie also broke Championship records in some of their events.

Budapest was the perfect location for such an event to be held, with so many attractions, away from the pool, worth visiting and learning about. With travel and networking being so easy these days it makes attending these overseas events a lot less daunting. Team NZ swimmers met up and supported each other the whole time, lots of new friendships were made and many laughs were had (local wine helps!).

I would encourage our swimmers to consider attending one of these events in the future. It would be great if we could take a bigger team and make a few more relays to challenge those larger countries. I think I can safely say we all had lots of fun, in and out of the pool. Thank you to everyone who made it such a memorable experience.

I wish I could finish this piece with some Hungarian phrases that I picked up but I am afraid to say I would consider a 200 butterfly to be easier than pronouncing correctly and remembering any Hungarian words. We tried!

Dawn Walker

Well Done to all our NZMS Swimmers!!

Upcoming Events

Banana Boat NZ Ocean Swim Series 2017/18:
Harbour Crossing, Auckland:  18 November
Bay of Islands Classic, Russell:  16 December
Capital Classic, Wellington: 28 January
Legend of the Lake, Rotorua:  17 February
Sand to Surf, Mt Maunganui:  10 March
The Big Tahuna, Nelson:  31 March
King of the Bays, Auckland:  14 April

Auckland Central Masters Club: Swim Auckland Harbour series. Entry details:

Bays Swim – 3.6km 19th November 2017
Chelsea Swim – 2.4km 4th February 2017
Rangitoto Swim – 4.6km 18th March 2017
Marathon Swim – 10km 22th April 2018

2018 Katikati Masters 33.3m Pool Champonship: Saturday January 13th,  entry form

2018 New Zealand Masters Games:  3 - 11 February 2018:  more info

29th Red Beach Open Water Swim:  11 February 2018:  entry form

2018 Hamilton Masters 7 Bridges swim:  8 April 2018, entry form