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Swimming for old masters J


By NEIL FAUDEMER Vice President, Jersey Amateur Swimming Association.


ersey has over the years proudly produced many fine young competitive


swimmers of which the Island can be duly proud and who have on a number of occasions gone on to represent Great Britain at both Commonwealth and Olympic arenas as well as Island Games. It appears however that the elite youngsters no longer have it all their own way. Swimming by the ‘more mature swimmer’ or Masters as they are better known, has seen record numbers undertake various challenges in open water swimming and regular Masters Pool swimming training sessions held at Langford by the Jersey Swimming club.


Contact Details: E: neil@mailmateprint.com T: 493300


These are often oversubscribed as individuals take to regular disciplined swimming sessions which are not for the faint hearted at any age. Jersey now boasts its own International Masters Swim meet held annually at Les Quennevais Pool which last year saw two world records broken in the 80 to 84 ladies age group. Jane Asher frankly demolished both the 800 and 1500 metre records and having witnessed the swim myself, this simply incredible swim further


Page 94 Jersey's Olympic Legacy


supported the old adage that it is never too late.


Then there was Roger Allsopp a retired surgeon in Guernsey who at over 70 bravely extended the world record in becoming the oldest individual to swim the English Channel, and raised an enormous amount of money for charity in doing so.


Regular Open water events such as the Castle to Harbour, Green Island to Havre Des Pas and Round St Aubin’s Fort swims now attract large numbers of swimmers of all ages and varying abilities. Many are entering for the first time looking at simply making it from A to B, while the more dedicated are looking to beat the clock or a previous best time.


For those interested in more punishing feats of endurance many will find the best challenges lie in local waters. The Round Island Jersey swim is arguably the most popular with over 60 swimmers from all over the world following in the swimming strokes of the intrepid Denize Le Pennec who became the first swimmer to complete the feat from Gorey to


Gorey in the sixties. Later she went on to become the first Channel Islander to conquer the English Channel. Spare a thought for her coach of the day Maurice Lakeman who apparently rowed by her side whilst she swam around Jersey! Nowadays you start and finish at Elizabeth Castle breakwater but the circumnavigation of around 44 miles is no stroll in the park. So be prepared to be in the water for between 10 to 13 hours depending on your ability. No wet suits or touching the guard boat allowed if you want your name included in the Jersey Long Distance Swimming club Roll of Honour.


Jersey to France also provides a stern test and swimming between the Islands now appears to be on the agenda. The ultimate Long Distance swim remains the Channel and that formidable stretch of water between Dover and Calais. Jersey proudly boasts a considerable number of local achievers many of whom have been mad enough to undertake the 20 mile challenge on more than one occasion.


While looking to punish one’s body is not everybody’s cup of tea, many


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