Manchester duo dominate Masters 1.5km race

The Masters National Open Water Swimming Championships 2017 took place today at Rother Valley Country Park.

Part of the Swim England National Open Water Festival, the competition kicked off with the 1.5km race.

Split into four waves, almost 79 competitors aged between 18-years-old and 84-years-old took part.

Stewart Moore and Kimberley Bell were the fastest men and women overall. Both from Manchester Triathlon Club and swimming in the 25-29yrs age group, they finished in 18:02 and 19:22 respectively.

Moore commented: “It was easy to sight and it was pretty calm so it was good for fast racing. I got away at about the first buoy and I just kept checking behind. The swim is my strength in the Triathlon so it is good to be able to take advantage of that.”

Bell added: “It was really good fun. It was a bit cold when you got in, but wearing a wetsuit it was fine.

Colin Pratt (35-39yrs age group) and Michael Peacock (30-34yrs age group) both won golds in their age groups and finished second and third overall in the Men’s event.

Pratt, representing Hamilton Baths and the RAF Swim Team, finished in 18:28. He said: “The conditions were a lot warmer than I am used to, but it was good. I’m looking forward to the 3k now.”

Peacock crossed the line in 18:38. He was supported by his Preston SC coach and was pleased with his overall placing. “I’m really, really happy. I came fifth or sixth last year so I wanted to prove myself and get a gold. [The conditions] were really nice.”

Harry Crisp held onto the men’s 18-24yrs age group crown for a third year, finishing in 18:40.

It was a race for the finishing line in the 45-49yrs age group with the top three of Joseph Gavelle (20:11), Paul Clemence (20:19) and Nick While (20:28) racing for gold.

Local Rotherham Metro swimmer Gavelle touched first. He said: “I really enjoyed it. It was hard, I missed one pack so spent it all swimming on my own. It’s a great atmosphere and it’s been a brilliant day.”

Bill Moore took the gold in the 80-84yrs age group. Swimming for East Leeds, Moore finished in 35:19. He said: “Previous years has been non-wetsuits so it’s made a lot of difference. I was pleased with my time. I’ve been swimming a long time now and it’s been good. It’s nice to see so many people taking part. It’s become much more popular in the last few years. I swim once a week outdoors and also do a lot of Master’s competitions.”

In the women’s race, Ceri Edwards from Portsmouth came second overall. She touched in 19:58 to win gold in the 35-39yrs age group. Jennifer Wilson (18-24yrs age group) finished third overall in 20:43. The City of Coventry swimmer, who is also competing in the 3km event, commented: “It was great. Really good conditions, really clear and calm. The race went well.”

In the 55-59yrs age group, Dona Simpson finished seven minutes ahead of her rivals in 23:00. The Harrogate swimmer commented: “It was a really good race. It’s been very well organised and the course was easy to see.”

1.5km Gold medallists:

  • 18-24yrs age group: Harry Crisp (Norwich); Jennifer Wilson (City of Coventry)
  • 25-29yrs age group: Stewart Moore (Manchester Tri); Kimberley Bell (Manchester Tri)
  • 30-34yrs age group: Michael Peacock (Preston); Laura Bowden (Trafford Met)
  • 35-39yrs age group: Colin Pratt (Hamilton); Ceri Edwards (Portsmouth)
  • 40-44yrs age group: Andrew Hurst (Bolton Tri); Tina Wilson
  • 45-49yrs age group: Joseph Gavelle (Rotherham Metro); Ruth Rhodes (Bradford)
  • 50-54yrs age group: Stephen Bottomley (Bo Kirklees); Elaine Seager (Loughborough)
  • 55-59yrs age group: Brian Armstrong (Gloucester Metro); Dona Simpson (Harrogate)
  • 60-64yrs age group: Ian Murray (Flitwick Dolphines); Phillippa Jones (City of Sheffield)
  • 65-69yrs age group: Jonathan Coe (Gloucester Metro); Shelley Robinson (Sevenoaks)
  • 70-74yrs age group: Colin Gerrard (Richmond Dale)
  • 75-79 yrs age group: Garfield Thomas (Bridgend City)
  • 80-84yrs age group: Bill Moore (East Leeds)

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