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Historic weekend for Salford ends with clubs first Redwood Trophy

Salford Synchronised Swimming Club won their first ever Redwood Trophy to round out the GoCardless Swim England Artistic Swimming National Championships 2024.

The North West club added to their first ever Free Team title yesterday with a win in the Technical Team event to earn themselves the prestigious trophy for the very first time.

Their impressive routine received no basemarks and an overall total of 146.0683 with 68.1500 for artistic impression and 77.9183 for elements.

Speaking on the clubs maiden victory, coach Jess Fletcher said: “I have no words. Obviously we were in such a good position from yesterday being ten points ahead but we just didn’t want to be complacent.

“We know that in this new scoring system, ten points isn’t a lot it and it can change so quickly. But the swimmers just gave it their all and we’ve just been saying ‘no basemarks, no basemarks’ so to then hear those words it was like ‘what’s just happened!’ We’re just so proud of them all.”

Salford’s winning squad was made up of Abby Foster, Cajsa Jonsson, Eva Lawrence, Libby Taylor, Lotti Horsman, Sophie Flemming, Sophie Rowney and Zoe Taylor with Caitlyn Brook in reserve.

Hard work has paid off

This year’s National Championships was the first time that the new scoring system for the sport had been included so to come away with no basemarks and the trophy meant that all Salford’s hard work had paid off.

Jess added: “It was a really big challenge to adapt (to the new scoring system). I think not being as free with the choreography has been difficult, sometimes we’ve had to make training more repetitive to address that.

“An R3 is an R3, you can style it out with different feet and things but ultimately it’s the same movement and for the swimmers that are doing more than one routine it has been a struggle to remember the order of the codes and things.

“So we’ve drilled and drilled and I’ve asked for a lot of help with a lot of questions to technical controllers just to clarify things because it’s a big change for everybody.

“Everyone in the artistic swimming community has been so helpful as we’re adapting, we’ve got a head coaches whatsapp group chat and everyone’s been amazing so thank you to them all.”

Rugby Artistic Swimming Club finished in second place in both the Technical Team and the overall Redwood standings.

They scored 129.3779 with 69.9500 for artistic impression and 59.4279 in the technical team to take home the silver medal.

Rugby’s squad included Eve Nelson, Imogen Ravenhall, Jessica Barrett-Leafe, Matilda John, Olivia Eaves, Olivia Tyers, Poppy Williams and Tyra Watson with both Alexa Holland and Amy Buckley in reserve.

City of Bristol rounded out the podium with a total of 117.1029. Their team was made up of Alysia Garrett, Amelie Williams, Katherine Boitsidis, Marie-Ange Siegfried, Molly Hussey, Naelle Winship, Nia Rushton, Pia Lanham with Neve Harrison and Robyn Ashworth as reserves.

Reading Royals were third overall in the Redwood Trophy standings after their silver in the Free Team and fifth place in the technical.

Sophie Flemming awarded Holland Trophy

There was more joy for Salford as Sophie Flemming was awarded the Holland Trophy, which is awarded to the swimmer with the highest combined overall score in every event across the weekend.

It added to her impressive weekend where she was part of Salford’s Technical Team, Free Team and Technical Duet wins.

Her overall total across the seven events of which she entered six was 800.0546. Her teammate and duet partner Sophie Rowney was second on 793.3725 with City of Leeds’ Scarlet Garland in third place.

Speaking on Flemming’s performance Jess added: “At the beginning of the season, she had quite a nasty injury which meant she missed our regional competition. So for her to win this trophy and not just win it but do swims that she’s happy with is incredible.

“And to see her with a big smile on her face is just so great to see because it’s so well deserved.”

You can find all the scores from the GoCardless Swim England Artistic Swimming National Championships 2024 here.

Images: Will Johnston Photography