In September, Seagull competed at their first official meet of the year at Brighton’s Prince Regent complex.
With 182 PBs achieved out of 235 races, the Ken Deeley Open Meet paved the way for a successful return to competition. Some 56 medals were collected, including 13 golds, 20 silvers and 23 bronzes.
Gold medallists included Lucius Waite (5 Golds), Alice Lelliott (4), Elisha Paige (2), Imogen Magri (1) and Stanley Yeats (1).
Next, swimmers took part in Hastings Seagull’s first Club Championships, where they racked up an impressive 116 personal best times.
Among them was 11-year-old Lucius Waite who won the first Gold Hat of 2021 for breaking the Club Champs record in 50m backstroke.
The Club Championships are taking place over six Monday evenings at Summerfields Leisure Centre.
The club was again piling up the PBs at the Lis Hartley Open, 50m long course pool meet at K2 Crawley. More than 50 swimmers took home a total of 81 medals. Notable successes included multiple gold and silver medal tallies from Freya Bailey (1 Gold, 2 Silver, 1 Bronze), Nate Cahill (1 Gold, 3 Bronze), Peter Conte (3 Gold, 2 Silver), James Fisher (1 Gold, 1 Silver, 2 Bronze), Alara Kusku (1 Gold and 3 Silver), Imogen Magri (3 Gold and 2 Silver), Harvey Pope (3 Gold, 4 Silver, 3 Bronze), Evie Stockdale (3 Gold), Lucius Waite (6 Gold, 4 Silver, 3 Bronze), Stanley Yeats (5 Gold, 3 Silver) and Tom Youdale (2 Gold, 1 Silver, 1 Bronze).
The club’s new captains, Elisha Page and Ruben Bigg won a range of gold, silver and bronze medals.
During the two day-event at the Crawley leisure centre, Tom Youdale broke the Hastings Seagull all-time club record for 50m freestyle in the 14-year-old and under category which had stood for 15 years.
Meanwhile Swim England has invited three Hastings Seagull SC members, the most recorded at the club, on to its 2021-22 National Development Programme. Nate Cahill (13), Reus Brown (13) and Tom Youdale (14) will take part in the scheme.
October started strongly too with Hasting Seagull finishing third in the first leg of the National Arena Swimming League, against Dover Lifeguards, Brighton SC, Sutton & Cheam, Erith & District and Redhill & Reigate. As England and Wales’ premiere swimming league competition, now in its 50th year, nearly 400 teams and over 16,000 swimmers competing in team relays and individual events over three rounds.
In a bid to establish times for swimmers who had not competed since February 2020, Swim England introduced Level X Racing, which saw galas held by clubs at their home pools, including Hastings Seagull, across the country in August. From there, South East competitors qualified for the first regional Festival of Swimming meets since lockdown in High Wycombe and Crawley, where Hastings swimmers were out in force.
Olivier Choron, Hastings Seagull SC chairman, said: “There have been plenty of challenges caused by the pandemic, but the club and its swimmers have risen above them with an incredible number of achievements in recent months. I am super proud of all of them.
“I’d also like to thank our coaches and volunteers, who have given so much time in planning these events and ensuring all those involved with the club remain as safe as possible during our day-to-day activities.”
Seagull swimmers have been demonstrating their skills in other related activities. Hettie Rankin (16), who is a member of the senior elite squad, swam the English Channel in September, in a relay team including her father Derek and Uncle, Steve, along with 18-year-old Hamish Zon.
And lifesaving skills were on display by fellow senior elite swimmer Peter Conte, who won the gruelling annual RNLI Lifeguard Challenge 2021 in the same month.
Seagull have announced Callum Pearson as its new head teacher. One of the most successful competitive swimmers the club has had and an existing coach, he will take charge of the club’s growing Learn to Swim programme, using pools at Hastings, Bexhill and Rye. See www.
Hastings Seagull would also like to thank sponsors Aspray (Tunbridge Wells), P&S Electrical (South East) Limited and Ashdown Hurrey Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers for donations and support during the pandemic.