Loch Venachar in the beautiful Trossachs was the venue for the Scottish Open Water Championships on10 August. Open water swimming is becoming very popular and some of Scotland’s top swimmers competed in the National Championships held over various distances over 2 days.
Nicky Ritchie and Rhys Meyer-McDonagh, both still only 12 years old, participated in the novice race distance of 1 kilometre. They adapted extremely well to the different swimming environment and raced the full distance – with Nicky coming in first in a time of 15 minutes 41 and Rhys second in 17 Minutes 34. Both thoroughly enjoyed their experience and look set to follow in their older siblings’ footsteps (Cris Ritchie and Leigh Meyer) with a successful open water career in the future.
On Sunday 17 August it was back into pool competition for the team. A bus load of 24 swimmers competed in a match at Kilmarnock against teams from Kilmarnock, Rutherglen and Inverclyde. Although the bigger and stronger teams came out in front of Dunoon on points, the swimmers all had courageous swims and many personal best times.
There were quite a number of individual medals however. These included Anya MacGillivray (25m freestyle), Elaine Sherwood and Jamie Dominick (both 100 m butterfly) who all won gold.
The 13/14 and 15 and over boys’ relay teams both won silver – Andrew Tong, Kyle Martin, Kyle Dominick Lewis Danby, Jamie Dominick and Neil Lamont making up these 2 teams. Several individual silvers and bronzes were also won, including young Finlay Martin (8years old).
9 year old Georgia Cowan gave a stellar performance gaining points for the team in everyone of the 4 events and the relays, in the 9/10 age group, while Finlay (8 and under), and Elaine (15 and over) did the same in their age groups. 11 year old Kayleigh Hartley-Watson swam her events as a 13/14 year old while Neil Lamont (14) did the same in the 15 and over age group, also gaining valuable team points for their swims.
The whole team performed beyond their own expectations and are now back in training for the next events, including the Argyll & Bute Championships to be held in Campbeltown on 7/8 September.
The other team members from the Kilmarnock event were Orla Colquhoun, Sinead Kennedy, Ross Colquhoun, Joshua Colquhoun, Ethan Clothier, Oscar Macgillivray, Alister Gibson, Mollaidh Martin, Rachel Turnbull, Rhys Meyer McDonagh, Connor Kennedy, Rowan Mobeck, and Caitlin Kennedy.