The 2nd PSUK Open Water Championships were held in conjunction with the Swim North West Open Water Festival at Salford Quays. This was a great opportunity for police swimmers to swim alongside the public and the event had a great community feel to it. Numbers were up by 50% from the inaugural championships last year to a pleasing 60. Swimmers had the option of competing in distances of 3000, 1500 or 500m.
The weather, which has been cold and wet in the run up, was kind to us and the sun even put in an appearance. The venue; the setting for the Great Salford Swim was fantastic and the short lapped course enabled the spectators the opportunity to walk around and cheer their family and friend on; which no doubt added to their enjoyment also.
Off first was the 3000m event which, surprisingly proved to be the most popular for the police; with over half of the entrants choosing the longer distance. The start was a dive off the pontoon; which is a different experience to the usual deep water or run in starts of open water swimming. 22 men took to the water and after some confusion of the course in the first lap race winner Shawn Morgan, Surrey won in a time of 43 min 51 sec.
It is worth noting that one competitor who swam the 1500m recorded a distance of 1900 on their GPS; even allowing for a little bit of swimming off course this wouldn't account for a 400m difference! So anyone thinking the times recorded are slow should bear this in mind!
2nd in the men's 3000m was Paul Haytack, Cleveland in a time of 44.55 and 3rd was Nigel Gaskin, West Midlands in 47.01; the first over 40 competitor was Darren Green, D & C recording a time of 47.07 and in the over 50 category was Geoff Armstrong, Northumberland in a time of 50.28.
In the ladies 3000m race; Carrine Walker, North Yorkshire won in a time of 49.37, 2nd was Sarah Holme, Derbyshire in 56.69 and in third was Hannah Mandel, GMP in 59.58; taking the over 40 title was Niki Herbert, Met in 1.00.08.
The next event to be swum was the 1500m; winning the men's event was Andrew Yuill, Hertfordshire in a time of 28.48; 2nd just 10seconds behind was Cheshire's Ryan Willis in 28.58 and 3rd was David Rutter, North Yorks in a time of 30.30, David also won the over 40 category.
In the ladies 1500m race; police event organiser, Claire Thorn, West Midlands won in a time of 22.33; 2nd Vicki Standen, West Midlands in 24.01 and 3rd also from West Midlands, Angie Fisher in 27.47; Angie also won the over 40 category.
In the 500m event; Sara Gamble, West Midlands won the ladies event in 8.19 and Jamie Stevenson, Cheshire won the men's in 15.29; Jamie's time would have been faster, however after missing the final buoy he was forced to swim back otherwise he would have been disqualified.