PSUK Championships 2011 @ Cardiff

The 2011 PSUK Swimming & Waterpolo Championships took place at the Cardiff International Pool over the weekend of 2-3rd April 2011. 38 Forces and just under 300 competitors took part in the event.

3 individual and 5 relay PSUK Records were broken during the course of the weekend. Hayley Bird, West Midlands smashed the 100 backstroke record by some 3.5 seconds in a time of 65.06, the previous record had stood for 16 years.

Brian Steatham, West Midlands, broke 2 PSUK records in the 50m & 100m freestyle in a time of 23.71 and 52.02 seconds.

West Midlands broke 4 PSUK relay records and Devon & Cornwall 1. Hayley Bird continued her winning streak taking gold in the 50m F/S, a nail biting finish just snatching victory form Leicestershire’s Aimee Ramm. That was not the only race that Bird & Ramm came head to head, the 100m F/S was another close race and on this occasion Ramm took snatched the victory. Ramm added the 100m butterfly title to her list of wins. The ladies’ 200m & 400m F/S were both won by Teresa Dray, Sussex, Dray also took second in the 100m butterfly; Caroline Bell, Lancashire, won the 100m breastroke and Laura Chidgey the 200m breastroke, Chidgey also came second in the 200m F/S and 100m breastroke and the 200m individual medley was won by Shona Douse, Strathclyde. In the men’s events Staffordshire’s Matt Adamson had a great championships winning the 200m & 400m F/S and 2nd in the 200m individual medley.

There was another close finish in the Men’s 100m backstroke, Ryan Long, West Midlands and Chris Jones, South Wales, had an exciting battle which was all down to the touch. Long clinched the victory by just 0.04 seconds from Jones. Long also came second in the 50m & 100m F/S and 100m butterfly. Ed Clayton, Lancashire, excelled in the 200m individual medley and 100m butterfly taking victory in both. Devon & Cornwall’s Nick Polkinghorne took the breastroke double winning the 100m & 200m.

Winners of the relay events were: West Midlands in the Open Men’s 4 x 50m F/S and Medley relays both recorded in new PSUK records. West Midlands also won the Open Ladies’ 4 x 50m F/S relay in a new record and the 4 x 50m medley relay. In the master’s relays, Devon & Cornwall won the Men’s 4 x 50m medley relay and Metropolitan the 4 x 50 m F/S relay. In the ladies’ 4 x 50m F/S relay Devon & Cornwall broke the PSUK record to steal victory from West Midlands (2nd) and Northumberland (3rd) all of whom broke the previous record. West Midlands broke the PSUK record in the 4 x 50m master’s medley relay.

The Skins event proved as exciting as ever, the fastest 8 swimmers from the 4 x 1 individual medley qualifying for the skins final. The 4 x 1 was won by Northumberland’s Jo Park-Simmons and Ed Clayton. A draw is made to determine the stroke the swimmers will race over each of the 25m, strict time is kept with the men alternating with the ladies’ races. It is a highly demanding event for the swimmers as well as an exciting one for the spectators. Backstroke was drawn 6 out of the 8 possibilities in the ladies’ event which suited the overall winner Bird, Alison Willis, West Midlands took second and Park-Simmons third. In the Men’s event Clayton took victory over Adamson with Nottingham’s James Patterson third.

Other notable performances came from Nigel Gaskin, West Midlands won took second place in the 200m & 400m F/S and 4 x 1 I.M.

The 2011 PSUK Swimming Team are: Ed Clayton & Caroline Bell – Lancashire, Aimee Ramm – Leicestershire, Matt Adamson – Staffordshire, Nick Polkinghorne & Laura Chidgey – Devon & Cornwall, Hayley Bird, Brian Steatham, Ryan Long, Nigel Gaskin, Sara Gamble, Alison Willis, Vic Standen – West Midlands, Chris Jones – South Wales, Rachel Vallins & Mark Moreland-Francis – Dorset, Richard Evans – Metropolitan, David Morgan – Gwent, Shona Douse – Strathclyde, Garry Dixon – Thames Valley, Jo Park-Simmons – Northumbria, Team Manager – Claire Thorn – West Midlands