International Swim Competition, Guerande, France September 2011

The PSUK Swim team travelled to Guerande, Brittany to compete against the National Police Teams of France, Germany & Monaco in September 2011.

The event which, has been in existence for over 20 years is to facilitate friendly competition every two years between USPE years.

The event was run over 2 days of hard competition with events for under 35 years and 35 & over age categories.  Competitors were accommodated in caravan/chalets in La Baule.  The hospitality of the French organisers was first class.  This included 3 course lunch & dinners.

Hayley Bird, West Midlands had a fantastic 2 days of swimming.  Hayley won the 100m fly, 100m f/s & 100m backstroke, very convincingly too.  Hayley also ‘donned’ on pyjamas to compete in the mixed lifesaving event.  Hayley was rewarded for all her efforts by being Awarded Top Female of the whole competition.

Newcomer to the team Jo Park-Simmons, Northumberland had a great first trip with the team.  Jo won the 50m breastroke & 4x1 individual medley as well as second in the 50m fly. 

Other wins for the team were in the form of Caroline Bell, Lancashire in the 100m breastroke; Geoff Boddie, Lancashire in the 50m breastroke; Kirsti Robertson, Avon & Somerset in the 50m backstroke and Ed Clayton, Lancashire in the 4x1 individual medley.

The females won all four of their relays.  A special mention should be given to Brian Steatham, West Midlands; Geoff Boddie, Jo Park-Simmons & Hayley Bird who did the 50m rescue of the dummy.  All four came 2nd behind the French team who appeared to have done this event many times before. 

Ed Clayton won the Award for Top Male of the competition.  After day one of the competition, Great Britain were ahead by 10 points and looking very strong, this was despite coming last in the combined lifesaving relay due to the fact that the ‘rules’ for the event had not been fully explained beforehand.

On day two a couple of tight place finishes went against Great Britain this coupled with the rescue of the dummy results meant that it was an overall victory for the French by only a couple of points.  However, after some excellent performances Great Britain won the swimming side of the competition.

Team: Rachel Vallins, Dorset; Garry Dixon, Thames Valley; Nigel Gaskin, Brian Steatham, Ryan Long, Sara Gamble, Hayley Bird, West Midlands; Jo Park-Simmons, Northumberland; Laura Chidgey, Devon & Cornwall; Ed Clayton & Caroline Bell, Lancashire; Kirsti Robertson, Avon & Somerset; Richard Evans & Jeremy Birch, Metropolitan; Geoff Boddie, Merseyside.

Team Manager/swimmer: Claire Thorn, West Midlands