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CityofDerby 2016There was not an Easter Egg in sight as industrious Portland swimmers headed west for the two day City of Derby Open Meet at the Queen’s Leisure Centre, Derby, on 26th and 27th March, during the Bank Holiday weekend.

They had to contend with the `loss’ of one hour as the clocks were put forward, but would have the day off to recover, rest and reward themselves with chocolate on Easter Monday.

Here are highlights of our swimmers’ weekend:

Grace cast nerves aside for the first heat of the competition’s first event on Saturday, the 100m Individual Medley. She waited patiently for proceedings to commence and, after a nice big yawn (yes, it had been an early start), stepped onto the blocks and at the starters signal darted into the water. Credit to an amazing breaststroke length and overall good swim, she completed the IM with a new Personal Best time. On Sunday, she achieved another PB in 50m breaststroke and had not only been the first to compete for the Club, but was the last too, when she swam 50m freestyle at the end of the weekend. Well done Grace!

Dominique too gained new PBs at the Meet; the first, a 5.5 second one in the 100m IM! Her commanding lead after the first butterfly leg surprised no-one, as her reputation for the stroke is well known; however, she pulled even further ahead on the breaststroke leg to secure a fine win of the heat. Later in the day, she achieved another PB, this time in 50m butterfly, by 2 seconds. Brilliant Dominique!

Dahlia competed diligently in 4 events on Saturday (100 IM, 200m freestyle, 100m freestyle & 50m butterfly) and attained, what should be, a County Time in 50m butterfly. Great work, Dahlia!

Rebecca swam a graceful 50m backstroke and followed up with a full-on 100m freestyle. You’re getting closer to that PB Rebecca!

Briony didn’t merely set a 2 second PB in the 100m breaststroke, the first 50 metres of it was a PB too! The following day, she bettered it further, by PB’ing once more in the 50m breaststroke event. Fantastic Briony!

Bethan had really strong swims in 100m and 50m breaststroke events. Good going Bethan!

Esther, with her wonderful-to-watch technique, was just outside her PB time in 100m breaststroke. Fabulous style Esther!

Stanley. Wow! He rolled up on Saturday afternoon, took his place and smashed his 50m freestyle PB to not simply finish 4th in age group, but to wholeheartedly grab, what must be, a County Time for next year. Congratulations Stanley!

Gaby, who competed in 100m butterfly for the first time ever in a Sports Centre gala 4 weeks previously with amazing success, entered the event in an attempt to repeat the superfast time at a licensed meet. She did not replicate the time, but she did finish 2nd to qualify for the Final, though she now felt exhausted. The first 50 metres of the Final was slower than the first 50 metres of her heat, so the sought after time would remain elusive, so it seemed. However, something amazing happened in the last half of the race; Gaby notched up another gear (how do you manage that?!?), finished 2nd and registered a MIDLAND TIME! That’s 3 events to compete in at May’s Midland Championships. Fantastic, Gaby, incredible!

Well done to all the swimmers who took part in this Open Meet and thank-you to Dan for looking after the swimmers, encouraging and supporting them.

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