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swimmer1Portland made a splash in Hucknall on Saturday 23 February – a vivid splash of colour. Eyes were drawn to a streak of purple in Lane 2 as our swimmers warmed up for the re-scheduled snow-hit sports centre gala, originally planned for January.

If the Club's new purple hat wasn't attention-grabbing enough, Jack Harmer made sure Portland was well and truly noticed with a commanding PB-time win in the first race of the night, the 15 & under 100m Individual Medley.

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underwater-entry

A gala report from one of our swimmers.

This was the first round of Sports Centre League for 2013 with Portland hosting in the sweltering heat of Bramcote Leisure Centre and getting through the mass crowds at reception was only the beginning. On poolside we had banners flying, swimmers warmed up (completely unnecessarily in the Bramcote hothouse) and plenty of lukewarm water to go round, we were all geared up for the upcoming events.

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hucknall lcThis was the second of this year's JC Dobb galas and was held at Hucknall Leisure Centre. With three swimmers taking part from our household, the first challenge was packing everyone into the car at the appointed time, with the correct kit and sufficient water and jelly based snacks to get them through a night of racing. With Forest playing away and no threat of ice or snow, the trip there was plain sailing, so we arrived on time and in good spirits. Once again, the early birds had taken all the worms (for worms read seats) but there were still some good vantage points on offer, for those standing at the back.

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MarlinThis was the first of this years J C Dobb galas and took place at Lammas Leisure Centre, Sutton in Ashfield. I noted from the Portland website that this gala was described as 'Spring Round 1' but there was not much sign of spring on the M1, as we fought our way through the slush and spray or in the Leisure Centre car park, as we slid into our parking spot, skillfully avoiding sliding into the neighbouring cars.

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Arc MatlockFirst Open Meet of the year, last chance to record a County qualifying time before the entry deadline. If that wasn't nerve-wracking enough, now we had the weather to worry about. Would it be cancelled? Friday evening website notice: warm-up at 8.45am instead of 8am (hooray!) - check again from 6am.

The venue was the Arc Leisure Centre, Matlock in the Derbyshire Dales. There are a few hills over that way. More snow was forecast. No-one relished the thought of the drive.

6am, Saturday, computer booted .... IT'S ON! Swim bag, check, food, check, drinks, check, shovel, check. Let's go.

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Marlin

The last gala of 2012 was going to be a tough one with teams vying to take the end of season Dobb trophy. The evening to be spent at Hucknall Leisure Centre would comprise a total of 48 events: 16 relays and 32 individual races - 10 & unders swimming 25m, 12 & overs 50m.

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SATURDAY

Ponds ForgeHaving travelled in the dark to reach Ponds Forge in Sheffield city centre for the Snow Frills Meet, competing in an Olympic sized ten lane pool with seating for 2,600 spectators was a daunting prospect for many of our swimmers, but an exciting one too, as they'd be swimming in the wake of many high profile names and Team GB members.

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underwater-entryAfter a short delay waiting for the Officials training to finish the warm up began for the Stage 1 ASA Trophy Gala. For a while it looked as though we may not be able to participate at all with not enough swimmers being available to swim but with a little persuasion we got a team together. We were still unable to enter some boys age 8/9 races so we were off to a ‘No Points’ start with those.

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portland partyAnnual Awards and Party Night

We’d been told `dress to impress’ for Portland SC’s biggest social event of the year, but we didn’t need to be told how to party at Edwalton Golf Club on Friday 23rd November!

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MarlinCobwebs shaken off, the Portland partygoers were ready for action. This time it was our youngest crew (Cecily, Orla, Rose, Matilda) that started the night, showing us that hard training across the board is paying off with some impressive progress in stroke technique and racing acumen.

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