A pool party theme brought holiday vibes to the Bridlington Seaside Special gala – but there was nothing leisurely about the swimmers’ performance.
The epic three-day meet at Bridlington Leisure Centre was a marathon for competitors, officials and volunteers, especially as the July temperatures soared.
But with a broad range of events to test the mettle of swimmers of all ages, the gala, held from 8th-10th July, was another display of quality for Beverley Barracudas, who left with 139 new personal bests and 158 medals. Among the medal count were 21 speeding medals – a sign of the rapid progress we keep seeing through the age groups.
Friday evening launched the weekend’s action with 1500m and 800m freestyle events. These were a first for many of our swimmers, and a rare occasion for others, and all clocked very competitive times.
Saturday served up a variety of races over 100m, 200m and 400m, with a high number of our younger swimmers building their competition experience with some excellent performances.
While our more seasoned swimmers raised the stakes with jaw-dropping skill and speed, an outstanding work rate and competitive grit also gave our younger boys and girls plenty to be proud of as they shifted up a gear to races demanding pacing and stamina.
Extra entertainment kudos go to 10-year-old teammates Henry K-H and Oscar H persistently battling to claim the top spot and being separated by a sliver of a second. That’s the spirit!
By Sunday the holiday atmosphere reached a new level in the now sub-tropical heat. Yet our swimmers squeezed out every last drop of effort to bring home some great performances in a mixture of sprints and 100m/200m events.
The hot summer weekend gala on the coast was challenging but memorable. Some swimmers enjoyed time on the beach during breaks, with Ollie S commenting: ‘It was great to have a gala beside the seaside.’
And the medals themselves are a great souvenir, featuring an intricate design with a picture of Bridlington beach in the style of classic railway posters.
Head coach Wayne Smith said: ‘Three-day events like this are a true test of the stamina, resilience and determination of our swimmers. The temperatures were unforgiving and the days were long, but the Barracudas worked hard and made us all proud.’