South’s swimmers prosper out in the open

Paul Mason of Chichester Cormorants
Paul Mason of Chichester Cormorants

It’s been a summer of success for open-water swimmers from the Chichester area, producing one national champion and several winners and medallists in big events.

The National Masters Open Water competition at Rother Valley near Sheffield saw Portsmouth’s Ceri Edwards crowned national champion in the 1.5km event.

Edwards finished almost four minutes ahead of her closest rival – a winning margin practically unheard of in the race, which is the closest thing the world of open-water swimming has to a sprint.

Paul Mason of Chichester Cormorants provided the crowd with a much closer finish in the men’s 1.5km. Mason spent the whole race stroke-for-stroke with one other swimmer out in front, and the result came down to which of them could slap the overhead finishing board first.

Lack of experience in Mason’s first season racing in open water told and he came second, 0.22 sec behind the winner.

Farther afield, after a long trek to the Lake District, Chichester Cormorants’ Chris Vine had a great swim in the 10km Windermere race. Swimming twice the distance of a parkrun non-stop is quite a challenge, but after more than two-and-a-half hours in the water in choppy conditions, Vine won his age group by a handsome margin.

Swimming twice the distance of a parkrun non-stop is quite a challenge, but after more than two-and-a-half hours in the water in choppy conditions, Vine won his age group by a handsome margin.

The south-east Regional Open Water Championships were held at Westhampnett Lake. Local swimmers again got excellent results, this time in the 3km event: Chichester Cormorants’ Jane West won gold and Paul Mason silver.

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