For the first time in the club’s history BASC had 2 of its top swimmers taking part in the Annual Skins Competition. This prestigious event is by invitation only, to qualify for an invite a swimmer needs to finish in the top 8 in the 200M Individual Medley in the County Championships. The venue was the impressive Stafford Leisure Centre and its 8 lane county pool.
The Skins format is unique type in swimming – the 8 qualifiers start with a randomly chosen stroke to race as a sprint over 50m – the slowest swimmer is eliminated and choses the stroke for the remaining 7 swimmers to then race – this continues until only 2 swimmers are left with only a brief period allowed for recovery between each swim off. This event had originally been planned for March, and the weather was certainly different from the original skins date –it went from one extreme to the other – Snow in March to 30 degree heat in June.
Ella Cooper had qualified due to coming 3rd in the 200m IM for age 11/12 in the original county championships.
George Greener had qualified by coming 6th in the 200m IM for the age 13/14 boys.
The Skins are mixed into sessions including club relays and so while the swimmers arrived at 4.00, warm up at 4.15, relay races started at 5.00, George swam his skins race around 6.30.
George was called to race, kids were given a briefing to the rules and told what stroke they would swim for the first race. First race of each skins is started in the normal way. There after there is a 10 second call, the kids get ready to race and then after 10 secs the starter buzzer goes.
First race for George of Free style – George finished 7th (time 29.02).
Second race was backstroke – George finished 5th, but unfortunately George was DQ’d due to a fault on his turn.
George had done so well to be the first BASC boy swimmer to make this event.
At long last it was time for Ella to race – 8.45pm. Once again the swimmers were called and given a briefing. First race for Ella was Backstroke – however there was a bit of drama, the girls were not started off correctly (starter error), buzzer just went rather than official start for the first race. 5 swimmers started , 3 stayed on the blocks ( 1 of those being Ella), swimmers were stopped and called back.The swimmers were then given another briefing and the race started, due to this 2 swimmers were eliminated after this swim, but Ella finished 5th (time 36.63).
Next race was breast stroke – good race for Ella – she finished 1st (41.81) . then the3rd race was free style – Ella finished 5th (time 32.67) and was eliminated.
Ella, our current junior girls captain, was also the first BASC swimmer to get to the Skins. Great swims by both Ella and George – intense racing in a pressured environment – their hearts were certainly racing – and so were those of watching mums Karen and Helen.
Big thank you to Ian for coaching and supporting Ella and George.