Unprecedented has been said on an unprecedented number of times during this unprecedented year. However, as a result of virtually no competition the normal plethora of awards have not been made.
Special mention should go to Gillian Hodgson who managed to complete a pool based 1500 race in March. Georgia Quayle who did a number of open water swims. The brave club members who defied lockdown to do socially distanced sea and river swims in May, June and July.
There were also the Thorpe 27, no not a film, but those who did the annual Spencer mile, this time twice around Thorpe Park lake on the last swim of the summer season. Literally. We got out and they closed the lake.
Moving on to the two prizes that are being awarded in 2020.
Dave Mace Award.
After many years of being the driving force behind Spencer Swim Team amazing success in the pool, with relay teams and picking up the (fast) waifs and strays of masters swimming, and of course winning countless points from her own swimming, our erstwhile manager Amanda Heath is retiring. Irreplaceable, I hear you cry.
Winner of multiple World, European and National medals and records both in the pool and in the lake.
Whatever happens, Amanda deserves her place in the annals of the club as the winner in 2020 of the Dave Mace award for outstanding contribution to the Club.
Irving Dixon Award.
Ostensibly for the freestyle swimmer of the year. Irving’s family wanted this to be for the sprint freestyler, but we had precious few of those this year.
Irving’s daughter, Karen commented,
“The channel swimmer did make me smile as Dad always wanted me to be the youngest person to swim the channel, but I wasn’t having any of it aged 12! Come to think of it any age I wouldn’t of been up for it. So a massive success to swim the channel is very deserving recipient.“
The winner therefore is Jo Milnes, the first Spencer swimmer to do a solo channel swim since Dave Mace.
Jo’s comment after finishing in a very creditable 12 hours and 10 minutes, “Glamorous it isn’t.” C’est la Vie and they say at Point Gris Nez.