Fantastic four at the Madeira Masters

European Masters Short Course Championships 19-25 November 2023

Open Water day

Spencer swimmers Amanda Heath, Hanna Racz, Peter Stephens and Tony Cherrington travelled to the beautiful Portuguese island of Madeira for the European Masters Short Championships. Their 6 golds, 1 silver and 5 bronze medals in the pool events put Spencer into joint 15th place on the medal table out of nearly 450 clubs, and the 2nd GB club. A fantastic performance by the fantastic four.

Somewhat of an experiment for European Aquatics, and arranged at fairly short notice, there were just under 900 swimmers competing, which left plenty of time for exploring the island after the sessions finished. The event was a resounding success and hopefully the rumours of a repeat are true.

There were two Open Water events, 1.5k (Monday) and 3k (Friday). Monday dawned bright and clear, and a warm 23 degrees, however the sea looked a little wavy. The swimmers registered at the Open Water venue, got numbered and transported up, were briefed and enjoyed the morning sunshine. However, by 10am, the waves had got bigger and the safety team deemed that it was too dangerous to race – at which point many of breathed a sigh of relief. The sea conditions weren’t going to ease for a few days, so the decision was made to swim both events on the Friday. Competitors who had entered both had to make a choice, with the option to enter another pool event for free!

The pool facilities were excellent and there were some great swims, with Hanna Racz recording PB’s in all her events, Tony Cherrington taking 2 golds and a silver, having had to substitute his 1.5k for the 100 free, Peter Stephens taking a gold, a silver and 2 bronze, and Amanda Heath unbeaten with 4 golds.

Hanna Racz
10th 100 IM
6th 100 free
8th 50 free

Tony Cherrington
Gold 100 free
Gold 50 free
Silver 200 free

Peter Stephens
Gold 50 fly
Silver 3k OW
Bronze 200 free
Bronze 400 free
4th 800 free

Amanda Heath 
Gold 200 breast
Gold 3k Open Water
Gold 200 fly
Gold 50 back

Swimming for Crawley, Spencer member Alan Parkins came 4th in the 3k Open Water.

Photo credits: Alan Parkins plus the official photographer.
Report by Amanda Heath
Full results here.
Event photos here.

Leave a Reply