Hemel Hempstead Swimming Club hosted their annual Birthday Open on Saturday 1st November, with ten clubs coming along to take part. The two sessions saw some great performances from the home swimmers who amassed a total medal haul of 62 between them.
Kyle Holmes, at 9 years’ old, was unbeaten in his age group and came top of the medal tally with five golds for the 100m IM and all four 50 metre events.
Paul Cox, competing in the 17-and-over category, won an impressive four golds for his 100m IM, 100m breaststroke, 100m butterfly and 100m backstroke, as well claiming silver in the 50m freestyle.
Next top medal winner was Robert Hill, also competing in the 17-and-overs. He took gold in the 100m freestyle, silver in the 100m backstroke and two bronzes in the 100m IM and 50m freestyle.
Peter Kennett, aged 10, succeeded in matching Hill’s four medals. He took three silvers in the 50m freestyle, backstroke and breaststroke and a bronze in the 100m IM.
Four swimmers succeeded in scoring three medals each. Thomas Osborn, 15, claimed gold in the 100m butterfly, silver in the 100m IM and bronze in the 100m backstroke. Lois Moore, 13, claimed silvers in the 50m and 100m freestyle and a bronze in the 100m butterfly. Hannah Bagley, 11, won silver in the 100m butterfly and bronzes in the 100m IM and 100m breaststroke. Jamie Keevill, 14, took three bronzes for the 100m IM, 100m breaststroke and 100m backstroke.
There was also a number of swimmers scoring two medals. One was Bill Woodhouse (17-and-over) who tied first with Paul Cox in the 100m IM and took home a second gold for the 50m freestyle.
Paul Mackie, 15, an accomplished freestyler, took gold in the 50m and 100m event and silver in the 100m IM.
Breaststroke specialist, Sian MacDonald, swimming in the 17-and-over category, took home a gold for the 100m breaststroke and a silver in the 100m IM. Kelsey Doyle, 12, like MacDonald, proved that a good breaststroker often makes a good IM swimmer. She claimed silver in the 100m breaststroke and bronze in the 100m IM.
Emily Rose-Jelfs, 9, won her 100m IM as well as taking bronze in the 50m freestyle.
Lucy Hutchins, 9, and Rebekah Ward, 15, each took home two silver medals. Rebecca Osborne, 11, and Thomas Sherriff, 13, took home one silver and one bronze, whilst Harrison Robb, 14, claimed two bronzes.
Single medallists were Fiona Cox, 9, Freya Mayhew, 10, Damien Jarzebski, 11, Victoria Fisher, 12, Robert Sizeland, 12, Danielle Bayliss, 13, Emma Gower, 13, Suzanne Pitts, 13, Tim Warr, 13, Adam Daniell, 13 and Mark Ayres, 17-and-over.
This year’s Open celebrated HHSC’s 95th birthday. There were some stunning raffle prizes and the event was well organised with lots to offer visiting clubs. Many thanks to all those who helped it happen.