Close encounter

A close race was anticipated between Katherine Horsfall-Turner and Chloe Pollard and the two proved almost inseparable in the Open Water Swimming competition.

The pair pushed each other to the limit around the 2 km course from the Redoubt to the Pier and back and provided an enthralling spectacle to the promenade crowds.

After the last turn they sprinted shoulder to shoulder for the finish and from the shore appeared to have ‘dead heated’.

However the place judges resolved Katherine was a hands touch ahead of Chloe in a time of 26 minutes 55 seconds.

This result gave Katherine the Women’s Junior Cup and second place in the open class, while Chloe collected the second junior and third open trophies.

The women’s race was emphatically won by 18-year-old Alex Panayides from Kingston in a scorching time of 25 minutes 42 seconds.

Eastbourne’s Sarah Knapman finished fifth overall in 29 minutes 26 seconds to triumph in the 35 – 44 years category. Wendy Pritchard (33 minutes 10 seconds) and Jane Thomas (33 minutes 55 seconds) made it a one two for Eastbourne in the 45 – 54 years competition. Chris Brooks claimed the 55 – 64 years victory. In the 65 years+ age group Eastbourne again provided the winner and runner-up with Janet Jeffries and Lynda Miller.

In The men’s 2 km, Eastbourne’s Ben Jones swam to an excellent second place in 26 minutes 21 seconds. Superbly fit Gary Brickley recorded 29 minutes 38 seconds to take seventh place overall and first in toughest 45 – 54 years age band having 23 entrants.

The eldest swimmer in the competition at 73 years; Eastbourne’s David Cumming had a comfortable win in the 65 years+ group.

The ASA South East Region (SER) and Sussex 5 km Open Water Championships were staged on Saturday in calm conditions.

Alex Panayides had no trouble in displacing the women’s title holder Danni Pryor by a margin of three minutes to become the new champion in one hour one minute and three seconds.

Katherine Horsfall-Turner and Chloe Pollard came in fourth and fifth overall to become winner and runner-up in the SER and County Junior championships.

Christine Brooks and Jane Thomas took the Sussex senior gold and silver medals respectively.

In the men’s 5 km challenge Ben Jones was the highest placed local finishing third. A spritely Gary Brickley was placed fourth overall, third in the county and first 45 - 54 year old.

Peter Snashall hit the boom in fifth which won him the 25 – 34 years group. Other notable performances came from Eastbourne’s James Brent who was placed second in the 55 – 64 years category and Mark Eyes a credible third in the large 45 – 54 year band.

The Sussex County President attended the 5 km championships and made the presentations upon the conclusion of racing. Sunday’s 2 km competition trophies were presented by Mayor Carolyn Heaps.