Andrew and Alex complete an open water race double

Alex Panayides
Alex Panayides

Andrew Horsfall-Turner and Alex Payanides powered through the waves on Sunday to claim the South East Region and Sussex 2km open water race.

A beautiful day and a flat sea suddenly changed just before the start and a brisk wind, increased waves and a rain shower added extra excitement to this ‘sprint’ event.

Andrew Horsfall Turner collects his trophy from Eastbourne Mayor.

Andrew Horsfall Turner collects his trophy from Eastbourne Mayor.

Race favourite Andrew won in a superb time of 24 minutes 55 seconds and Alex took second overall and first lady in a very fast time of 25 minutes and 52 seconds.

Both races offered opportunities for age group wins and for Eastbourne Swimming Club there was first place success for Greg Knapman (45-54 yrs) and Christine Brooks (55-64 yrs) in both the 2km and the 5km races.

In the 2km event, Peter Snashall won the 25-34yrs category, Wendy Pritchard took the 45-54 years ladies race and Sarah Knapman was first in the 35-44 age group with David Cumming winning the 65-74 age group.

Swimmers and supporters travelled from Jersey, Erith, Essex, London and Milton Keynes for this event and prizes were presented by the president of The ASA, Glenise Buck and Eastbourne’s Mayor, Mike Thompson.

The win for Horsfall-Turner adds to the 5k title he won last month.

There were 36 swimmers aged between 14 and 67, who set out for that one.

The course stretched from the Langham Hotel, around buoys, to the Pier and back four times. With a steadily increasing east to west tidal flow, conditions soon became tough, and with the strengthening current and confused waves, some swimmers gave up or failed to complete the course before the cut off time.

But, undeterred local swimmer, Andrew Horsfall Turner, from St Bedes, came into take first place in a time of 1 hour 8 minutes, while Alex Panayides, came in as ladies race winner in a time of 1hr 11 mins.

Eastbourne’s 15-year-old Chloe Pollard took second lady, first junior girl, and third swimmer in the race overall.