Club Championships 2005

Last Chance Time Trial 2005

10th Masters Open Meet 2005

Development Last Chance Time Trial 2005

Two Day Open Meet 2005





Close calls with two tankers and a French fishing trawler were not enough to stop a determined team from Sudbury Swimming Club crossing the English Channel in style.


The dedicated team of six took it in turns to swim in hour-long chunks as they battled the tides on the 21.5-mile crossing from near Folkestone to the French coast.

Coach and former Channel swimmer Carl Cooper said the team had performed brilliantly, swimming the distance in 12 hours and 52 minutes – the fastest of the day – despite 'brutal' conditions."There were really good conditions at first," said Carl, "but the tides were a lot stronger than we expected.

"We had planned to do the complete Channel in nine and a half hours but it took much longer than we anticipated. It really was a very difficult swim and the last eight miles took us six hours."

The swimming challenge across the English Channel – the busiest shipping lane in the world – began as an idea 10 years ago with brothers Roger and Edward Duncombe, but finally became a reality last week, when the duo were part of a team of six which took to the waters on Tuesday, along with their support boat.

Twice the team had to tread water while waiting for tankers to pass which had refused to change course, and once for the fishing boat. "Neither us nor the coastguard could contact the vessels," said Carl, "so we had to wait until they had passed."

"For a lot of the swimmers, it was unknown territory. None of them had swum in the dark before and had to have light sticks attached to them, which is quite a frightening experience."

The team finally made French soil at Cape Griznez at 1.50am, and were cheered in by friends and family who had also seen them half way across when they passed on a ferry.

Carl said: "Our final swimmer, Chris Eynon, had to make a sprint for the Cape against the tide as if he had missed it there would have been another two hours of swimming to reach land on the other side."

The other team members were Stuart Maclellan, Terry Mansi and Ryan Deal, and they were strongly supported by their seventh member Richard Tiller, but the rules of the Channel Swimming Association only allow for six in the water.

Newspaper Article - SFP - 22 August 2005



Friday 2nd December saw nine swimmers from Sudbury & District S.C. complete a sponsored swim in aid of Swim for Malaria. Back in November, the club was contacted by the Rotary club for support with this venture. During the 1 hour swim, they completed a total of 31,700 meters and raised approx. £500 for a very worthy cause. This money will go to support the purchase of mosquito nets. The swimmers that took part in the swim were, Alice Wooler, Rebecca Henbury, Harriet Wooler, Hayley Murray, Ryan Deal, Alex Deal, Gemma Bedford, Simon Budd and Ella Rides. Congratulations to all of those involved.

Swimmers presenting the cheque to Mr Ken Browne, a member of the Sudbury Rotary Club.

Link to Swim for Malaria Web Site



Today saw the last day of the Club Champs for 2005. I lost count of the number of County times achieved and so early on in the qualifying period. Full results are posted so check your times, look for the swims you are missing for the Counties and talk with Carl to work out where there will be opportunities to more post times.





Five Sudbury Swimming Club members travelled to Preston Beach in Weymouth for the Western County Open Water Championships for their last open water swim for this year.

Sandra Mansi swam the 1500m course and finished a magnificent first, taking the gold medal. Roger Duncombe swam the 3k course and finished in silver position.
Chris Eynon, also swimming 3k, won the bronze medal in the 15-18 years age group. Stuart McLellan swam the 3k and won the bronze medal, and Terry Mansi swam well and finished just behind Stuart in fourth.

Also taking part were two swimmers from Halstead Swimming Club. Rebecca Wallings finished fourth in 29.13, and Charlie Duncombe sixth in 30.55, both in the 14 and under age group.

Newspaper Article - SFP - 26 September 2005



Saturday was a noisy night at the final round of the Division 3 Summer League. The younger swimmers from the team did the club proud by winning both the boys and Girls and the overall event. Division 2 here we come.


I am proud to say that we have now had the second presentation of the new swimming certificates to one of our new members. Congratulations to Thomas and lets hope this is the start of a very rewarding swimming career.



I think everyone enjoyed themselves based on the feedback received, everyone was relaxed, pool temperature was excellent, thanks to the leisure centre for this. pB's galore.


The top club was West Suffolk, see picture to the right.

Newspaper article - Newmarket journal (June 2005)


Star of the show for Mildenhall was 12-year-old Naomi Hayes, who was in fine form to scoop the top girl award against some tough competition. She competed in many events across the distances and strokes, earning five golds, two silver and a trio of bronze medals to complete her collection. 

Younger sister Bridie also struck gold with a superb 49.20 in the breaststroke, followed by two bronze finishes. Stuart Mitchell started the medals rolling in for the boys with silver in the 200 back, followed by a gold, two silvers and two bronze for his younger brother, Tim. 
The third member of the Mitchell family, Chris, won gold twice before taking bronze in the 400m free. 

Fifteen-year-old Jonny Gillingham swam well to take gold in the 100m breast and silver in his freestyle while Adam Jamieson continued his excellent recent form with two golds, a silver and bronze. 

Jamieson was especially pleased with a time of 2.58.26 in the gruelling 200m fly. 
Megan Radcliffe and Faye Gillingham both collected three golds in their respective age groups and 10-year-old Tom Russell also earned a hat-trick of golds with the added bonus of a silver medal. 

Liam Jamieson was issued with two 'speeding tickets' after breaking the event's tough cut off times and went on to take two golds and a silver in style. 

Further good swims bought medals for Daisy Russell, Ellie Milne, Amy Ewing, Tyler Poppenwimmer and Bethany Stones. Alex Stones was another swimmer who was fast on the day, gaining two 'speeding tickets' and a gold medal to complete an excellent team performance.



Sudbury Storms and Hadleigh Dolphins travelled to Halstead to compete in the Florida Shield.


The home club put out an A and B squad, with Sudbury and Hadleigh one squad each.
Halstead A and Sudbury proved too strong, both finishing with 161 points to share the shield. Hadleigh and Halstead B finished with 147 and 99 points respectively.
Sudbury Storms produced some very good swims, with personal bests from Ellie Pickett and Alex Deal in the 50m breaststroke. 

Alex Pickett had two exciting swims, just missing out on first places. Sudbury's relay teams won three of the events and the team finished in joint 1st place with Halstead A team.
The first race of the gala saw Hadleigh's girl's freestyle relay team – Georgia Barton, Fiona Manthorpe, Abigail Malster, Shan Bendall – win in fine style.

It was not until events 19 and 20 Hadleigh recorded their next wins, with Georgie Sailsbury and Richard Goodchild in the 100m breaststroke, the latter finishing in a new personal best of 1.16.46.

In the second half of the gala, Hadleigh achieved no fewer than six firsts, Fiona Manthorpe with a new PB of 33.19 in the 50m free. Other winners were Georgie Sailsbury, Sarah Holden, Samuel Seddon, Kern Death and Hayley Tucker.

In total for Hadleigh, there were ten PB swims with some very close finishes.

29 September 2005.


Sudbury Swimming Club's two-day gala, back after a year's absence, proved popular and successful at the Kingfisher Pool at the weekend.

The gala attracted swimmers from 13 other clubs, plus the host club, with 146 swimmers taking part. Over the two days there was a total of 742 swims.

Clubs taking part were: Bishop's Stortford, Braintree and Bocking, Colchester, Diss Otters, Downham, Hadleigh, Hoddesdon, Ipswich, King's Lynn, Mildenhall, Waveney, West Suffolk and Witney.

The top club was West Suffolk. Nicholas Wright, 13, from Bishop's Stortford was top boy, and Naomi Hayes, 12, from Mildenhall Sharks top girl.

The gala was sponsored by Sudbury Town Council, Waitrose, Bayer Health Care, McDonald's, Buff Sportswear, and the Suffolk Free Press.

Newspaper Article - SFP - 10 June 2005



During the recently held County Development Last Chance Gala we had the privilege of having a visit from Fran Williamson a disability swimmer from Colchester Pheonix Swimming Club. Fran visited us to present Sudbury & District swimming club with their Swim 21 and Club England Certificates.


One part of achieving Swim 21 certification is to ensure the club has the ability to work with disability swimmers to satisfy this requirement Sudbury has linked with Colchester Pheonix Swimming Club, they are there to offer support and advice if needed offering the facilities that any disability swimmer needs.


As some background, Fran is a multiple British record holder, currently holding five British records in the S3 class. Her International and Domestics highlights are as follows.


Paralympic Games, Athens 2004

50m Freestyle 1:06.57 (BR)Silver

50m Backstroke 1:07.20Silver

4x50m Freestyle (20 Points) 3:12.57 (BR)Silver

100m Freestyle 2:19.06 (BR)Bronze


World Championships, Argentina 2002

4x50m FreestyleGold

50m FreestyleSilver

50m BackstrokeSilver

200m FreestyleBronze


As you can see her achievements are impressive and we are very grateful for the time she has given us. Fran brought her medals along with her and many of the swimmers got the chance to have her autograph and to see and touch a real Olympic medal.



Paralympic swimmer Fran Williamson was the chief guest at the County Development Last Chance Gala at the Kingfisher Pool, staged by Sudbury and District Swimming Club.


Fran, a member of the Colchester Phoenix Swimming Club, presented the Sudbury club with Swim 21 and Club England certificates.
Fran won three silver medals at the Athens Paralympics in 2004 – 50m freestyle, 50m backstroke, 4x50m freestyle – and bronze in the 100m freestyle.

At the World championships in Argentina in 2003, she took gold in the 4x50m freestyle, silver in the 50m freestyle and 50m backstroke, and bronze in the 200m freestyle.  Fran, who brought her medals along, is a multiple British record holder in the S3 class. 
As part of the Swim 21 certification, the Sudbury club is required to work with disability swimmers and offer the facilities they need.
Sudbury has linked with the Colchester-based Phoenix Club, which has offered support and advice. 

In the gala, Sudbury achieved 84 personal best times, and 40 swimmers have qualified for the County Development Championships on June 18-19 at Ipswich Crown Pools.

Personal bests:

Gemma Bedford 200 backstroke, 50 fly, 200 IM, 50 backstroke; Harriet Blake 100 IM, 100 breaststroke, 100 freestyle, 200 breaststroke, 50 backstroke; Simon Budd 50 freestyle, 50 fly, 100 freestyle, 50 backstroke; Rebecca Crago 200 IM.Alex Deal 100 breast stroke; Jessica Dilling 50 freestyle, 50 fly, 50 backstroke; Nina Evans 50 breaststroke, 100 breaststroke, 50 fly, 100 freestyle, 50 backstroke; Rebecca Griffiths 100 breaststroke, 100 freestyle; Sam Jones 50 breast stroke.
Daisy Mansi 100 backstroke, 200 backstroke; Zara McLoone 50 breaststroke, 100 backstroke, 100 breast stroke, 200 freestyle, 50 fly, 100 freestyle, 200 IM, 50 backstroke; Emma Mitchell 50 breaststroke, 50 freestyle, 50 fly, 100 breaststroke, 100 freestyle, 200 freestyle; Sam Pentney 100 backstroke, 200 freestyle, 100 freestyle, 200 IM; Alex Pickett 100 backstroke, 100 freestyle; Ellie Pickett 50 breaststroke, 50 freestyle, 100 breaststroke, 100 freestyle, 200 breaststroke; Rebecca Smith 50 freestyle, 100 breaststroke, 200 freestyle, 50 fly, 100 freestyle, 200 IM, 100 fly.
Barbara Starkey 100 IM, 50 freestyle; Thomas Wait 50 freestyle, 50 backstroke; Jack Warren 100 IM, 200 backstroke, 50 freestyle; Lauren Wheeler 50 freestyle 200 freestyle, 50 fly, 100 freestyle, 50 backstroke; Louise Wheeler 50 breast stroke; Hattie White 50 Breaststroke, 100 Freestyle, Toby White 100 IM, 50 fly; Alice Wooler 100 backstroke, 50 backstroke; Harriett Wooler 100 backstroke, 200 backstroke, 100 breast stroke, 200 freestyle, 100 freestyle.

Newspaper Article - SFP -31 May 2005



Thanks to Rebecca Crago for recording the results and notes for the gala, despite getting dropped from her swims Rebecca came along to support the remaining swimmers.

Pictured are three of the swimmers who swam at the weekend.


The swimmers attending were Kelly Murray, Rebecca Henbury, Victoria Joyce, Hayley Murray and Cameron Bashir, with the placings as follows;


Girls 100m Breaststroke - Victoria Joyce 17th, Kelly Murray 7th, Girls 100m Backstroke - Victoria Joyce 23rd, Rebecca Henbury 14th, Hayley Murray 4th, Boys 200m Freestyle - Cameron Bashir 15th, Boys 200m Butterfly - Cameron Bashir 9th, Girls 100m Freestyle - Rebecca Henbury 27th, Hayley Murray 8th, Girls 50m Freestyle - Victoria Joyce 25th Rebecca Henbury 15th and Hayley Murray 4th.


Summary of events from the two days outside the swimming was, a few bargains were had from the £1.00 bin for the head coach, we lost two drinks bottles and the pool alarm was set off.



Pictured are the Sudbury & District swimming club swimmers who qualified and swam at the Midland District Championships 2005 in Coventry.


The competition had drawn some of the top British swimmers, namely Karen Pickering and James Gibson, so the competition was tough. There were a large number of swimmers from Suffolk attending, with other swimmers representing Ipswich, Deben, St Felix School,West Suffolk and Stowmarket. Hayley Murray and Ryan Deal were both swimming the 50m Freestyle having qualified at the Suffolk County Championships this year. Both swimmers swam to their PB's and did Sudbury proud.



This year a total of 26 Sudbury swimmers achieved County qualifying times and they had one of their best ever championships, pictured with Don Neate the Suffolk County President are the swimmers who managed a top three place in their age group in an individual race and the Top Boy and Top Girl from the club at the Championships.


In total, the swimmers achieved 5 Gold's, 5 Silver's and 10 Bronze medals, one of the clubs best ever results. During the championships, four swimmers achieved district times. Swimmers achieving County times this year were Ryan Deal (Top Boy), Hayley Murray (Top Girl), Claire Allen, Vicki Aldhouse, Daisy Mansi, Katie Kenny, Victoria Joyce, Kelly Murray, Alice Wooler, Louise Wheeler, Julia Carroll, Rebecca Henbury, Ellie Pickett, Harriett Wooler, Rebecca Griffiths, Darren Felgate, Oliver Williams, Chris Eynon, Ryan Deal, Alex Aldhouse, Jack Warren, Alex Deal, Cameron Bashier, Alex Pickett, Sam Pentney, Robert Crawford and Toby White. Well Done to everyone.



Six members of Sudbury Swimming Club look set to attempt a relay crossing of the English Channel. With the swim now registered with the Channel Swimming Association and an approved pilot boat booked, everything looks set for a crossing from Folkestone to France between the 3rd and 9th of August. Each member of the team will swim for one hour in an agreed order, which cannot be changed once the swim has commenced. After six hours the first team member has to get back in and the sequence starts again until France is reached. However, it is usually at this point that relay swims can fail, with swimmers not able to recover from the cold in time to get back in! Even though they know the conditions they may face, the team are experienced distance swimmers who are confident of a successful crossing of between nine and ten hours.

Training for the big day has already commenced under the watchful eye of coach and former Channel swimmer, Carl Cooper, who faces a very difficult decision as the team has seven members and only six places available in the final team. “It will be an extremely difficult decision as everybody wants to be in the final line-up and they are all training really well. However, with a lot of the training being done in the pool, some training is a little unconventional, such as cold baths, to simulate cold conditions. This isn’t proving the most popular activity at the moment, in fact, they can’t wait for sea training to start as it’s probably warmer!", said Carl.

The team, of Roger Duncombe, Edward Duncombe, Chris Eynon, Stuart Maclellan, Terry Mansi, Ryan Deal and Richard Tiller, is also hoping that a successful crossing by them will benefit the charity, “ASPIRE”, which is a national charity that works to create opportunity, choice and independence for those with a spinal cord injury. The team is hoping to raise over £2000 during the course of the swim for this really worthwhile cause. 





A team of fifteen swimmers produced determined performances in forty-three events to finish top of the pile at Lowestoft. This was a keenly contested Gala and The Storms -seeded’ to win the event out of the six teams competing - did not disappoint.


The final standings gave Sudbury (187) a ten point win over Thetford (177) with the next three teams Beccles (166), Lowestoft (164) and Saxon (163) leaving Leiston trailing on 126. Congratulations to the swimmers – they know who they are – who brought home wins in their events. There were others who lost out on fingertip finishes and other occasions where our swimmers know there is work to do to close the gap. Rebecca Griffiths swimming in Division One for the first time made an understandably cautious start but then settled with a third in her other individual swim and was a member of the Girls Junior Relay Team undefeated on the night in three events.


We wish to take this opportunity having finished the Winter League Rounds on a high to thank all of the swimmers who competed for the Club in Division One through the Rounds and of course to thank the coaching and management team. There was a good team spirit at Lowestoft this evening , knowing they should win and having the belief to do so.



Bernie Buck has stepped down as head coach at Sudbury Swimming Club, after 13 years in the post.

Changes at work meant Bernie felt he could no longer devote the time needed, and the reins have been handed over to Carl Cooper, a squad coach at the club for a number of years.

"My job role changed," said Bernie. "I work for a company that cleans Tesco stores, Cleanbrite in Long Melford. I became operations manager and am spending a lot more time away. "That was the prime reason. I wasn't able to devote the time to coaching that the children need and deserve. "But I think I had made my mind up before that it was time for a change. I have been doing it for such a long time. I think sometimes it needs fresh input to regenerate the whole thing. With Carl being here – he's enthusiastic, and he taught me a lot of stuff I didn't know – it was good to know he was taking over."

Not that Bernie has ended his association with the club. Wife Vicki still swims with the Masters.

"With swimming, you find that when children give up the parents lose interest. It didn't happen for me because Vicki swam. And swimming has become part of my life, so I'll never give it up. I think I will always be involved in it some way."

Their children Carly and Ashley were also involved in swimming for a long time. Carly was a top swimmer. She was short-listed for training and going to the Sydney Olympics, but then she gave it up." Work took her away from the sport.

"Ashley reached dizzy heights, with British records and national championship titles. With work, he wasn't able to train regularly, and finding it difficult to motivate himself." 

Time is vital for a coach at a swimming club, and with the ASA Swim 21 scheme, demands on time away from poolside have increased.
"ASA Swim 21 is like a kitemark. Without that you can't tap into any funding unless you are doing things correctly – child protection, coaching programmes and all the follow-up stuff. 

"There are only two or three clubs other than Sudbury that have it in Suffolk. It involves a lot of paperwork and developing strategies. I just didn't have time to do it. Coaching on poolside took six or seven hours a week, plus the same again for preparing sessions. Then there was the time travelling to away meets."

Coaching at Sudbury may have stopped, but Bernie is still doing things with the county. Vicki and Bernie are joint championship secretaries for Suffolk ASA.  "That involves staging major championships in March over three weekends. We organise the whole thing, with the help of a small, dedicated team. It is now starting to build up. The championships are done with a mind to improving swimming in the county, making the qualifying times harder, just raising the bar. There are a lot of average swimmers, and development championships are staged in the summer. They are put on at the same time as better swimmers are going into district championship. 

"On the cycle of training, that's when swimmers are at their peak. We need to keep raising standards for that."

And then there are the inter-county champs in October. Last year Suffolk won division two. 

"Sadly they yo-yoed back down. But there is a big gap between some of the massive counties and little old Suffolk. "To get there is good, and to beat Norfolk is good – I say that as a Norwich City fan – at swimming. Nothing else."

New head coach Carl Cooper is working hard to raise the profile of the club and to grow competitive swimming in the area. 
Recently trained coaching staff have grown the poolside staff to over 18, with aims to increase this further. 


Newspaper Article - SFP - 14 January 2005


Bernie's involvement with swimming started with daughter Carly.

"We lived in Dereham. Carly was such a natural. She went through all the training and it was suggested she join a swimming club. 
"So we did. Me being me I couldn't just sit and watch. Somebody was pulling out the lane ropes, and I offered to give a hand. Then it was looking after little groups on Sunday. 

"The first real job with the club was announcer at galas, something I took to like a duck to water. It's something I still do, guesting for other clubs, and announcing at the county championships. That's probably my first love."
The family moved to Suffolk in 1989, and joined Hadleigh Swimming Club, before moving to Haverhill where Bernie took up coaching. He helped set up the first Hadleigh meet, and was also involved in getting Haverhill's successful annual meet under way. 
Vicki swims with the Masters. "They work in five year age bands. She's at the top of her age band, so it can be hard.
"But next year she is determined to give it a real go. She's a baby as she's moving up an age band. I will be supporting her when we go away. She was such a support to me in the early years."

Newspaper Article - SFP - 17 January 2005




Looks like fun was being had at Hadleigh Pool with the Clubs new club hats, Please can someone help and explain to the coach and swimmers that they are for the feet not to keep your head dry in the shower. What hope have we got.