Step Rock swimmers rewarded for braving the chill

At the start of the week, the sub-12 degree water temperatures of Kingussie’s Loch Insh had put the North District Open Water Championships in doubt.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 15th June 2022, 11:51 am
Updated Wednesday, 15th June 2022, 11:51 am
The north east Fife team had to brave cold conditions at Loch Insh
The north east Fife team had to brave cold conditions at Loch Insh

But a combination of a few days of sunshine and the relative shallow depths of the course were enough to reach the race-legal temperature of 12.9 degrees, leading to a Platinum Jubilee weekend to remember for the Step Rock Open Water Squad

Eight swimmers represented the club, with Ellie Wilson, Elsie Kushner, Freya Edie and Oscar Geary first up in the 500m.

This was a big step up for Kushner and Edie from the 200m swim at the East District Open Water Championships (EDOWS), and their longest open water swims to date.

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The Step Rock swimmers enjoyed some fun in the sun

Both girls swam brilliantly finishing Kushner finishing second and Edie third in their age group – notching up the squad’s first two medals.

Wilson and Geary made the most of the fact that they were only swimming half the distance they had at EDOWS.

Wilson had a fantastic and determined swim, leading the girls from the start.

She finished second overall and first female in her age group.

The open water meet proved a stern challenge for the swimmers

Geary also gave it his all, and with a stunning sprint finish, finished third overall and first in his age group - two golds this time for the team.

The afternoon saw the remaining four swimmers, Finch Geary, Fraser Stewart, Freya Hedley and Rowan Geary, take on the mammoth 3km.

The longest competitive race any of them had ever taken on, they didn't disappoint. Looking strong to the very last stroke, especially Hedley whose sprint finish was one of the afternoon's highlights, all four swimmers medalled: Finch, Fraser and Freya all finished second in their age group, and Rowan finished third.

The day's racing concluded with the 4 x 500m relay.

It's fair to say that the relay team members who had just finished their 3km didn't look the most ready to race again.

But with aching arms, Rowan Geary, Stewart and Hedley were joined by Wilson and in true Step Rock form, all four gave it their all, bringing home silver medals, taking second behind the Inverurie-based Garioch ‘A’ team to round off a terrific weekend.