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Quilter & Simpson Break Masters World Records

Event Wrap - 2024 NZ Masters Swimming Championships

We had a great weekend of racing at the 2024 NZ Masters Swimming Championships. From outstanding performances including multiple World Records, Aquablacks getting race practice before they head to Paris and our 150 Masters swimmers community Unlocking Their Greatness by being active in the water, there were many reasons to celebrate.

There were 160 swimmers compete over the weekend, with a 70 year age difference between our youngest and oldest competitors, showcasing that swimming really is a sport and physical activity that you can do for life.

The three Masters World Records that were broken over the weekend were one of the biggest highlights of the weekend, with the crowd and fellow swimmers rising as one to recognise the achievement.

Aquablack #245 Laura Quilter (North Shore Masters & Coast) broke two World Records in her Masters age group (Women's 30 - 34 Years). Her first World Record came in the 50m Butterfly during the second session (Saturday evening) as she swam alongside Aquablack #283 Hazel Ouwehand (Phoenix Aquatics - 26.00) who swam her second fastest time as she prepares for Paris, dropping 0.68 seconds from the original mark held by Martina Moravcova (USA - 27.48). Quilter swam the second fastest time of her career to touch in 26.80 and set her first World Record.

The following day, Quilter set her sights on breaking Moravcova's 50m Freestyle World Record (25.74). Quilter went stroke for stroke with Kyle Barnes (Speed Demons Masters - 25.33) as she finished under the World Record for the second consecutive day, touching in 25.50 to shave 0.24 seconds.

Breaking these World Records was cause for celebration as Quilter continues to thrive upon returning to the pool and enjoying competition.

"It felt great to perform under my self-imposed pressure. I've regained a sense of joy from swimming that was sometimes stifled under expectations when I was younger. I've had fun exploring training methods to get stronger and technically."

Quilter also noted she is enjoying supporting others to develop and love swimming as part of Aura Move.

"I'm more curious about the sport and how to help others excel with different challenges associated with age, injury or mobility."

This has been demonstrated through her delivering a clinic for fellow Masters competitors on Saturday morning prior to racing, which was another highlight for participants. She has also developed some useful training plans and tips to help your swimming which are available on our Lifestyle, Fitness & Recreational Swimming webpage.

Another outstanding performance was achieved by Andy Simpson (South City Masters) in the previous timed final to Quilter's in the 50m Freestyle, where the Men's 75 - 79 Years World Record was broken. The previous mark was held by David Quiggin (USA - 29.19) set in 2019, with Simpson lowering the time by 0.7 seconds to finish in 28.49. Simpson didn't realise he had achieved the time initially, but soon found out his family erupted from the side of the pool. It's a remarkable feat, considering Simpson has never had any coaching lessons for his swimming.

Simpson was proud of his achievement and loved being able to share it with his family pool side after training toward this goal.

"Thank God that's over. The race was a lot easier than the training. It was nice to achieve it in front of the family, as I've been swimming for a long time. I'd like to thank my family for their support in achieving that time."

These World Records will hopefully be ratified by World Aquatics over the coming weeks.

Another highlight of the championships was the opportunity for our Masters swimmers to race against and watch our Aquablacks as they got race practice as they continued their preparations for Paris. Whilst the Games are still a few weeks away, our Aquablacks looked sharp with some personal best times achieved in what are excited times for the team.

Erika Fairweather (Neptune & Swim Dunedin) and teammate Caitlin Deans (Neptune & Swim Dunedin) lit up the pool in their two swims. In the 400m Freestyle, Fairweather (4:02.11) demonstrated her strong finishing speed whilst Deans (4:09.64) set a personal best to dip under 4mins 10secs for the first time. Their form continued in the following session, as both swimmers achieved personal bests in the 200m Freestyle lining up alongside Cameron Gray as he focused on front-end speed. Fairweather (1:55.30) went faster than her NZ Record whilst Deans (1:59.80) broke the 2mins mark for her first time in a promising sign for the relay time.

Cameron Leslie was the other Aquablack to continue his preparations for Paris by competing in the 50m Backstroke (43.63), 100m Freestyle (1:26.50) and 200m Freestyle (3:11.32), as well as Hazel Ouwehand also swimming the 100m Butterfly (59.06) to complement her 50m the previous day.

The presence of our Aquablacks was well received from our Masters swimmers, with some even getting the opportunity to swim in a relay team with them.

There were some standout performances across all ages, with lots of NZ Masters Records being broken which will be finalised over the coming days. Congratulations to all of these swimmers who achieved these times.

We loved seeing people of all ages enjoying the opportunity to race, and to have 160 swimmers Unlock Their Greatness was a treat. Thank you to all the competitors for taking part and creating a supportive, social and fun atmosphere.

The atmosphere across the championships was highlighted by the outstanding turn out at the prize giving and social function held at the completion of racing on Sunday afternoon. Thanks to everyone who came along to conclude the competition and celebrate the weekend of swimming.

The podium for each age group champions were presented medals at the prize giving, calculated by the swimmers accruing the most points across their individual events. Ribbons were presented to the relay teams on the podium for each age group, as well as the special Masters awards. The full list of winners can be found below.

The top club was a hard fought battle, with North Shore Masters taking the title ahead of Waitakere City Masters and last year's champs Roskill Masters.

Awards Recap

Ngaire Prentice Trophy

Awarded to the top region in the 6 x 50m Freestyle Region Relay

Winner: Northern

Peter Wilson Shield

Awarded to the swimmer who has contributed the most to the spirit of Masters swimming

Winner: Eugene Manko (Roskill Masters)

Tom Logan Memorial Trophy

Awarded to the fastest swimmer in the 60 years + age group in the 100m Breaststroke

Winner: Aquablack #130 Richard Lockhart (SwimTastic Masters)

National LC 50m Men's Freestyle Champion

Awarded to the fastest man over 50m Freestyle in any age group over 25 years

Kyle Barnes (Speed Demons Masters)

National LC 50m Women's 50m Freestyle Champion

Awarded to the fastest woman over 50m Freestyle in any age group over 25 years

Winner: Laura Quilter (North Shore Masters)

Top Club

Awarded to the Masters Club who has scored the most points across individual and relay events

Winner: North Shore Masters
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