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National Arena League Round 1 (Posted on Sunday, 19 October 2014)
October saw the first round of the National Arena League where each Club’s fastest swimmers compete in this prestigious team event. Once again our team of 32 swimmers stood up to the high standard of the competition swimming incredibly well achieving many personal bests.

The competition was really strong and Orpington Ojays gave it their best in and out of the pool where they swam strong and cheered loudly alongside our supportive parents. After a closely fought event Ojays managed to achieve 4th place overall securing 8 third places, 7 second places and, to top it all 2 first places thanks to Callum Baronti’s great butterfly race and our team of 11yr boys freestyle relay team composed of Eddie Sellar, Max Peel, Justin Strover and Callum Baronti.

Other great swims were delivered by: Justin Strover, James Waller, Michael Phillips, George Fisher, Jake McDonnell, Oliver Randall, Ben Strover ,Louis Goff, James Lawrence, Mike Bond, James May, Jamie Van Rooyen, Jessica Herbert, Matilda Barrett, Alice Bennett, Emily Smith, Anna Cvjetan, Clio Bacon, Niamh Laker, Jessica Sellar, Amy Jeffreys, Katie Napier, Daniella Shipley, Jessica Page , Lizzie Bennett, Chloe Ashley and Kate Ridley
A big thank you also goes to all coaches, parents, officials and helpers who supported this event and make it as successful and fun as it was.
Racing through the night (Posted on Tuesday, 14 October 2014)
Masters Matt Steere, Ben Cockburn & Niki Herbert entered the first UK Night Swimming Event. Held in the dark at Bray Lake, Maidenhead last Saturday night they spent some time as the sun set contemplating why they were about to swim in the dark. Having clipped a glow stick to their goggle elastic they went to the start area & looked for a course with 4 buoys dimly lit with more glow sticks. At 7.30pm 150 swimmers set off for either one lap of 750m or two for 1500m, the Ojays swimmers were all doing the 1500m.

Spectators got to see glow sticks wavering along the water as the swimmers set off! Matt quickly got towards the front & having lost his glow stick nearly tipped over a canoeist that hadn't seen him coming and had to negotiate a course he couldn't see. Ben & Niki had an easier swim being able to see a line of glow sticks from faster swimmers marking out the course.

Matt finished 1st in 19.06, Ben was 13th in 23.50 & Niki 36th in 26.30. The swim was organised by a company called Brutal Events - very apt!
John Carrie (Posted on Friday, 10 October 2014)
It is very sad to report on the death of John Carrie at the start of the week.

John Carrie was a lovely man. He was a prominent figure in the world of swimming, always giving his time to help swimmers and officials. Many people within swimming often used John as an expert point of reference and he never failed to give the correct answer. He was a larger than life character and even as his health deteriorated he still managed to help at many events. He will be sadly missed by all but will always be remembered. Swimming has lost one of its true heroes.
Ojays get the Season off to a flying Start (Posted on Thursday, 02 October 2014)
This weekend was the annual Ojays Open Gala – the Seasons Starter and what a fantastic start to the season it was too - the event was very well supported by visiting clubs and we thank them for their continued support.

Saturday early evening started off with the 400 freestyle 200 breastroke, 200IM and 200 fly – it was then off for a good night’s sleep before back at the pool at 8.30am for a full day of competition.

Team Ojays were a team to be reckoned with poolside with swimmers from Bronze through to Top squad participating. Masses of PBs, Medals and even some speeding tickets (swims faster than the Upper qualifying time) were awarded and it was great to see all ages bonding poolside as a team. The team were delighted to be awarded Top Club and to receive the shield back from Bromley, last year’s winners and OOJSC’s Kate Ridley was awarded Top Girl. Congratulations everyone - you swam fast, cheered loudly and made your family and coaches very proud of you and hopefully enjoyed yourselves too!

As with all galas we really couldn’t pull it off without the help of our volunteers who worked tirelessly Saturday evening and all day Sunday poolside, providing refreshments and on the door selling raffle tickets and admission. It was great to see new parents learning the complexities of hosting a gala from the more experienced parents and delivering a well-run and enjoyable gala.

Finally thanks of course to our coaches Richard, Sergio and Clare for all your hard work poolside.

Results will be posted soon.
Poole 3k sea swim (Posted on Sunday, 28 September 2014)
On Saturday morning Steve Morris and Siobhan Curtis headed down to Poole for the Human Race sea swim. Both Masters squad swimmers had entered the 3k distance for their first sea race. Siobhan was using the event as a sea training session for her ironman event in Brazil in a few weeks! Steve came in 7th overall (190 swimmers) in 45 mins and 49 seconds putting him 4th in age group and Siobhan came in 1 hours 6 mins and 14 seconds putting her 142nd and 4th age group. Great swims and a great event.
WHL ROUND 3 (Posted on Thursday, 25 September 2014)
The first gala of the season and the penultimate round of the Whitehorse league saw, once again, Orpington Ojays showing their toughness and resilience.

With a reduced team and with many young swimmers swimming up an age-group Ojays managed to get many pbs, 3 first places, 6 second places, 10 third places and 1 speeding ticket bringing our team to 4th place.

Congratulations to all our swimmers whose effort and team spirit was impressive, our judges, timekeeper and poolside helpers a without whom the gala couldn't have taken place and finally to parents for being loud cheerful and supportive.

Well done Team Ojays!
Dart 10k Open Water (Posted on Saturday, 20 September 2014)
Well done to our brilliant Masters swimmer Niki Herbert who took part in the Dart 10k.

The Dart 10k is a stunning 10km swim down the River Dart in Devon organised by the Outdoor Swimming Society. For once, the swim is not a race, but a journey: all swimmers can swim at their own pace, from leisurely to fast, as they wind their way downstream through the rolling hills of Devon.

Distance wise this is the aquatic equivalent of a marathon, and is forecast to become the new challenge distance for swimmers - so get into training now! There is an elite category for those who like to race, but for most swimmers it's about doing the distance, and enjoying the ride.

This is how the organisers describe the course: 'it's a beautiful swim in brackish water. Swimmers are flanked by rolling Devon hills the whole way, with an estuary's curious mix of sea and fresh water, bladder rack and oak leaves, oyster catchers and kingfishers'. Sounds beautiful and no mention of chlorine!

Niki completed the Dart 10km on Sunday 14th along with 814 other swimmers. They were set off in 4 waves, 15 minutes apart, with the fastest waves at the back. Niki was in the 3rd wave and the swim began nicely, the first 4km was with her wave and the river was calm & smooth although there were far more lumps of flotsam (logs, branches, weeds) than she realised. At 4km she stopped at a refuelling pontoon for a couple of handfuls of jelly babies. The next refuelling station was at 7km. Between 4-7km it was harder swimming, she was catching up & overtaking the slower waves as well as trying to sight. After more jelly babies at 7km it was time for some very hard swimming. The river had turned into a wide estuary with other rivers joining, the water was rough & bumpy making the sighting of slower swimmers & the course very difficult. Niki finished in an amazing 2hrs, 41 mins, and placed 218th out of 702 finishers. At the finish line she was greeted with tea & energy bars; there were bbqs, picnics & music too. A great swim & the highlight of her open water swimming this year saying it is well worth any swimmers having a go!

More pics in the photo gallery
ASA's National Disability Swimmer (Posted on Saturday, 20 September 2014)
A massive congratulations and well done to Billy Birchmore on being awarded the ASA's National Disability Swimmer of the Year!
Club Champs (Posted on Saturday, 20 September 2014)
The club champs kicked off on Monday evening with the 100m BS and 200m BC. Some great swims from the swimmers with lots of PBs. The results are available from the homepage or the results section from the menu and some photos of a handful of swimmers are in the Photo Gallery, again from the main menu.
Captains' Gala 2014 (Posted on Saturday, 13 September 2014)
Well done to all the team's that took part in last week's Captain's Gala: Isabelle's 'Minter-Paye's Manta-Rays' Louis' 'Lightening Bolts', Captain Chlo's Crew and to the winning team Ridley's Rockets. Amazing corkscrews, dragon boat and tandems. Great fun was had by everyone - well done captains on great posters and teamwork.
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