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The Scottish Open Water season got off to a fantastic start with the first event in the calendar, East District Open Water Championships 2024, taking place at Lochore on Sunday 2nd June

EDOWs is always a popular event as many swimmers look to start the season with a 1 or 2km sprint and the chance to take part in the ever- popular Chain Relay. This year was no different with over 170 athletes from 33 different clubs across the four Districts taking part, highlighting the growing popularity of the sport.

EDOWS also incorporates the Open Water Novice Meet which gives the more inexperienced swimmers a chance to race in the Open Water for the first time across shorter distances of either 200m or 400m. A good uptake in the Novice event saw swimmers from 11 different clubs represented, a positive sign for future development of the sport.

The Championship events kicked off with the 1km, which was raced in two heats. Heat 1 saw the 11-14s going head to head across the 1km circuit. Aiden Anderson, Aberdeen Dolphins finished first in a time of 12:59, earning himself the gold in the 13-14 age group with Austin Macpherson, Garioch taking the silver and Andrew Paterson, COGST taking bronze. Amber Hinton, Dumfries had a fantastic race, as the third swimmer to cross the line, taking the gold in the 13-14 female age group, ahead of Daisy Gildea, COGST and Imogen Jarrett, DCA. In the 11-12 female race, Lillian Blair, Fins won the gold, with Ailsa Macpherson, Garioch in second and Branna Kenny, ELST in third.

The second heat (15-16s) was dominated by Oscar Chirnside, Garioch and Conner Aspinall, ELST who fought for first and second place, with Chirnside getting the touch having successfully navigated a tight line around the last buoy. Daniel Hendry, COGST crossed the line third picking himself up the bronze. In the female race, Lucy Hall, ESLT finished first picking up the gold, just ahead of Kristin Mackay, Fins and Kate Nolan, ESLT.

The 2km race was also held across two heats, with the female athletes going first in heat 1. Isla Hedley, Step Rock and Emily Riach, University of Aberdeen managed to create clear space in the front pack, with Hedley leading the race for almost the entire 2km. Hedley finished first taking the gold in the 17-24 age group, and the East District Senior Champion title, with Riach finishing second and Jessica Heeps, Fauldhouse in third. Kelly McIntosh, Silver City Blues took the gold in the masters category, with Nicola Hughes, Bellshill Sharks in second and Toni Moore, Swim-IT in third.

In the second heat, Fraser Tetlow, Garioch, Connor Stewart, Stirling and Callum Sinclair, SWL broke away from the rest of the field. Tetlow, who has just returned from BestFest, made the most of his drafting skills, staying within touching distance of the other two athletes before making a move for the finish and taking the gold on the touch ahead of Stewart in second and Sinclair in third. Brian Bain, Silver City Blues won the masters race, ahead of John Curwen, Ren 96 and Chris Gorman, Glasgow Nomads

The day culminated with the Chain Relay, which again due to the popularity, had to be held across two heats.

In the first heat, the B-D teams competed with Garioch B taking the win ahead of SWL B and Step Rock B in second and third respectively.

In the second heat, the Garioch A team of Isla Reid, Ava Smith, Oscar Chirnside and Fraser Tetlow yet again showed their dominance, by chasing down an early lead from the Step Rock A team (Freya Hedley, Finch Geary, Isla Hedley and Rowan Geary) and winning outright. Step Rock A finished second ahead of City of Glasgow A (Sarah McGuffie, Cole Murphy, Daisy Gildea, Daniel Hendry) in third.

A full list of the East District Champions is listed below with full results here:

East District Junior Champions, 1km:

Junior Male & Open: Conner Aspinall, ELST

Junior Female: Lucy Hall, ELST

11-12: Female: Lillian Blair, Fins

13-14 Male & Open: Adam Selbie, Fins

13-14 Female: Irys Blair, Fins

15-16 Male & Open: Conner Aspinall, ELST

15-16 Female: Lucy Hall, ELST

East District Senior Champions 2km:

Winner of the Lawson Trophy: Callum Sinclair, SWL

Senior Male & Open: Callum Sinclair, SWL

Senior Female: Isla Hedley, Step Rock

17-24 Male & Open: Callum Sinclair, SWL

17-24 Female: Isla Hedley, Step Rock

Masters Male & Open: Fraser McKane, Swim-IT

Masters Female: Toni Moore, Swim-IT

East District Chain Relay Champions:

Step Rock A: Freya Hedley, Finch Geary, Isla Hedley, Rowan Geary