Powerpoints @ Adelaide Nationals 2019
Powerpoints won the runner up trophy and the 120 & 160 relay trophies. Congratulations and thanks to everyone who swam for Powerpoints in Adelaide.
(Full results at the bottom of this page)
Day by day reporting from our man on the ground, team Captain, Brett Davidson.
Day 1: 19th March
Evening Pointers. Greetings from sunny Adelaide. Today I am not going to write about swimming, cos I can't think of anything nice to say. Instead, I am going to write about 18th century Venetian art, with an emphasis on Canalleto, the two Tiepolos (father and son) and Guardi. But not Rosalba Carriera, as I find her work just too soft and pink.
Now, starting with the drafting techniques of my favourite, Canaletto... oh ok - I guess you guys just want to hear about the swimming.
Firstly - the 800m freestyle. Note that I am not well qualified to expand on the finer points of this event*. I am capable of watching it, and reading the results. Actually, today I watched most of the Pointers swim the 800, and some of it was really good. Darius Schultz was the star - first in his age group and fastest overall. It was a joy to watch. Sadly, Mark Thompson, Brad McMahon and Kipp Kaufmann didn't see it as they were in the same heat. Thommo (National Record) and Brad won their respective age groups (Kipp 2nd). Dave Hann and John Richards also won their age groups. Rosa Montague, Jacinta Humphrey and Timothy Boness scored minor medals.
Then we had the 100 breaststroke; Winners were Jackie Fraser, Stephen Cronk and Marijke Alderson - with minor medals to Jacinta, Sal Cuming, Dean Shard, Geoff Toogood, El Pres Michael Daly, and me.
Some of us then had time to pick up our things from behind the blocks and rush down the other end to start the 50m fly**. New member Cindy Nicholls was chuffed with her time (esp after injury) and won the event. Rosa, Darius and Timothy also won their age groups. Rachel AscherVersteegen, Sal, Dave, and Stephen also claimed bling***.
We finished the day with upside down backwards stuff for 200m. Rosa was the only VPP lady daft enough to do this**** and she came in second. We had a few more silly blokes, and some are quite good at backstroke. Kipp and Graeme Armstrong won, and Dean, Timothy and I scored minor medals*****.
So - day one is over. Some folk had good days - some are hoping for better things to come. Relays start tomorrow, so that should be a bit of fun. Otherwise you lot are going to hear a lot more about Venetian art.
* I am not that willing to hear anybody try to educate me on the finer points of long-distance freestyle. Keep it to yourself.
** regular readers would know that I have long considered this the premier event of swimming. That is in the past. It is dead to me now.
*** but not me. See note above.
**** Lois Hill and Carol Spencer-Gardner also did it, but they swim for others now.
***** participation medal for me, as there were only three in my age group.
Day 2: 20th March
Today we went to the beach. It was lovely. Last time we were in Venice we went to the beach too - the famous Lido. The Lido is much better than you would expect, and I can highly recommend getting out there on a nice day next time you visit La Serenissima and you are tired of the crowds, churches and wonderful paintings. As far as I know, none of the great 18th C Venetian painters bothered with beach scenes. Public bathing wasn't such a big thing for them.
But before the beach, we went to the SA Aquatic centre in Marion. Lots of Pointers were racing there today, and many did very well. If you have been looking at Elizabeth Perez's superb medal table you would know this.
First up was the 100 fly. This is quite a good event. It's like the 50 fly but requires a few more brains*. And a turn.
Rosa Montague, Darius Schultz, Timothy Boness won gold, and Rachel Ascher and Michael Daly scored bling too**.
Then there was a 50m sprint breaststroke. Tough event - hard not to just spin your wheels*** in this IMO. Jackie Fraser touched out her chief rival to win, as did Marijke Alderson.
Stephen Cronk and Dean Shard had a ripper race for the 40-44 age group gold - Steve getting in by 18/100ths!
Sal Cuming, Dave Hann, Geoff Toogood and Michael Daly scored placings in their age groups.
Some-time Pointer and VPP friend Sarah James also won her event. Jenny Whitely from Ryde set the first of two world records today in the 50 brst (later on she broke the 200IM WR too).
The second mongrel event of the day was up next - the 200m free. Srsly - who does these programs??
Once again Darius was the star turn - with best time overall and beautiful pacing (28, 31, 31, 31). Awesome. Also - look at Bradley McMahon and Mark Thompson results for near perfect splits. Thommo smashed the national record for 50-54 by 2.3 seconds (previously held by Frank Christian, who was a bit of a legend). Ageless John Richards won his event too. 200m bling for Jacinta Humphrey (in a new PB), Cindy Nicholls, Marijke and Rosa (who had an unfortunate issue with a swimsuit that acted as a water balloon), Dave, Kipp Kaufmann, Timothy and me.
Mongrel # three - 200 IM! I don't think we actually had any women do this. Por que? Where are you Wendy Tempels, Lisandra Zimbres De Carvalho, Jess Cutting? Kelly Higgins?
We had a few blokes though; Stephen and Brad first and third in 40-44, and Dean, El Pres and I had a crack (we all scored oatmeal medals).
Then the fun started - medley relays!
Our 120 ladies won handsomely (Cindy, Jackie, Rachel and Jacinta), and our 240 ladies held on for a brave bronze (Rosa, Marijke, Sal and Yvonne Egan Davidson). Rosa discovered the hydrophilic properties of her swimsuit in backstroke too.
In the men's - our 120 (Darius, Stephen, Thommo, Dave) and 160**** (Kipp, Dean, Brett, Brad) teams won. Our 240 team came in second (Graeme, Michael, Timothy and Geoff Toogood - who spent all day apologising to me that he wasn't as fast as Robert Butcher).
Overall a pretty good day. Tomorrow is weird. 400IM, 200 brst, 100 back. The beach is looking pretty good.
* you shouldn't extrapolate this reasoning to suggest the 200 fly requires even more brains than the 100 fly. That would be wrong, for obvious reasons.
** I didn't, as I carelessly missed out on bronze to a local bloke by 0.22s. 102m race and I would have crushed him.
*** not actual wheels.
**** unchallenged. We only had to stay clean, yet I did my best to trick Brad into breaking. Lucky...
Day 3: 21st March
Greetings green people. I have been approached by some of you telling me that you don't know much about Venetian art, but you would like to know more*. For the Melbourne folk amongst us, I can highly recommend a visit to the National Gallery of Victoria** to see one of the great works by Giambattista Tiepolo ***; the Banquet of Cleopatra. This is a cracker - it's 3.5m x 2.5m in size and has something for everyone. Go and see it. It isn't easy to see Tiepolo's work in Australia cos he mostly painted works for specific buildings (either as canvases or quite often as frescoes) for churches and rich dudes. So you could think of him as a predecessor of our own Patrick John Gallagher - master of wallpaper.
Right-o, now some swimming. I didn't go to the beach today and so directly witnessed some good pool stuff. Overnight we lost Sal Cuming, Geoff Toogood, John Richards and Nathan Sable - but today we found Nigel Fanning and Madelyn Ring.
We started the day with the 200m Breaststroke. We only had two VPP ladies in this - Jacinta Humphrey and Marijke Alderson both won their events. Jacinta finds this ironic given she is primarily a freestyler. Life's like that.
We had a few more blokes; Stephen Cronk showed his fighting spirit to mow down Aaron Cleland in the last few metres**** to win his age group. Dean Shard came in second in the 40-44 - after taking 5 seconds off his PB. Yep - FIVE seconds. Tremendous. Michael Daly and I both scored silver medals. I finally jagged a decent swim - so I'll probably come back. The 200 breast does hurt a lot, but as Steve says "good times don't come without pain".
After that, we had some rip'n'tear action in the 50m freestyle. Rachel did a PB and was quite excited. We had lots of bling in this event too: gold to Jackie Fraser, Cindy Nicholls and Thommo; silver to Rosa Montague, Darius Schultz***** and Nigel Fanning (fastest pointer today in 26.03); bronze to Jacinta Humphrey, Madelyn, Marijke, Dave Hann and Timothy Boness.
The pace then dropped for the 400IM. This event is tough. So tough that Brad McMahon, Nigel and yours truly bottled out of it. Sorry, but I couldn't make the cost-benefit analysis stack up.
Michael was very presidential though - he did it. Although for some weird reason he did double-arm backstroke with frog kick. Trying to channel Michael Moloney I guess. He sneaked in for a silver. Stephen was our only other brave soul - and he won his age group.
The final ind event today was the 100 wrong way swimming, or "a bit of fun" as Kipp Kaufmann describes it. Kipp swam beautifully and was the fastest swimmer today in 1:06.81. Upside down specialist Graeme Armstrong also won his age group. Other bling went to Jackie (bad finish!), Madelyn (even splits!), Rosa (different suit), Dean (who's clearly having a great meet) and Timothy.
One-time Pointer and friend Jon Hawton broke the NR for 55-59 in a 1:08+. Well done sick boy!
Then we had some more rip'n'tear, but this time in series (and in parallel I guess) for the 4x50m freestyle relays.
Our 120 ladies were winners (Cindy, Maddie, Jackie, Jacinta), and our 240 ladies came in third (Rachel, Marijke, Mary, Rosa).
Blokes; 120 (Darius, Dave, Stephen, Thommo) and 160 (Nigel, Brett, Brad "Moses" McMahon******, Kipp) were winners, whilst the 240 came in third (Graeme, Alan Denton, Michael, Timothy).
Another good day. Some folk are getting a bit weary and stiff, but I think we are having fun. Until tomorrow....
* some parts of this statement might not be strictly accurate
** the name of this gallery is a bit weird, as Victoria was never actually a nation. Go figure.
*** the father. An image of the painting can be seen here https://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/explore/collection/work/4409/
**** he didn't need 202m
***** that's not a typo.
****** dubbed so by Dean because of the way he parts the water
Day 4: 22nd March
G'day. Another cracking sunny day here in Addled-Aide. Welcome to my last stream of consciousness for this event. Today was the last day of the pool events, and whilst the event continues tomorrow out in the sharky bits I don't expect to witness much of that. You folk know how much I love long-distance freestyle...
But having said that, I did swim the 400m freestyle today and it wasn't too bad. To be fair, I deliberately avoided the extreme pain zone. I did prove a point that coaches Alan Godfrey and Anthony George Douglas Kattan try to drum into us; you can actually swim pretty good times when you keep your stroke long and even and pace correctly. I did this and came fourth and felt pretty good afterwards (another oatmeal medal*). I could have swum like a crazy man and still come in fourth.
Anyway - enough about me. Some Pointers are actually quite good at distance freestyle and showed it. Once again, Darius Schultz showed the stadium how to do it and recorded the fastest time of the day (a tad under 4:18**). Brad "Moses" McMahon was second fastest and Thommo fourth. Each of these guys won gold. Other winners were John Richards and Marijke Alderson. Bling also to Jacinta Humphrey, Rosa Montague, Dave Hann and Timothy Boness (who was only just behind Jon Hawton).
Then the crazy cohort flipped over to swim backwards. Quickly. Graeme Armstrong was our star as he lowered his own national record in the 65-69 bracket - at 34.83. He had to go that fast as some local bloke came in at 34.87. Augers well for Worlds in August. Other WWWs*** were Jackie Fraser, Cindy Nicholls and Kipp Kaufmann - whilst placings went to Madelyn, Rosa and Dean Shard. The time I later did in the medley relay would have gained me a fourth place. Do you see a pattern here?
Next we witnessed the brutality of the 200m fly. Darius faced his fears**** to again win the day over his kiwi rival. Timothy won and El Pres Michael Daly came second. They were the only three VPP reps to swim the 200 fly (which we were once a bit famous for, at least in our own minds). The only guy who swam the 200 fly in my age group has cancer - he came out of surgery last week and starts chemo next week. That's brave.
The final ind event in the pool was the 100 free - all 27 heats of it. This time Thommo was the big dog - fastest of all in 55.92 (lowering his own NR for 50-54). We had a green and black podium for the 40-44 men; Brad, Nigel and Stephen forming the trifecta. Nice work. Jackie finished out a good week with a win, as did Cindy Nicholls and Darius.
Jacinta Humphrey, Madelyn, Marijke, Rosa and John Richards collected medals too. I came fourth.
We finished off with the fun and chaos of the mixed relays. This was a bit tough on our ladies as we didn't have many to choose from, so all of the remaining VPP women had to swim twice.
In the medleys, our 160 team came in second (Kipp, Nigel, Rachel, Cindy) after Cindy held off a strong challenge from the local Marion team. Our 200 and 280 teams missed out on placings in very tough cohorts.
Sadly our 120 team was DQd for a techical infraction. It happens. We learn and move on.
The freestyle relays brought a bit more joy; our 120 (Jacinta, Jackie, Kipp, Darius) won, as did the 160 team (Stephen, Rachel, Cindy, Nigel). Nigel swam a fantastic anchor leg to catch and overtake Qld Uni. He was excited. We all were.
Our 280 team came in fourth, and somehow our 200 team was DQd. We don't know why.
In all we had a pretty good week. Some excelled, and some were a bit off their usual standard. I think at least one swimmer will accept that skiing isn't the best preparation for swimming, but he'll bounce back. Our team was a little smaller than usual, and I don't think we are in line for many trophies. We aimed at the 160 relay gong and that might come good. I predict Jennie Whitely (3 WR) and Paul Blackbeard (one WR and a few NRs) to snag swimmer of the meet trophies.
* overall I landed four fourth placings this week. You won't see that interesting stat on Elizabeth Perez's lovely table.
** some days it takes me longer than that to open a milk carton
****he was genuinely concerned about this event beforehand, and consulted the oracle (Thommo) for advice. Which he followed. Good boy.