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The first ever British Age Group Championships were held at the Serpentine, Hyde Park in London, over the weekend of 24-25 September. Grimsby Aquatic Swim Team was represented by 8 of their National Open Water swimmers, along with Great Britain coach Mark Sheldrick.
Day two saw the age group swimmers swim one lap 1.6k (1 mile) of the Serpentine. A combined boy 13-14 and 15-16 year age group started off the mornings events. A damp cloudy start, with a water temperature of 17.1°, provided perfect conditions for open water swimming.
Live commentary, following the pack, confirmed Billy Hendry as one of two lead swimmers. With differencing coloured hats, per age group, the leader of the yellow hats (13-14 years) was announced as Oliver Duckworth 14.
Five minutes later, again combined age groups, saw the start of the girls race. With the lead female swimmers confirmed, the commentator then announced she would follow the boys through to the finish line. Finishing in 19.52 minutes, and becoming the first ever British Age Group Champion, was a jubilant Billy Hendry. Oliver Duckworth, dominating from the start, became the 13-14 years British Champion, in a time of 20.44 minutes. Alex Woods 13 and Lleyton Turner 14 both finished in in 8th and 9th position, with times of 23.17 and 23.41 respectively.
Lucy Woodliffe 13 secured an unexpected bronze medal in the combined 13-14 years category, in a time of 21.49. Team mates Olivia Woods 15, finished in 22.55, 11th place for her age group and Isabel Newson 14 6th position, in a time of 22.57.
Competing for the Great Britain team George Barber 15 swam in the elite open 5k event. Three times around the Serpentine, the course for the London 2012 Olympic Games. George finished in an incredible 4th position in 56.28 minutes. This was a remarkable achievement, as both the winner and third place were Olympians for their respective countries.
Grimsby Aquatic Swim Team is rapidly becoming a recognised name in the sport of open water swimming. Having an experienced England and International Head Coach at the helm, his swimmers are achieving huge success. In recent months there have been 2 Yorkshire County Champions, 5 North East Regional Champions, 3 National Medallists, 2 British Age Group Champions, and 5 swimmers on the England Talent programme.

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