Billingham Masters Gala 13 March 2022

















After a solid training period throughout winter, the Darlington Dolphin Masters swimmers targeted the Billingham Masters Gala for their first gala of 2022. There were 14 DDMASC swimmers in attendance which, when compared to the other clubs, appeared to be the highest turnout of any swimming club there; it was excellent to see a squad presence on the poolside.


The excitement levels were running high on poolside and with some of the swimmers competing for the first time in many decades, it certainly had that buzzing feeling to it which could only be compared to the first time they competed at a gala, where they fell in love with this sport. Although eager to warm up, they were reminded to relax and let the ‘sardines’ warm up first, before taking to the pool in a much more leisurely environment.


The competition began with the gruelling 400m Freestyle where Andy Millar, sporting one of our lovely orange hats, gave a great performance despite his goggles turning inside out – something we’ve all experienced.


After that, the racing came through thick and fast. With only training times to base most of our entries on, there was some uncertainty as to how the races would pan out, however, there was no disappointment in the performances, smashing our entry times on nearly every swim. There were often 2 swimmers in one heat (not just having 2 swimmers in one event!) which made the videographer’s time particularly busy. The Mens 50m Breaststroke had 3 DDMASC swimmers in the one heat.


A quick rest for lunch and some much needed fresh air required, the afternoon’s session quickly came around and DDMASC took to the blocks once again. There’s not much time to rest in between events at a Masters gala, however, that wasn’t an issue with our swimmers as we continued to race with enthusiasm from start to finish.


Another loaded heat came in the Womens 50m Freestyle and in total we had 7 x DDMASC swimmers in what appeared to be a favoured event.


At Masters galas, in order to level the playing field, there is a (somewhat questionable) handicap system which deducts time off for every year over 25yrs and adds time on for every year younger than 25yrs. Overall, DDMASC came away with 1 Gold (Helen Murray, 100m Br) and 3 x Bronzes (Bob Wood, 100m Fc, Naomi Clark, 100m Bk, Richard Murray, 200m Br). In terms of age-group wins and places, they were in abundance.


However, most importantly, everyone swam with great enthusiasm, encouraged each other and came away smiling; nothing more can be asked from a coach’s perspective. DDMASC have set the marker now, put some official PB’s down and can build from here.


Already looking forward to the next block of training and the next gala. Well done, everyone!


Best regards,

Iain Hodgson (Coach)

Full results can be found here  

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Northumberland & Durham Masters Meet 2019

A strong contingent of swimmers represented the club at the N&D Masters at South Shields on 7th July 2019, coming back with a haul of medals and PBS...

30/34 years old

Iain Hodgson

50m freestyle 25.38 (Gold)

35/39 years old

Chris Smails

50m breaststroke 52.06

100m breaststroke 1:45.88 (P.B)

50m freestyle 41.10

100m freestyle 1:26.87 (P.B) (Silver)

200m freestyle 3:16.35 (P.B) (Gold)

40/44 years old

Martin Whitfield

50m freestyle 27.02 (Gold)

100m freestyle 1:00.56 (Gold)

Ian Taylor

50m butterfly 33.32 (Gold)

100m butterfly 1:16.45 (Silver)

50m freestyle 29.31 (Silver)

45/49 years old

Mike Poole

100m freestyle 58.80 (Silver)

200m freestyle 2:12.99 (Silver)

100m individual medley 1:10.97 (Gold)

Robert Wood

50m freestyle 26.09 (Gold)

100m freestyle 56.50 (Gold)

200m freestyle 2:05.64 (Gold)

400m freestyle 4:39.49 (Gold)


Tony Day

50m butterfly 28.78 (Gold)

100m freestyle 58.83 (Gold)

400m freestyle 4:32.05 (Gold)


North West Regional Masters Blackpool

Tony Day represented the club at the North West Regional Masters at Blackpool on the 23rd February, and set yet another Welsh MastersRecord of 18:09:04 for the 1500m Freestyle (50-54) .

Another huge congratulations Tony again!


Swim England National Masters Championship Sheffield

Tony Day represented the club at the National Masters Championship at Ponds Forge, Sheffield on the 26th October, and achieved the amazing result of winning the 50/54 800m Free in a new Welsh Masters record of 9:17:97.

Huge congratulations Tony!


North East Region Masters

Several club swimmers competed in the North East Regional Masters at Harrogate om 23rd Setember, and brought home an impressive haul of medals.

Bob Wood 45/49 200 Free    Gold (*)

                             50 Free     Gold

                             50 Fly        Gold

                             100 Free    Gold

Paul Love 30/34  50 Breast   Silver

                            50 Free      Bronze

                            100 Back   Gold

Ian Taylor 40/44 100 Fly       Gold

                            50 Free      Bronze

                            50 Fly        Silver

Tony Day 50/54 200 IM       Gold (*)

                           400 Free   Gold (*)

* Fastest across all age groups


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Northumberland & Durham Masters Meet

Tony Day & Chris Smails represented the club at the N&D Masters at South Shields on 1st July 2018, coming back with a clutch of medals and PBS...

Tony Day (50-54)

800m Freestyle Gold 9:25.17

50m Freestyle Gold 27.84

Chris Smailes (35-39)

100m Breaststroke Gold 1:46.94 (PB)

50m Freestyle 39.86 (PB)

400m Freestyle Bronze 6:54.86 (PB)

50m Breaststroke Silver 52.76

100m Freestyle Bronze 1:28:65 (PB)


Great North Swim

8-10th June

Several members took to the unusually warm waters of Windermere for the Great North Swim at its new home at Brocklehole.

1 Mile

Kev Beer 25:08

Ger Stones 31:15


Joanne Todd 3:22:36

Billingham Forum Pool

Billingham Masters Gala

25th March 2018

Several DDM members took part in the 6th Billingham Masters Gala, which took place on Sunday 25th March at the Billingham Forum Leisure Centre.