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Weekend Round Up 4th 5th June

There was an absence of scheduled races this weekend, so does that leave an empty Round Up? Far from it, as the gap in races gave Tuff Fitty the opportunity to organise our own. Firstly the hugely successful Platinum Jubilee swim and also a targeted parkrun to kick start our Summer Tuff Run series – Read on for both articles


Extending our partnership with The Beach Cafe the Captain’s Platinum Jubilee swim was arranged as a relay where each team had to swim together. We were extremely fortunate to have exceptionally calm seas, although the traditional current was on hand. After the swim, all competitors were eligible for a tasty burger and then the results and prizegiving. As proceeding finished the weather took a turn for the worse; the sea became choppy and a gust of wind almost took the Tuff gazebo into Mewsbrook Park. Thanks to everyone who played their part, none more so than our Captains Adrian Oliver & Nicole Patterson-Lett and excellent planning from Clive Patterson-Lett in organising the safety craft and the race briefing. Thanks to Charlotte and Susan who were our spot prize judges, Paul Martin for the photo’s and the other Tuffs who came to cheer, over 50 members were on the shore at The Beach. Photo’s of each team are followed by a narrative from the event which has received universal acclaim.

Oliver’s Army – Adrian Oliver, Nancy Liddell, Wendy Kane, Vanessa Green

Starting with a big splash, Wendy Kane, Nancy Liddell, Vanessa Green and Adrian Oliver marched out on their epic journey to circumnavigate the depths of the smooth English Channel.  Wendy heroically overcame strong cross currents to complete the first lap.  Having bid farewell to Wendy, the remaining trio set out to re-discover the ever strengthening currents and to dispatch lap 2.  More farewells to Nancy saw lap 3 started, still re-discovering the cross currents.  The 3 girls finally celebrated being back together as Adrian departed to complete the final lap.  Great teamwork and swimming by all!


Tester’s Terrors – Clare Worgan, Simon Thistlethwaite, Andy Tester, Sue Pinky

1st relay race

Sue Pinky, Clare Worgan, Simon Thistlewaite & Andy Tester made up the Terrific Tester’s Terrors relay team. The sea conditions were fantastically flat, and the skies were leaden grey but the team were lit up by Sue’s beautiful bright pink fish hat. Perfect conditions for a 4-lap course out to two buoys/paddle boards and back dropping one swimmer off per lap.  CPL set us off as we raced out to the first buoy insuring, we were all together and with all teams keeping a close eye on each other. The current was strong as we arced to the first buoy then used the current to pull ourselves to the 2nd and back in. After Sue’s strong swim we dropped her off on the first Lap and set off again for lap 2 with Clare leading the way. Clare’s excellent sighting lead us round the course and back to the beach hitting the start finish line without any drift. We said our goodbyes to Clare & Sue as Simon and I headed back out for lap 3. We both made good progress, but Simon was hit by cramp at the first buoy in his left leg. After a quick stretch he soldier on with a fast swim back to land and only on landing on the beach was I made aware that the cramp had spread to both legs. Hats off to Simon for a hard swim before I dived back in the channel to finish the 4th and solo round. I loved the swim out to the buoy’s so much I had forgotten to sight, when I did look up I noticed I was off course and heading for Worthing. Back on course I swam round the buoys and to the shoreline and back to the team and a round of applause to all our team and all involved.

2nd Relay race

The 2nd relay was a little shorter this time consisting of a course out to a pontoon and back. Sue sat this one out but made up for it in voice.

Leg 1 was swum by Andy, 2 Clare, 3 Simon and 4 Andy. Again CPL set us off to a frantic fast paced out and back with arms, legs and body parts flailing everywhere. All of the team pushed and swam their legs of the relays hard and fast even though there was some skulduggery from Howie’s Hurricanes trying to hold Andy back by his Union Jack trunks. A great swim and result.

 A very big thank you to the team for a brilliant swim, those that took part and all who organised a great day and end to the Queens Jubilee celebrations.


Scott’s Explorers – Clive Harvey, Mark Walford, Sue Neilson, Spencer Scott

“Well we lined up my team with our sick green coloured hats on.  Our destination a red coloured buoy out in the distance, which we were told was 400 meters away. I squinted to see the red dot,  and said out loud ” that definitely is not 400 meters “. I thought to myself I’ve seen horizons closer than that. Anyway the start rung out and it was like a mad splash around in a kids pool for the first 200 meters. Never have I had so many feet and hands in my face all at one time. Our team soon got into it’s rhythm and Sue just kept getting quicker, and quicker . We rounded the buoys and I realised we were in the lead. Sue didn’t stop and before we knew it we were at the shore and back into the water with Clive leading. Clive again kept a great pace but was so engrossed in speed his sighting was on a passing seagull. Me and Mark were shouting ” this way Clive !” pointing away from the seagull and over at the red buoy. We reached the shore with only a few more shouts, and a great pace set by Clive. Into the water again and this time me and Mark heading for the red buoy again which I couldn’t see to save my life. We reached the turnaround point and I saw Alice with another swimmer with her. I looked at Mark, and thought we had been beaten to the buoy and we really need to up the pace. We went at it like a great white was nibbling at our toes only to find no one behind us when we reached the shore. I peeled off and Mark shot out to complete the last length. I kept looking for the green puke swimming hat and soon enough we could see Mark heading in pretty much on his own with another great swim. Of course we were pleased to win as a team but the day was about team work, and being part of a great club. As we watched the rest of the teams come in it showed it didn’t matter where you came in the race just that you came, and took part”.


Gatland’s Gladiators – Claire Luckham, Dom Amey, Claire Moyle, Alice Gatland

“Upon arrival at the Tuff gazebo, it soon became apparent that the Gladiators were an elite squad of hardcore athletes. Claire L had already been coaching sea swimming in Bognor, Claire M had warmed up with a coached swim workout at the wave on Saturday night, and Dom was ‘fresh’ from his Saturday swim-run training and stadium rock gig. Sleep? Who needs it. Warm up? Who needs it. Just the girls then. After distributing similar-enough blue swim hats and zipping each other up, we headed down to the water’s edge for CPLs effing briefing. By the end of the briefing, the swim route was clear to all, even if we couldn’t see it. The Gladiators had a plan – start swimming and then decide what to do. On the word go, curious passers-by watched on as we enthusiastically ran into the water and bobbed away, heading west and slightly south. After a challenging start, Claire M did a brilliant job of controlling her breathing and finding her rhythm, and we made it to the first buoy by a more direct route than some. On the way back to shore, Claire got into the groove, and I was soon shouting out her last 20 stokes before we could stand up and stagger out. After dropping off Claire M, Dom, Claire L and I re-entered the water, not knowing for whom this was to be their last lap. As we couldn’t see the buoys (‘I’m pretty sure they’ve moved’), I tried to provide a body for the others to follow, and we made steady progress round the second lap. Upon arrival back at the beach it was decision time – who would drop out. Claire subtly uttered “it wouldn’t be my first choice to go again”, so Dom did the gentlemanly thing. On lap 3 Dom’s Garmin suffered water ingress (one assumes) and malfunctioned, causing him to make a few wrong turns along the straight line route to the first buoy. I had to be a bit firmer than the sat nav lady when yelling at him to change course. Heading back to the beach, we triumphantly landed slap bang between the flags. Just don’t ask how we got there. And so it was back in for the final time and a lap all to myself. After a couple of stops to de-fog my goggles and lock onto the buoy (‘it’s definitely moved’) I was going well, until I looked up to find myself heading straight for the wrong buoy. How did that happen? Never mind, swim to the left, turn to the right, I’m warming up now, and back we go to shore. Sorry for keeping everyone waiting. The final splashy dashy super super super sprint 4×1 pontoon relay was a great way to end proceedings, and I think we were all secretly glad that we didn’t have to embark on another voyage to the buoys. After a quick change, a bigger-than-the-bun burger, and a warm drink, it was time for the prize giving, and I felt like a proud mum when Dom was awarded the Navigation Prize. Unfortunately he wasn’t able to collect it in person as he had got lost. It was a privilege to share the swim with my terrific teammates and fellow tuffs, who all got into the spirit of it and did some of that there ‘bonding’. Huge thanks to NPL, CPL and Adrian for organising, and to Susan and anyone else who was so expertly behind-the-scenes that I didn’t realise. When’s the next one?


Hodge’s Heros – Mike Barrett, Andy Crawford, James Hodge, Graham Liddell, Elaine Rousseau

Hodge’s Heros must have been the best prepared team for the event. Team Race tactics agreed the day before, Graham Liddell studied the strength of the current and conditions on the day whilst as first to finish Elaine Rousseau committed burger & drinks orders to memory. Nothing left to chance. A fifth member joined us on the day Andy Crawford for a couple of laps and looked like he could have done a few more.

As the race started it soon became clear with Elaine swimming strongly from the off that we were in a head to head with Scotts Explorers for first place. In a stroke of genius Mike Barrett swam ahead to help with spotting whilst the rest of the team helped Elaine remain calm by screaming random directions at her. Left, left, right, left, right, that way, no this way. Luckily Elaine kept her composure and swam a storming leg and we exited in 2nd place just behind Scotts Explorers. The pressure was on and Graham Liddell was up next and along with Mike Barratt we had another couple of storming laps. We couldn’t catch Scotts Explorers who were swimming consistently well but my team mates had created enough of a gap that I just had to swim the last leg to arrive in 2nd place. Fantastic teamwork.

Our fifth members potential had been spotted and Andy was nabbed by a rival team. The remaining members entered the sprint relay and we changed the running order. Strong swims all round again but by this time the teams focus had switched to burgers and drinks and I am afraid I have no idea where we came. 

A great event thoroughly enjoyed. Thank you.


Howie’s Hurricanes – Paul Howie, Sheila Bailey, Jenny Oliver, Emma Hinton

‘The hurricanes unleashed their destructive force off Littlehampton on Saturday, stirring up the sea’s despite Southern Water’s attempt to disrupt the fun. Hurricane Jenny, hurricane Sheila and hurricane Emma had the tactics sorted by the time I hit the beach. We didn’t quite manage to blow the competition away but the hurricanes left an aftermath of good times and burger wrappings’.


Chapman’s Champions – Phil Scales, Dom Chapman, Jon Babbage, Wendy Frost

“Lots of tuff love at the beach café for the captains jubilee swim today. Well organised good laughs and banter as always nice to all be racing against each other in a really friendly way, I’ve never spoken to so many swimmers in the sea as much as I did today. Really nice to see some of the newbie swimmers taking on this challenge as once you’re in the sea you’ve got no wall or rope to hang on to. so extra kudos to those. Really chuffed to have won a bottle off wine for my moves on the catwalk sorry I mean mat. If there are any new members that are put off from swimming whether that be pool or sea, honestly drop me a message because still to this day I’ve not see a member join tuff that was worse than me when I first joined tuff. You definitely missing out if your not joining in


Nic’s Ninjas – Trevor Harvey, Shelley Babbage, Nicole Patterson-Lett, Katie Yates-Hill

Nic’s NinjasShelley, completely unphased by the mass start, fought her way through the first lap with so much determination, it would have been rude not to follow her example. Awesome Team Spirit and lots of laughs with Shelley, Katie & Trev. Not that it was about the results , but we were third team home 🙂


Frith’s Fishes – Mark Sole, Tom Frith, Kate Evans, Vicky Cooper

Well done Vicky, Kate and Mark for great swimming today, it was a fantastic team effort and you all stepped up to the challenge of the first race magnificently, and then again for the relay.


Thomas’s Tornadoes – Oliver Thomas, Lee Bishop, Paul Atkinson, Leah Simms

It was a fun afternoon I thought my team helped support each other we all stuck together and encouraged each other. I thought it was well organised and it felt safe with the safety crew around. Overall it was a fun event and nice way to celebrate the jubilee weekend. A big thanks for the awesome swimming & banter – my swim buddies, Lee, Paul & Leah


Click on the photo album for extensive pics from the event



The first race in our Summer Tuff Run Series, a chance to have some competitive club running without having to get wet or climb on a bike. Five nominated runs and participants will see their time converted into the WMA grading where age and gender are taken into account.

The first event this year was Littlehampton parkrun where we had 17 Tuffs running. There were some terrific results with Mark Walford 2nd overall, Marc Flinders 12th & Andy Crawford in 15th. Further good positions in age groups further back. A special mention to Bob Thomas who rode down on his latest steed – how about the picture below for advertising multisport.

Bob’s Bicycle

Well done to Marc Walford, Marc Flinders, Andy Crawford, Les Pearce, Steve Woodbridge, Graham Liddell, Emma Hinton, Kev Pearson, Rick Budd, Jo Baldwin, & well done to our newest member, welcome to Clair Carman who has become a regular at our track sessions. Clive Harvey, Vanessa Green, Janet Shepherd, Claire Moyle, Bob Thomas & Jenny Oliver . Nick Hartfield was on the organising team. The photo album is below – and Capt Adrian kindly offered to collate the league table as we go here


The next event in the STRUN calendar is from Sussex Trail Events and is Beat The Tide on Wednesday 29th June – link here The event is likely to fill and as at 9th June there 92 spaces left available.



Not everyone was available to run in Littlehampton so we still have the following to acknowledge.

Worthing parkrun saw Danny Cunnett as first Tuff home in 23:36. Leah Simms followed gaining a new PB in the process crossing in 24:43. Elaine Rousseau completed the trio for her 128th parkrun

Bognor Regis parkrun saw Nathan Bilham in action again on his 77th parkrun clocking 23:48.

Hove Prom parkrun also had Tuff representation as Dave March finished in 22:18

Maidenhead parkrun also had a Tuff running in the form of Trevor Harvey completing his 46th PR

Finally yet another parkrun venue notched up to Tuff Fitty. This time it was Westmill park run in Ware; Hertfordshire, a two lap course from the Three Lakes Restaurant and along the side of the three lakes. Well done to to Alistair Evans on his 86th PR.