The first major Open Water Meet of 2024, the Scottish East District Open Water Championships and Open Meet, was held at Lochore Meadows, on Sunday 2 June and proved to be a very successful competition for Fins.


Nine Fins’ swimmers competed, four for the first time in an open water event, resulting in three district titles and one runner up, plus Open gold and silver medals. These were all achieved in the Junior category which was a 1 kilometre course.

Top swimmer in terms of achievement was Lilian Blair, who won the District Title in the 11/12 girls age group. Lilian also won the Open Gold medal in this category.


Next was Adam Selbie, who won the District Title in the 13/14 boys age group and finished 4th in the Open, behind swimmers from Aberdeen Dolphins, Garioch, and City of Glasgow, and just missed an Open Bronze by two seconds.


The remaining District title was won by Irys Blair in the 13/14 girls age group, 6th in the Open


Runner up in both the District and Open categories, gaining a silver medal in both, was Kristin Mackay, 15/16 girls age group. Kristin also achieved the top performance by a Fins swimmer by completing the 1k in a time of 13 minutes and 25 seconds, just 6 seconds behind Lucy Hall of East Lothian Swim Team.


Also doing well in her first open water swim was Sadie Paton who finished 4th in the District and 5th in the Open, in the 11/12 girls age group.


Another swimmer to do well, despite being in the younger half of a two year age group, was Caleb Gray, 13/14 boys, who finished 5th in the District and 8th in the Open.


Two first time swims in Open Water, in the senior, 17 to 24 years girls, 2k event, were Jennifer Gordon, who finished 14th in the District and 19th in the Open, and Grace Wilson, who finished 18th in the District and 23rd in the Open.


In addition to the Championship and Open events there was also a novice event for younger swimmers and 9 year old Elliot Blair finished 2nd boy in the 200m freestyle, just under 10 seconds behind Seumas Kenny of East Lothian Swim Team.

Those competing in Open water for the first time highlighted the differences to swimming in the controlled conditions of a pool, with the following comments – ‘the water was colder’, ‘the water was choppy’,  ‘it was dark’, ‘I couldn’t see the bottom’, ‘there were no lane markers to keep you in a straight line’ Welcome to the world of open water swimming.

Open Water Swimmers

The photo shows L to R – Adam, Elliot, Caleb, Lilian, Sadie, Irys, and Jennifer.


Four other Fins swimmers were also in action at two more events.

Iain MacDonald accompanied three swimmers to the Lothian Region Distance meet at Prestonpans, which was really a time trial event, as there were no medals on offer and the results were published in order of time only, with no separate male and female or age groupings.


Fins swimmers competed in a total of four swims and recorded a total of 9 PBs which included split times.


Eva Watson had two swims the 800m and 1500m freestyle. In the 800m she was the fastest 13 year old girl which moves her from 35th to 31st in the Fins top 50 rankings.

In the 1500 Eva recorded the second fastest time for a 13 year old girl, and a 41.86 second PB, beating the time she set earlier in the year and this moves her from 10th place to 7th in the rankings.


Cole Gray recorded the fastest time for a 12 year old boy in the 1500m freestyle, and while he was just outside his PB he did mange PBs at the 200m, 400m and 800m splits. His 200m and 400m split times are outside the 50th place in the rankings but his 800m split time gives him an entry position of 23rd in the rankings.


Finnley Macdonald recorded the 2nd fasted time for a 15 year old boy in the 1500m freestyle which means he enters the rankings in 35th place and his 800m split time gives him an entry point of 19th in the rankings.


The fourth swimmer in action was Vicky Jack at the Dundee long course Masters Meet, Vick competed in four swims, in the 40  to 45 years women’s age group, winning the 100m butterfly, a 2nd placing in the 100m freestyle, a 3rd placing in the 50m butterfly, and a 4th place in the 50m freestyle.

Vicky’s time of 1.22.88 in the 100m butterfly means that she enters the Fins’ long course rankings in 23rd place.