The Atlantis Swimming Club travelled to Brighton for the final round of their Arena National League campaign.
Sitting top of the table, having won their previous two galas, Atlantis knew that a win or runners up spot on the night would be good enough for them to secure promotion to the Premier League next season. The club have only ever achieved this once, back in 2011, when they were promoted after finishing that season in second place.
The final round this year included four teams from Sussex (Atlantis, Crawley, Brighton and Hastings) who were joined by teams from Croydon and Black Lion from Kent which is a great reflection of the increasing standard of competitive swimming within the County and the local rivalry would also stoke the already intense atmosphere. Indeed, the public gallery at the Prince Regent Swimming pool was packed full of eager spectators and they were treated to a fantastic evening of top class racing.
In the early rounds of races, it was Hastings would took a surprise lead after a few mistakes by Brighton left them in 4th place behind Crawley and Atlantis. The Horsham swimmers had made a steady start and knowing the first events were not their strongest, were quite comfortable keeping the leaders in their sights. After the first ten races Atlantis then had a dominant spell and with a string of wins from the youngsters, they took the lead. The challenge from Hastings wilted and Brighton battled back into contention, leading to a very exciting second half of the evening. Atlantis kept the lead but there was always only a few points between the top three places and the coaches called for extreme concentration from the swimmers, especially in the relays, where one over eager start could result in a disqualification and loss of points. The team responded well and showed excellent technique all evening, in the individual and relays races and there were no mistakes. As the events passed Atlantis managed to extend their lead and finished the evening as league champions, a comfortable 19 points ahead of the runners up, Crawley, who were 6 points ahead of 3rd placed Brighton.
To win the league is the best ever finish in the clubs history and for a relatively small club in comparison to its rivals, represents a massive achievement by all the swimmers and coaching staff. To win all three galas requires strength, skill and application across all the age groups of both boys and girls, and this year Atlantis showed they had that. Next year they will be up against the biggest and best teams in the south of England which will be exciting and a fantastic experience for all involved in the club.
After the event, Deputy Head Coach Andy Lobley said ‘Well done to everyone, what a fantastic night, we produced some fantastic swims to gain promotion to the Premier League next season. Most importantly we were undefeated all season and that is a great achievement on its own and to beat Crawley, Brighton and Hastings in the same round bodes really well for the Sussex League in the Summer.