Swimming: Leon's Dorset diving laurels

First published in Swimming by

POOLE-based Wessex Diving Club’s Leon Watts produced a typically consistent performance to win two gold medals at the 2012 Dorset County Championships in the Dolphin Pool.

Watts won the county springboard title with 185.85 points and the 5m platform gold with a score of 116.60.

Junior team-mate Nick Winfield also struck gold twice, taking the 16-18yrs title with a score of 129.45 and the junior springboard on 128.25.

He added silver to his collection by finishing second to Watts in the senior springboard.

In the girls’ events Kathryn Lawrence match Winfield’s tally with gold in the 12-15yrs contest (99.85pts) and the women’s springboard (131.55) and silver behind Portland-based Tornadoes’ Cara Jones in the junior springboard.

The championship entry was disappointingly low but the standard among those who did enter was high.

In contrast, the London 2012 effect has produced a surge in membership in Dorset and this was reflected by a big entry for the novice inter-skills competition, held at Portland.

Wessex, Tornadoes and Bere Regis Orcas all sent novice divers, many of whom were experiencing competition for the first time.

Tom Le Voi (Wessex DC) showed great promise for the future as he won the 8-11yrs age group while team-mate Caitlin Hodges dominated the equivalent girls’ event.

In the girls’ 12-15yrs age group, Tornadoes’ Rebecca Raybould and Wessex’s Paige Harris defied their lack of experience by performing their dives with style and grace to take gold and silver.

Poignantly, Raybould became the first winner of the trophy presented in memory of her club’s former coach, Chris Esmond, who died of cancer last year.

His wife, Jean, and son, Stuart, were there to present the trophy.

Results, Dorset Championships – Male. 8-11yrs: 1 Oliver Fellows (T) 68.05. 16-18yrs: 1 Nick Winfield (W) 129.45, 2 Martin Shave (W) 98.10. Jnr springboard: 1 Winfield 128.25. Snr springboard: 1 Leon Watts (W) 185.85, 2 Winfield 148. Snr highboard: 1 Watts 116.60. Masters: 1 Roy Shave (W) 93.85, 2 Colin Baverstock (W) 70.

Female. 12-15yrs: 1 Kathryn Lawrence (W) 99.85, 2 Cara Jones (T) 84.70, 3 Sophie Webber (W) 82.80. Jnr springboard: 1 Jones 81.00, 2 Lawrence 80.70. Snr springboard: 1 Lawrence 131.55.

Dorset Inter-Skills – Girls. 8-11yrs: 1 Caitlin Hodges (W) 80.35, 2 Charlotte Harris (W) 69.45points, 3 Megan Hodges (W) 69.15. 12-15yrs: 1 Rebecca Raybould (T) 91.40, 2 Paige Harris (W) 89.25, 3 Elinor Mason (T) 80.50, 4 Peggy Forden (T) 78.10, 5 Jodie Howell (T) 76.10, 6 Laura Bedford (W) 75.90.

Boys. 8-11yrs: 1 Tom Le Voi (W) 74.20, 2 Daniel Bedford (W) 61.75, 3 Max Harris (W) 56.65, 4 Elliot Raybould (T) 51.30, 5 Paul Kolendo (W) 50.00. 12-15yrs: 1 Charlie Rodwell (W) 81.65.

Key to clubs: BR=Bere Regis, T=Tornadoes of South Dorset, W=Wessex Diving Club.

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