A RECORD 40 swimmers from five south east Dorset clubs will head for Sheffield over the next couple of weeks to test their talents against the best in the land.

The British Summer Nationals on Tuesday kick off a 13-day swimming festival which also includes two days of open water and culminates in the Swim England Championships from August 2-6.

Poole’s junior internationals Jacob Peters and Jazz McCrea carry Dorset’s best medal hopes in the pool, although their targets are contrastingly different.

As well as competing in the three butterfly events at the British showdown, Peters will also be doing two training sessions a day as he prepares for next month’s World Junior Championships in Indianapolis.

Although still only 16, the British junior champion also finds himself in the 17-18yrs age group so medals may prove a tough ask.

But podium places are not his prime target.

“Jacob is using the event as quality preparation for the world juniors,” said Poole coach Barry Alldrick.

In contrast McCrea, 15, should arrive in Sheffield sharp, rested and confident after reaching two semi-finals at the European Junior Championships earlier this month.

Britain’s fastest 15-year-old 50m freestyler has qualified for seven events at the British event and three in the English competition.

The Poole contingent also includes Thea O’Keefe, Teagan-Mae Graham, Abbie Quarrie, relay swimmers Fiona Hardie, Leonie Wiehle and Jasmine Holmes and the open water Ben Porter, Liam and Ryan Openshaw, Carter Stuhlmacher and Aimie Quarrie.

But medal hope Emily Clarke has had to pull out after breaking her elbow at an international meet in Zagreb last week.

Bournemouth Collegiate School are taking a record 13 swimmers to Sheffield including para-athletes Alice Tai and Leo McCrea and open water swimmers Alex Palotai-Avella and Ryan Symington.

The others are Ella Chown, Kayla van der Merwe and Izzy Pryce, who all swim in the main British Championships in April, and Christian Tai, Alex Bryant, Ben Samuel, Finn Trehane, Alesha Gibson and Trevin Michelo.

Oli Fairman and Amy Brown carry Swim Bournemouth’s best medal hopes although both are at the younger end of two-year age groups.

Fairman, 14, hopes to make several British age group finals and is ranked third for the English 1500m freestyle, an event in which he is Dorset’s senior and junior champ.

Brown, attending her second nationals at 13, swims in six events across the two championships.

The Swim Bournemouth qualifiers also include Drew McGregor, Abby Manns, Issy Hepburn and Lucy Pearce in the pool.

The club’s open water squad comprises Bournemouth Uni student Pearce, Jordan Young, Kath Baker, Eve Hewett, Andy Mason and Savannah Barman.

Tanya Blanchard, 13, will become Wareham’s first nationals competitor for 12 years when she competes in the 50m breaststroke at the British event.

Seagulls’ distance ace Miles Ward will swim in both the Swim England and open water events and will be joined outdoors by team-mate James Richardson.

Meanwhile Seagulls’ Isaac Ellis, Taylor Eeles, Sonny Chamberlain Hyde and Sam Small are heading next month’s Welsh Championships, where each has several events.