GBDF Winter Masters

Sheffield Diving took a team of 4 divers to the Great British Diving Federation Championships in Tunbridge Wells and were joined by 2 divers from Maltby. The Winter Masters is traditionally a less serious competition, with an emphasis put on versatility. Divers must use all three board heights: 1m and 3m springboards and the 5m platform. The first day was the day of the main competition and saw the combined team win a total of 4 medals. Neeltje Stuurman took Bronze in the Women’s 40-49 event with a score of 174.69, while Rich Robinson (Men’s 30-39) also achieved Bronze, scoring 160.95. Representing COSDC for the first time, Iain St. John came away with Gold in the Men’s 16-29 event with a score of 204.95, which was particularly noteworthy as he only decided the day before to compete a new dive, 405C on 3m springboard. Another great performance came from Nick Samaniego in the Men’s 50-59 event. Although Nick’s focus was to simply come along and take part without the worry of contending for medals, he actually won Gold with a score of 155.45. Paul Rhodes of Maltby, in the Men’s 50-59, came a creditable 5th. Day 2 is focussed more on fun and trying new things. There are three types of event: the “Fun” competition, in which only feet-first entries are allowed and must be performed from 2 differing board heights; the “Challenge” competition, where the dive that all divers must perform each round is drawn out of a hat; and the Synchro competition, in which 2 different board heights must be used and 1 dive must be in opposing directions. In the Fun competition, Iain took another Gold, Rich took Silver and, much to her own surprise, Neeltje won Bronze. Neeltje was also in contention for another Bronze in the Synchro, paired with Rich. This was a new pairing and Rich’s first synchro competition, for which the pair had only been training a few weeks. They performed incredibly consistently, scoring between 6s and 8s every round and finishing in 4th place, higher than either of them had expected to reach. The divers wished to record their thanks to their coach, Russ Preece, and to Chris Long of Maltby Diving Club, for their support in a fun, well-run and successful event.