Ethan Davies with a long dive ahead of the pack in the open 50m freestyle. Photo Brandon Livesay/ South Burnett Times
Ethan Davies with a long dive ahead of the pack in the open 50m freestyle. Photo Brandon Livesay/ South Burnett Times Brandon Livesay

Sharks and Crocs battle it out in the water

A RECORD number of sharks were spotted swimming in Yarraman on Sunday.

About 70 members of the Yarraman Sharks swimming team competed in the club's carnival against the Crows Nest Crocs.

With an additional 60 Crocs in the water, it was a massive day for the Yarraman Memorial Pool.

Yarraman Memorial Pool manager Linda Smith said her club was only getting stronger and membership had climbed to triple figures this season for the first time she could recall.

Deep membership

Smith said the pool had struck a winning formula in attracting swimmers after adding more than 30 new members this season.

"We made the membership a lot cheaper and we've got a lot of little swimmers who signed up, and that's what we need.

"We've got whole families joining up now, it's been really successful."

Members have come from Blackbutt, Cooyar and Tanduringie to join the swim team.

The Yarraman club is thriving after taking out its own insurance policy instead of going through Swimming Queensland, which brought down costs.

"You can pay $90 and be a part of Swimming Queensland or you could pay $25 to join here.

"None of these kids wanted to go to Wide Bay (regionals), they just want to have a swim and have the carnival."

Smith said the Yarraman pool could still send swimmers to regionals if a competitor was keen.

"We can still offer that to them, but most of them chose not to. Well, actually, all of them chose not to this season."

After two years operating under its own insurance policy and seeing numbers skyrocket, sister club Crows Nest has followed suit.

"Crows Nest asked us what we had done and they took out their own insurance policy."

Crows Nest manager Danielle Davies said the two clubs travelled to each others' pools so athletes could get a taste of competition.

"It just gives the kids a bit of competition to see where they are at with their development," she said.

Smith said a relaxed vibe at the pool helped encourage people to swim along with the reduced fees.

"We're not too strict on the younger swimmers.

"We let them use kickboards and flippers so they can practise and it's a bit easier for them.

"And when they are ready to move up they can."

Flippers and family fun

Jayde Taiapa joined the swimming club last year with her children, Destiny, 6, Kiarna, 3, and Hunter, 6.

She said her young Sharks had come a long way since learning to swim in the same pool.

"Kiarna is nearly four, she swims with the flippers," Taiapa said.

"She is the only four-year-old here so she swims with the older kids.

"They have all done really well today; they have two seconds and two thirds."

Taiapa competed in the open women's division and said her time spent working at the pool might give her an edge.

"At least the other swimmers know I can save them if they get in trouble," she quipped.

Breaking records

Membership records weren't the only thing broken on Sunday.

Caitlin Dawes, 10, eclipsed her personal best in the 50m freestyle by nearly three seconds with a time of 37.51.

"I haven't swum under 40 (seconds) before," she said.

Caitlin thought her new personal best might be due to nerves while racing.

"I was just really excited and I went even faster in the second 25 (metres)."

"I was way ahead, because I finished and turned around and they were all still catching up."

Caitlin said she would also swim the backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly and individual medley.

"(Learning butterfly) I started off really bad at it, but I'm getting awesome now," she said.

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