QLD champs is a highly competitive state championship. It is regarded as the premier state champs in Australia because of the qualifying times, the quality of the meet organisation and the level of international involvement in the meet. At the 2019 meet teams from South Korea, Japan and New Zealand were competing among other nations. It is however an extremely relaxed and low-key event, where the focus is on swimmers and their coaches not officialdom. It provides swimmers with an opportunity to largely self-manage, race highly experienced quality swimmers, race in international standard facilities and navigate different meet processes.
The team of 13 Pirate swimmers all did a great job and represented their club, families and country with pride. The conditions were extremely hot (we reached 40 degrees one day) and our swimmers all coped beautifully with this as well as their navigation of the new swimming environment. Morning heat sessions ran through to mid afternoon but we still made time to hit the tourist spots in the late afternoons. The most popular (highly requested) non swimming activity by far was shopping! The teens came with their shopping lists and made the exercise of packing for home a squeeze. The team also visited the Koala Park and South Bank among other activities.
Eight club records were broken by four swimmers in Brisbane. Julia and Sean both broke a club record, with Luc breaking both the 50 and 100m freestyle records set back in 2015. Joseph broke four club records in the 100, 800 and 1500 freestyle and 400 IM.
Going into an international meet at this early phase of the New Zealand long course season is no easy feat. In December we are early in the long course season and bereft of long course training (which January camp is awesome for). The new international conditions and heat add increased obstacles for the swimmers to navigate. Overall the swimmers swam really well and should all be proud of their efforts.
The team junior, Sean O’Connor-Close (AKA Cobra) smashed the breaststroke events, gaining entry to two evening finals. It was an outstanding start to his international swimming career! Luc Speirs picked up a club record and a 100% personal best rate for the meet. Julia Borlase cracked a club record and made two finals with a 6th in 200 Breaststroke event. Lucy Borlase also made the 200 breast final and finished 7th. Sophie Buchanan achieved a 100% personal best rate for the meet. Elisia Wong qualified for the 200 backstroke final and finished 5th :-). We had some swimmers coming back from injury and they all showed great progress at the meet.
Club Captain Joseph Stewart excelled across multiple events. Joseph made three finals and collected two silver medals alongside smashing four club records. To medal in the 800 and 1500m events at this world class event is a significant achievement which we salute. We congratulate Steve and Joseph on their extraordinary achievement at this world class meet. The results yielded are derived from a great partnership and work between the pair. We can’t wait to see what 2020 brings for you.
See team results on our results page.