An eleven strong party from Southampton Diving Academy (SDA) has just returned as team victors from Bergen, Norway having participated in the Internasjonalt Stupestevne diving meet 8-12 April. Hosted by Bergen Stupeklubb, this event included national teams from Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Monaco and Poland as well as club divers from Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden, plus the UK. With some in the Southampton team fresh from competing in the UK’s Junior Elite Championships in Plymouth, there were nine individual medals for five divers as well as their win of the overall team competition. Notable were three ‘Elite’ divers, Max Cott (Gold Platform, with a huge 470 points, a score right up there with the top European youth, and bronze on the 1 metre board), Tanya Watson (Silver Medals on the 3 metre and platform boards) and Brandon Foster (Bronze Platform), who lived up to their known high standards. In between the medals were some excellent performances from Lucy Watson (including 4th, platform), Rhys Crookes, Thomas Bailey, Will Osborne, Jessica Bennett and Serena Torpey who all scored personal bests and took some notable scalps throughout the meet. Their dives were consistently sound, essential in competing at this level. Director of Coaching Lindsay Fraser declared herself hugely impressed with the meet organisation, the hospitality of the people of Bergen and the maturity of her own divers.
In her second foray at this level overseas, youngest SDA diver, Evelyna Johnson performed very well especially on the one metre board taking the silver medal and beating a Swiss International diver, as well as scoring over 40 points on her inward one and a half somersault. For this she received the deserved praise of coach Lauren Grinstead.
Cameron Gammage, age 13 years, posted a super individual SDA result with a clean sweep of three gold medals, including a personal best 8-dive score of 324 points on the 3 metre board – one point behind the meet record held by Yong Wang of China since 2003. His best dive was a forward two and one half somersault on the 5 metre platform for which he scored 53 points.
This was SDA’s first trip to Bergen, but having seen the superb organisation of the meet, the excellent facilities and the quality of the international competition it surely will not be the last! While in Bergen the team took the opportunity to variously visit the old town, take the funicular railway above the city so as to look out over the fjords and to see other sights in this spectacular part of the world.
All in all an enjoyable and incredibly successful win by the Southampton Diving Academy.