Monday 4 August 2014

Road Trip Day 2 - The Quest for a Swim

As mentioned yesterday the Synchro and Water Polo championships were taking up all the available pool space at the Parc Jean Drapeau making a training swim an unlikely prospect. 

Binge, Crystal and her Cronies decided that they would do a little sight seeing tour, and try their luck at training at 7 pm. Cunningly Binge didn't mention her ulterior motive to locate a Ben and Jerry's ice cream shop. 

Mission accomplished: whilst Crystal and her Cronies were buying smoothies and fruit, Binge found herself drawn to a triple scoop cup of frozen deliciousness, (spot the real swimmer in this lot) 

Anyway onto the pool this evening where you took your life in your hands as the world and his wife had the same idea. It was warm up carnage. 

It seemed to me to be pretty obvious that if you invite close on 6000 swimmers for a competition from the far flung corners of the world they are going to arrive fairly early to cope with the effects of jet lag, and yes somewhat predictably they are going to want to swim.

In a rather unusual move the organisers had thoughtfully arranged for a rock festival to take place a matter of 50 metres away from the pools. 

Whilst this provided a level of background entertainment, and made travelling to the venue on the Metro an excellent opportunity to get up close and personal with Montreal's youth, 
it caused havoc with the pools electronics and as a result the Water Polo and Synchro competitions were suspended for  about 45 minutes because of an electronics failure when the big stage started up. 

Perhaps less predictably all of the remaining polo matches then went to extra time and penalties (with surprisingly no English teams involved). This caused a delay in opening the warm up pool, and with 5779 swimmers  (give or take a few) hanging around desperate for a dip the brave few squeezed into half an unlaned 50 metre pool.

Taking my life into my hands I ventured into the water. This was extreme white knuckle swimming and thank you to the twat in my lane ( and that's a very loose term) who thought he would swim butterfly turning the white knuckle experience into a black and blue knuckle one. 

After about 300 meters the rest of the pool opened up and the pool staff arranged for the lane ropes to be put in and things calmed down. A civilised flop of around 600 metres simply to get wet and stretch out.

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