Fun in the Sun

From the 21-23 May veteran sun-lover, club vice-president and registrar, John Collis braved the warmth and sun to compete in the Great Barrier Reef Masters Games GBRMG). This was no mystery to John who attended high school in Cairns and has competed in these Games twice before. In 2017 John, who was at the young end of his age group, scored 3 firsts and 3 new records, one second and one third and was awarded “Male Swimmer of the Meet”. Then in 2019 John scored one first (a new record) and five second places but left before the meet finished to attend his 50th school anniversary. However Molonglo scored “Male Swimmer of the Meet” for a second time with treasurer Gary Stutsel scoring 9 individual firsts and 9 new records.


John Collis displays his medals at Tobruk Pool, Cairns, 2021

John Collis displays his medals at Tobruk Pool, Cairns, 2021

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Calling all Long Distance Swimmers!

If you are interested in long distance or open water swimming the following information from Greg Gourley may interest you.

Greg was voted Masters Swimming Australia’s Coach of the Year for 2020.

He is proposing training sessions on Friday mornings at 7:30,  either at Tuggeranong or Stromlo Pool.

If you are keen to improve your long distance swimming performance this is a great opportunity to do that.  Contact Greg on to indicate your interest.


Only one club member contested the comeback NSW State Championships on the 10th and 11th April after the first break in 45 years (in 2020 due to Covid).

Swimming at the Sydney Olympic Pool, Homebush, with our sister club Tuggeranong so he could compete in relays, club Vice President John Collis came away with three medals and several near misses.

In his favourite stroke, breaststroke, John finished 2nd in the 50m with 41.42 seconds and 2nd in the 100m with 1:39.81. He came 3rd in the 200m individual medley (3:57.18), a difficult swim made harder when his goggles filled with water as he dived in. John came 4th in both the 100m backstroke (1:44.74) and 100m butterfly (1:49.07), swimming both these events for the first time in competition.

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ACT Time Trials 1

The first of a series of Time Trials planned for the ACT was run by the Tuggeranong Vikings on Saturday 27 March. This is a new type of meet that doesn’t require a lot of officials and runs smoothly with less stress on all involved.

A key to this is a self-marshalling system where your name, heat and lane is called and you write your details on a slip of paper which is given to the timekeeper when you start. When you finish you are given the slip back with your time on it, and you can trade it in for a free raffle ticket drawn at the end of the meet. It’s a relaxed and fun meet and the perfect way to have a go, see other swimmers in action and maybe pick up a prize.

Our Club had five intrepid Water Dragons willing to try their hand against the clock. Ann Bromwich, Nicole McMahon, John Collis, Nik Manassiev and Michael Peedom swam, and were very happy with the results. It’s always a bit daunting getting up on the blocks, but once the starter’s gun goes and you’re off, it takes you back to the thrill you got as a kid at the swimming carnival in your local pool.

A big thank you to Greg Gourley and all the Vikings volunteers who came together to put on this event, which is the first of a series of time trials planned this year. We need to get behind this initiative and field a much larger team of swimmers, and timekeepers, for the next one.

Happy Laps,

John Collis


Nik Manassiev chasing hard in the relay

Nik Manassiev chasing hard in the relay


Michael Peedom powers on


John Collis looking for the wall

Sri Chinmoy Lake Swim 2020

The Sri Chinmoy Lake Swim is swum each year over three distance options: 5km, 2.5km and 500m. Age groups are under 50 50-59, 60-69, and 70 and over for the 2.5km and 5km and under 13, under 17, and 17 and over for the 500 metres swim.

The 34th annual swim was held last Sunday 23rd February, on a clear morning, however the lake was not so clear. Instead of being swum over the usual 2.5km course at Yarralumla Bay the swim had to be moved to a 1.25km course starting and finishing at the Acton Ferry Terminal.

Four of our members and several Vikings swimmers contested this year’s events with all four finishing in a place. For the Vikings results see their website, but our members, Brendon Tasker, Alex Grove, Tim Booth and Geoff Llewellyn, all of whom swam without a wetsuit, are shown below.

Geoff and Tim both contested the 2.5km event with Geoff finishing in 1 hour 26 minutes and 44 seconds to win the over 70 division. Geoff is in the 85-89 group in Masters. Tim was narrowly edged into second place in the 60-69 age 2.5km event, only 25 seconds behind first place. Tim swam 48 minutes 54 seconds. He still holds the record of 43 minutes 27 seconds for this age group.

Swimming against much younger competitors Alex was 3rd of nine swimmers in her 17 and over 500m event swimming 10 minutes and 31 seconds. Well done Alex.

Ironman Brendon was our only contestant in the 5km swim and he finished 3rd in the under 50 event in 1 hour 32 minutes and 52 seconds. The contestants enjoyed a pancake breakfast after leaving the water.

The presentations were made by Andrew Leigh the member for Fenner in our Commonwealth Parliament. Pictured are second from left Alex Grove and half-hidden behind Geoff Llewellyn.

In late November or early December each year, the Sri Chinmoy National Capital Swim is staged along the full 9 km length of Lake Burley Griffin for solo swimmers and relay teams of 4.

NSW Short Course Championships

80 year old Gary Stutsel was the only Molonglo Water Dragons swimmer to contest the Masters Swimming NSW Short Course Championships held at the Woy Woy Pool on the weekend of the 12th and 13th October.

Gary swam with the Tuggeranong Vikings team and competed in three of the five relay events contested by the Vikings. The teams scored one first place, three seconds and a fourth, all in the 200 plus age group. Gary’s swims were in the Men’s 4 x 50m Freestyle (4th), the Mixed 4 x 50m Medley (1st) where he led off in the backstroke leg in 49.50 seconds, 1.70 faster than his individual swim and the 4 x 50m Mixed Medley where he swam the freestyle leg in 35.87 seconds , 1.44 seconds faster than his individual Freeestyle swim.

Gary contested the maximum allowed five individual events scoring top points in each of the five for a total of 50 points. This placed him equal first with Manly’s Tony Goodwin in the 80-84 Age group.

The Vikings finished 4th of 34 clubs in the Club Total Points score with 584 points from its 11 swimmers behind Warringah 1169 (25 swimmers), Manly 994 (19), and Wett Ones 847 (22). In all 250 plus swimmers from the 34 clubs competed on the weekend.

Quality won over quantity in the Average Points per club competition with the Vikings averaging 53.09 points to take the trophy. Runners up were Manly (average 52.32) and Raymond Terrace (51.20).

We are looking forward to seeing much greater participation from Molonglo swimmers at the Masters National Championships in Sydney next April and the Spring Championships at the AIS Pool next October.


Early Winter Interclub 16 June 2018 – 25m course at Gunghalin

On a clear sunny Canberra Sunday afternoon 46 swimmers, 8 non-swimming officials and about a dozen non swimming supporters met at the Gungahlin Leisure Centre. The workers arrived before 1.30pm to set everything up with the able assistance of Lachlan and his staff at the Centre. As it was winter there was hardly another person in the deep end of the pool where we were to swim, even though we had booked only four of the eight lanes for our use.

After everything was set up, the competition got under way five minutes late at 2.35pm. Why five minutes late? Because we had to almost beg for 8 timekeepers to come forward. Perhaps we need to insist that participating clubs supply one full time timekeeper for every five swimmers or something along those lines. As it was, apart from a handful of dedicated full timers, most of our timekeepers were also competing so there was a constant turnover. On the other hand it was heart warming to see David Leake one of our Queanbeyan members going through his paces as trainee Chief Timekeeper. Under the watchful eye of Tuggeranong’s Ann Reid, David came through this pressure test with flying colours. Well done David.

Our non-swimming officials Lenny Partridge and Audrey Stutsel were busy all afternoon with Audrey marshalling the swimmers into their heats and Lenny working with Pete Sharman on recording all the results. Marg Larkin with a little help especially from President John organised the refreshments, that is tea, coffee and water with cakes and biscuits. A big thank you to Nerida McCorkell and Phil Browning, Roger Carter, Mary Liz Partridge, John Collis, Keran Titmuss and to anyone I have missed who brought along cakes or biscuits.

There was a full program of 11 individual events and a relay. Competitors were allowed to swim in four of the individual events and the majority did. This meant that over three hours they had five events, about one every 30 minutes, although several swam in two consecutive 25 metre events giving them only five minutes between both swims. Despite the pressure almost all of our swimmers swam faster than their entry times and it was pleasing to see that every Water Dragon swim was in the Top 25 for New South Wales (NSW) this year. For the actual results see the table of detailed results that follows.

Two of our swimmers swam a number 1 time, that is the fastest time in their event and age group in NSW this year. They were our President John Collis and Chris Loose our Queanbeyan Co-ordinator. It was great to welcome the four-swimmer team from Sapphire Coast again and to also have Stephen de Lorenzo of the Penrith Club, our only Sydney swimmer. We look forward to being joined by swimmers from Goulburn and Young when next we compete.

Gininderra Club from the CISAC Pool fielded a team of five while Tuggeranong had 19 and we Water Dragons 17. Unfortunately Geoff Llewellyn, Nerrida McCorkell and Gary Stutsel were unable to swim. There presence may have been able to help us edge out the Vikings but as it was they outscored us 805 to 744.

While the full results for all swimmers are available on both the National Results Portal and the MSNSW website, the times and places for each of the Water Dragons follow below. Of particular interest are the swimmers’ positions in the New South Wales Top 25 (as at 16th June 2019).

Photo: President, John Collis, leading the Water Dragons cheering squad.

Age Group Name Event Time Event place NSW Ranking for 2019 ytd
50-54 Karen Titmuss  50m Freestyle 36.59 1 5
100m Freestyle 1:26.21 1 4
50m Breaststroke 45.28 1 2
100m Breaststroke 1:41.59 1 2
Mary Liz Partridge  25m Freestyle 22.27 2 7
 25m Backstroke 25.95 3 3
 50m Backstroke 56.81 3 5
 25m Breaststroke 31.88 1 3
55-59 Tanya Colyer  25m Backstroke 32.27 2 11
 50m Backstroke 1:13.75 2 6
100m Butterfly 2:49.03 2 4
200m Medley 5:43.56 1 3
Marg Larkin 100m Freestyle 1:40.72 2 7
200m Freestyle 3:41.42 2 7
65-69 Chris Hayhoe  50m Freestyle 52.07 2 8
200m Freestyle 4:12.44 1 7
 25m Backstroke 33.60 2 12
 25m Butterfly 29.06 1 6
35-39 Alistair Buttimore  50m Freestyle 32.34 1 7
100m Freestyle 1:14.24 1 5
100m Medley 1:24.56 1 5
45-49 Brendon Tasker  25m Freestyle 14.15 1 4
 50m Freestyle 31.53 2 4
200m Freestyle 2:46.57 1 5
50-54 Phil Browning  25m Freestyle 19.11 1 9
 50m Freestyle 44.40 1 9
 25m Backstroke 23.86 1 2
 25m Breaststroke 26.41 1 4
55-59 Chris Loose  50m Freestyle 33.50 1 4
100m Freestyle 1:26.77 1 5
 25m Breaststroke 18.93 1 1
 50m Breaststroke 42.87 1 3
David Specker  25m Freestyle 14.69 1 3
 50m Freestyle 36.37 3 7
 25m Backstroke 20.44 1 3
 25m Breaststroke 25.73 3 6
60-64 Roger Carter  25m Freestyle 19.96 3 12
 50m Freestyle 45.02 3 19
100m Freestyle 1:41.29 3 11
 25m Backstroke 33.12 3 9
David Leake  25m Freestyle 21.12 4 13
 50m Freestyle 49.00 4 20
Gary Simms 100m Freestyle 1:23.72 2 6
 25m Backstroke 25.39 2 8
 50m Breaststroke 54.62 1 5
 25m Butterfly 21.84 2 3
65-69 Tim Booth  50m Freestyle 35.07 2 5
100m Freestyle 1:23.39 1 2
200m Freestyle 2:55.58 1 2
 25m Butterfly 20.09 2 3
John Collis  25m Breaststroke 18.04 1 1
 50m Breaststroke 40.63 1 2
200m Breaststroke 3:25.40 1 2
100m Medley 1:31.69 1 3
70-74 Peter Coggins  25m Freestyle 17.72 1 4
 50m Freestyle 43.41 1 5
100m Freestyle 1:46.93 1 3
200m Freestyle 4:07.19 1 5
75-79 Paul Maggs  25m Freestyle 20.46 1 8
 50m Freestyle 45.58 1 9
100m Freestyle 1:54.12 1 4
200m Freestyle 4:35.76 1 5


Women 200-239
Chris Hayhoe, Tanya Colyer 4 x 50m Freestyle 3:21.65 2 8
Mary-Liz Partridge, Karen Titmuss
Men 160-199
David Specker, Phi Browning 4 x 50m Freestyle 2:22.28 2 4
Brendon Tasker, Alistair Buttimore
Men 240-279
Gary Simms, Roger Carter 4 x 50m Freestyle 2:43.47 1 3
David Leake, Chris Loose
Mixed 280-319
Paul Maggs, Peter Coggins 4 x 50m Freestyle 2:42.12 1 4
John Collis, Tim Booth


Combined including relays (whose points are double)
Place Club Points
1 Tuggeranong (Vikings) 805
2 Molonglo (Water Force) 744
3 Ginninderra (Marlins) 145
4 Sapphire Coast (Bega-Pambula) 128

Keeping it in the family

Two years ago Molonglo Water Dragons President John Collis was awarded Male Swimmer of the Meet at the 2017 Great Barrier Reef Masters Games. John had swum three first places, each in record time, plus a second and a third to score better than any other male.

John returned to Cairns recently for the 2019 Games along with Gary Stutsel. This time John’s efforts were frustrated by Paul Gibson, of Darwin, a newcomer to the Games. John finished the meet with one gold (and a new record in the 50m Breaststroke) and five silver medals from the 50m and 100m Backstroke, the 100m and 200m Breaststroke and the 200m Individual Medley. Unfortunately John could not swim the maximum nine events as he had to leave early to attend the 50th year reunion of his high school graduation.

Club Treasurer, Gary, swam the maximum possible nine individual events to score first place in each, all in record times. Gary also swam in a relay team that won gold and broke a record. This gave him 10 gold medals, 10 records and Male Swimmer of the Meet. Gary also broke the Masters Swimming NSW record for the 100m Backstroke. This record had stood for 16 years!

Both swimmers are now looking forward to the rest of 2019 with several more competitions to come starting with the ACT Interclub Masters at Gungahlin on the 16th June.

Also competing in Cairns was Ron Watkins of the Tuggeranong Vikings Club. John swam against Gary and came away with two silver medals.

Well done the Water Dragons!

Both of our swimmers results are shown over the page. The full results can be seen at*&split=no&scope=&js=on



Name Event Time Event  place NSW Ranking
John Collis  50m Backstroke 44.91 2 6
100m Backstroke 1:46.88 2 7
  50m Breaststroke 40.51 1 2
100m Breaststroke 20.84 2 3
200m Breaststroke 3:37.99 2 2
200m Medley 3:32.95 2 2
Gary Stutsel  50m Freestyle 36.55 1 1
100m Freestyle 1:28.93 1 1
  50m Backstroke 48.58 1 1
100m Backstroke 1:45.05 1 1
200m Backstroke 4:00.65 1 1
 50m Breaststroke 1:01.77 1 3
100m Breaststroke 2:28.55 1 2
  50m Butterfly 53.27 1 2
200m Medley 4:13.71 1 2
Ron Watkins  50m Backstroke 57.23 2 2
 50m Butterfly 56.88 2 3

Both John and Gary swam an event about every 30 minutes and Gary’s Butterfly leg in the Mixed Medley Relay was swum in 53.49, only 0.22 seconds slower than his individual event.  Ron who was recovering from an injured shoulder was entered in three events but missed his 50m Freestyle swim due to unexpectedly heavy traffic.

Unfortunately Paul Maggs who had intended to swim could not attend as his wife June had to have an operation.

Molonglo Megasaurs Mega Swim for MS

Once again, the Molonglo Megasaurs, a guns-for-hire subset of the Molonglo Water Dragons lashed out on the weekend of 4-5 May to swim for 24 hours non-stop to raise funds for MS Australia.  A hardy team of 15 swimmers lined up to swim their weekend away, raising $2,345 to support people living with Multiple Sclerosis in the process.

This was a mighty effort, by all concerned, including club members Phil Browning, John Collis, Tanya Colyer, Margaret Hadfield, Marg Larkin, Chris Loose, Nerrida McCorkell, Nicole McMahon and Marg Wade.  Also swimming were Tuggeranong Vikings swimmers Denise Druitt and Nicolee Martin, and triathletes Jenn Hammerschmidt, Charlotte Lynch and Ashley Wolff. Other Molonglo swimmers swam with other teams, including Roger Carter, Megan O’Mara and Brendon Tasker.

A number of swimmers swam timed endurance swims during the event, including breast cancer survivor Nicole Mc Mahon who completed 60 minute and 30 minute swims and a 1500metre swim as part of her quest to swim 100,000metres to raise awareness for breast cancer.

The swim was overseen by our mascot Meg the Megasaur, purchased by Phil and Nerrida,

Good on you Megasaurs, you may be mega sore, but you should be feeling really good about yourselves for the good you have done.  Your efforts, and the donations you have generated will provide some help to people struggling with a relentless disease that disables the nervous system.

John Collis
Team Captain
Molonglo Megasaurs