ULVERSTON Otters swimmers opened their 2013 Gala programme with a number of events in the local pool, starting with victories for nine-year-olds India Sharp and Patrick Cush in the 200m breaststroke races.

Taylor Aplin and Hugo Morrison called on all their skills to record fine wins, with Aplin putting herself on the front right from the start and storming to the finish ahead of Anya Sharp and Holly Parkinson.

The 11 to 12-years age group brought Rhiannon Ellis and Eden Joy-Light together in a head to head clash which produced one of the finest races of the evening. They battled it out all the way to the finish and it was only a final burst for the line that got Ellis ahead of Light with less than a second parting the two. Maya Plushko hung on to come home in a valiant third place.

Jennifer Bond and Samantha Blundell emerged from their races victorious. Then in the 100m backstroke Nicola Capstick turned on the style with an immaculate swim where her turns and transitions brought her a well-earned victory over Georgina Milburn and Anya Sharp. Niall Cush also performed well at this stroke to finish just ahead of Reuben Atherton and Joshua Turner.

Light and Ellis clashed again which led to another battle for supremacy. This time Light turned the tables to win with Victoria Swan third.

Zachary-Lewis Morgan and Zarina Wilson were other easy winners, while Blundell swam confidently to take her second title of the evening.

The 50m freestyle sprints brought more exciting finishes. First both Patrick Cush and brother Niall showed controlled aggression in winning their races. The Atherton family were also in fine form with Annabel breaking through for a win while brother Reuben settled for a second place in his age group.

Once again it was Capstick and Milburn who provided the highlight of the evening. In a blanket finish neither could be split and they were judged as joint winners with Swann again in third place.

Another clash brought Light and Ellis together in a frantic effort from which Light emerged as the winner.

Final winners of the night were Wilson, Blundell, Lewis-Morgan and Callum Bond.