KENDAL Swimming Club’s latest round of Laser X races got off to a flying start with the girls 50m freestyle sprints.

The swimmers got a great start off the blocks and, out of transition, it was Kara Van Der Merwe and Abigail Kirby who took it on and set a relentless pace.

Out over the first length, these two held off challenges from Hannah Carradice and Lara Collin and went into their turns with complete confidence. Out of transition again, the two leaders moved up a gear and made their bid for victory.

In the final dash for the finish, Van Der Merwe dug deep into her reserves and triumphed in a storming finish. Van Der Merwe then went on to take her second win of the event in the 100m individual medley.

Van Der Merwe, Kirby and Collin were joined by Emelia Bird to produce outstanding swims.

Der Merwe and Bird matched each other stroke for stroke whilst keeping their rivals at bay, and the final turn saw them both emerge shoulder to shoulder and launch devastating attacks.

Right to the finish, it was either swimmer's race, but it was Van Der Merwe who just got the win by a split second.

The boys were also in great form, with Jarno Stander particularly outstanding, winning a trio of events. He opened his account with a dazzling performance in the 50m freestyle sprint, where he got a superb start off the block and immediately became involved with a head-to-head battle with Jack Carradice.

Matching each other stroke for stroke, they made a supreme effort and forged ahead. Over the first length, neither swimmer could be parted and both put in immaculate turns to take them into the final length.

Into the pressure zone, both boys held their nerve and, with another injection of pace, they dug deep and charged for the finish. Hitting the wall together, it then emerged that Stander had got the verdict only by hundredths of a second. A complete change of stroke brought a swim from the gods from Stander, who reigned supreme at 100m breaststroke.

A confident start brought him into his powerful stroke pattern where his steady rhythm took him into an early lead ahead of Logan Heddle and Samuel Rowlandson.

Then, showing superb technique, Stander got the advantage to which his challengers had no answer. He maintained his position to win with a fair degree of ease. He completed his hat-trick with another brilliant swim, displaying his all round talent and technique in the 100m individual medley.

He got away to a great start and never looked likely to lose, and his breaststroke leg took him well clear of his rivals Carradice and Heddle.

Into the freestyle he cruised to the finish to complete a comfortable win.

The girls 100m breaststroke brought a worthy win for Emelia Bird, who quickly placed herself in a position for success.

Joining the action were Lara Collin and Hannah Carradice, who all looked very confident. Working hard towards the finish they began to wind it up and made a huge effort to win. Another powerful burst from Bird, however, did just enough to put her ahead in an exciting finish and snatch victory ahead of Collin, with Carradice a worthy third.