ACCURACY: Winners of the Camille Cantrell Mercantile Relay (back) Jack Phelps, (front) Lyndal Phelps, Jen Phelps and and Clare Walter with trophy.
ACCURACY: Winners of the Camille Cantrell Mercantile Relay (back) Jack Phelps, (front) Lyndal Phelps, Jen Phelps and and Clare Walter with trophy. Glenda Riley

First timers take out relay

SWIMMING: Seven teams lined up for the eighth annual Camille Cantrel Mercantile Relay on Saturday.

It's the one swimming event a year where accuracy wins over speed and winning team "LCJJ” absolutely trumped the other teams when it came to accuracy.

The aim of the relay is to swim as closely as possible to a time recorded in the first swim.

Lyndal Phelps, Jen Phelps and Jack Phelps and Clare Walter swam within 0.45 seconds of time each race making them by far the winners on the day.

The team also donated their $100 prize money back to the swim school.

Organiser Gail Smail said this year's relay attracted a fair few first timers.

"They really enjoyed it and said they'd be back next year,” she said.

"They didn't realise what it entailed until they participated.”

The relay started with seven teams of four swimmers which was then reduced to five then the top three.

Smail said the mercantile relay was often more difficult than regular relays.

"Swimming slow is harder than swimming fast,” she said.

"The students that I teach (who entered the race) found that out.

"They used the counting strokes strategy, but you can do the same amount of strokes each lap but your rate might change.

"It was a learning curves for them, it is a very strategic event.”

This year's event attracted a similar turnout to 2018, however Smail said previously there had been more teams.

"Years gone by we had dress ups, a lot of businesses houses got involved,” she said.

"We were happy with the crowd who stayed and supported it.”

The event is named after former swim teacher Camille Cantrel who passed away in 2010 after battling cancer.

"She loved teaching, she was a good teacher and she worked for us for many years,” Smail said.

"She loved to see kids swimming and enjoying the water.

"Two of her children are now teachers of swimming themselves.”

Although the Cantrel family could not make the relay this year, her late husband Guy Cantrel called from Canada to wish his best.

"He thanked us for still thinking of his wife for all these years.”

The Camille Cantrel relay will return next year. on Australia Day.

Winners

1st: "LCJJs” Lyndal Phelps, Jen Phelps and Jack Phelps and Clare Walter. (0.45 second difference)

2nd: "The Old Tarts” (5 seconds difference)

3rd: "State of Origin” (8 seconds difference).

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