Armada Cup 2011

In the first national club competition of 2011 the Cambridge Dive Team put in a terrific performance coming home with two golds, two silvers and four bronze medals alongside numerous other top six finishes. Cambridge once again established itself as the leading 5m club in the country finishing just behind the ten metre clubs in the team event.

Lucy Cliff competed in the girls 14-15 age group and delivered some outstanding performances over the four days of competition. Returning home with a gold and two bronze medals, Lucy underpinned the "complete diver" philosophy adopted by Cambridge. Lucy performed two brand new dives from the 7½m platform with great accuracy to take the title of platform champion ahead of the much favoured Crystal Palace girls. Her inward two and a half somersaults tucked and back two and a half somersaults tucked both scored 7.5s from the judges and took her to a winning total of 155 points. Lucy then showed her determination in the springboard events where she made a couple of mistakes but still managed to win a bronze medal in both the 1m and 3m springboards. She performed with elegance and style that has now become her trademark.

Also bringing home the gold was Aaron Paul in the mens 16+ age group. This marks a huge personal achievement for Aaron after he stepped away from the sport a couple of years ago but he is definitely now right back in the mix for medals. Aaron dived to first place with a total of 153.7 points and demonstrated both skill and power by performing a difficult reverse two and a half somersaults to score 6.5s from the judges.

Alongside Aaron on the podium stood club team-mate, Ben Sambrook. This was a closely fought competition with Ben finishing in second place with a total of 149.5 points. Ben dived consistently well throughout the competition performing a mixture of solid basic dives as well as scoring highly on his more difficult optional dives. Ben also took the bronze medal in the mens 3m springboard. In yet another very close competition where the lead changed hands after every dive, Ben shows promising signs towards a dynamic senior career.

Daniel Goodfellow joined the medal haul with a second place finish in the boys 14-15 years 1m event. Daniel looked stylish and the ever promising diver scoring 6.5s and 7s from the judges but a slight mistake on his forward two and a half somersaults piked saw him drop to silver by less than 1 point. Daniel was very unlucky in a competition that is a very good indicator of the stars of the future.

The final bronze medal was won by Emma Watson in the girls 12-13 years 3m competition. Emma is known not to be a big fan of the 3m event but stepped up her game and proved she is more than capable to challenge the best in her age category. Emma's opening dive in the final was a back one and a half somersaults with half twist and it wowed the judges scoring 7s. She then performed her other two dives well to claim the bronze.

Also competing in their first major national competition were Alice Clark, Lucy Watson, and Owen Harrison. All three divers showed promising signs of good things to come and learnt a lot from the experience. A couple of top ten finishes between them yet again tells the diving community that Cambridge really is a top team and has strength and depth throughout the age groups. All of these divers will be competing again soon in the G-Star Championships to be held in Leeds in April.

Posted 08/03/2011.

The Armada Cup medal winners: Ben Sambrook, Aaron Paul, Lucy Cliff, Daniel Goodfellow, Emma Watson.