Thursday, March 19

Gala Final

We're back at the Richmond Pool for the Gala Championships Final. Given the limited space accommodating a maximum 250 parents and their 200 children, the thing is remarkably efficient right down the starting-horns which beep the racers off. Eitan swims the 33meter freestyle in trials - pictured, green cap, by lane two - placing fourth overall and making the evening's finals which take the top-six. In between, he sits around with his class cheering his team-mates and looking kinda bored which is kinda me in the stands. Being a parent is being a spectator. When I was a swimmer, the down-time - and there was plenty of it - filled with endless games of "hearts", music walkmen and flirting. Probably all to come for Eitan but who knows? Finally his race arrives and he anxiously, dutifully files up to his starting block which he won't use preferring to go from the wall. The boys shake their arms furiously and look to the stands for.. approval? Support? Eitan ignores me which is par for the course when I have my camera. And they're off! But Eitan's goggles fall from his face - he stops - then churns his arms furiously for ... fourth place! But wait - the winner disqualified for a false start and Eitan gets a meddle! All of us thrilled, especially he. Eitan's squad takes second place for their age and brings the school a healthy trophy.