BIG SPLASH: Gympie Gold Fins president Dee White.
BIG SPLASH: Gympie Gold Fins president Dee White. Bec Singh

344 swimmers descending on Gympie

Swimming: More than 340 of southeast Queensland's best swimmers will descend on Gympie this Saturday for the first major carnival to be hosted in the region's new $20 million aquatic centre.

Among the talent competing at the Gympie Gold Fins sprint meet will be 29 local swimmers and the "Mooloo Kid”, Troy Carlson, who holds the 25m Qld butterfly record for his age and will be racing in the 50m and 100m freestyle on Saturday.

"We have quite a few swimmers who are qualified state level and quite a lot of young talent coming through,” club president Dee White said. "We have Troy coming but otherwise it is very much a club event and because it is 50m races, there would be some swimmers that would not suit because they are long distance.”

The event will predominately feature 50m races.

"There are a couple of 100m races, the 100m breaststroke and freestyle and some relays,” White said.

"We will have a dash for cash race. This is a 50m race and whoever wins gets $20, second $10 and third $5.”

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Originally scheduled for after Christmas, the sprint meet will be this weekend so as not to clash with a Sunshine Coast carnival.

"This meet was set for January next year and it was the same day as a Pelican Waters event, which was not going to work. We spoke to Wide Bay Swimming to get the date changed to this Saturday and we have managed to get some good numbers because of it. Anything north of 250 would be good but to crack the 300 mark is excellent.”

White said the new facility brought Gympie in line with the bigger clubs and hopefully Gold Fins will be hosting more carnivals of this size and calibre in the future.

"It is a good facility in terms of the whole region. We go to carnivals at Hervey Bay, Bundaberg, Maryborough and a lot of those pools and amenities are 40-50 years old,” she said. It would be good to be able to host maybe three or four of these carnivals a year. These events bring money into Gympie, especially the ones that are three days because people are staying in town.”

Racing will start 8.30am this Saturday, and finish 3.30pm. $2 entry fee.