Not all members of À Contre-Courant are fervent competitors. In fact, many of them have no other ambition than to stay in shape by practicing their favourite sport, and that is just fine. Nevertheless, while not mandatory, competitions remain an essential part of the club’s raison d’être.
As a gay and lesbian team, ACC makes it a priority to send delegations to LGBT competitions all over the world.
In July 2001, 50 Montreal athletes travelled to Toronto for the IGLA championship. À Contre-Courant was also represented in November 2002 for Gay Games VI, in Sydney, Australia by about twenty swimmers.
In the gay and lesbian swimming scene, competitions often include a special event called the Pink Flamingo Relay. Before the actual relay, participating teams must present an imaginative piece of choreography. A jury grants points for the artistic quality of the presentation, which carries more weight than the actual relay time when deciding the winners. À Contre-Courant has distinguished itself several times in this event. In 1994, at Gay Games IV in New York, the Montreal delegation won first place with a moving number evoking the tragedy of AIDS.
ACC also regularly participates in provincial meets and in the Canadian and world championships, especially when they take place close to home. This was the case in July 1994, when the 5th International Master Swimmers Championship was held at Montreal’s Olympic Park. A delegation of 25 athletes defended the club’s colours. More recently, in May 2011, more than 40 swimmers participated in the Canadian Championships in Montreal and the team finished in second place in overall team scores.
Several members of À Contre-Courant place among the top 20 Canadian swimmers in their age groups, and some hold provincial and national records. The club has also performed very well as a group. In 1998, for example, it ranked first in Quebec and throughout Canada for the total number of points accumulated in competitions in men’s events, and second in Quebec (third in Canada) with respect to overall points (men and women). In 2001, ACC ranked second in Quebec for the total number of points in men’s events and for overall points.
Over the years, À Contre-Courant has gained a solid reputation for its organization of sporting events. It all began in October 1991, with the first Coupe de Montréal des maîtres nageurs gais et lesbiennes. This ACC-organized swim meet went on to become an annual event, with the 20th edition to be held in November 2013.
In 1995, the Montreal club hosted the seventh IGLA World Championship. This international event brought together almost 700 athletes from eight countries under the theme Eau en couleur! The four aquatic disciplines were represented from October 6 to 8 in the pools of the Olympic Park.
Another proud moment occurred during the 17th Manulife Provincial Masters Swimming Championship, organized by ACC at the request of the Fédération de natation du Québec. Over 700 athletes representing 46 clubs attended the meet at the Centre Claude-Robillard in Montreal from April 24 to 26, 1998. The event mobilized 70 major officials, 100 level 1 officials and 40-odd volunteers.
In order to organize high-quality sporting events, ACC maintains a reserve of accredited officials, some of whom have obtained the level of stroke or turn judge, chief timer or meet manager. Their experience and competency are assets the club is happy to be able to count on.