Despite stiff competition from much larger North Devon teams and following in the success of the Youth team the weekend before, Sidmouth Surf Lifesaving Club Nippers (U13s) bagged an impressive array of medals in a range of individual, pair and team pool-based lifesaving events at Tarka Leisure Centre, Barnstaple on March 10, writes Ross Walton.

The 27-strong team returned with two gold, nine silver and 12 bronze medals in events involving fin, board, rescue tube and manikin rescue skills, resulting in a respectable third place overall on a points-per-competitor basis, just behind the much larger clubs of Woolacombe and Saunton Sands, with Croyde and Bideford placing fourth and fifth place respectively.

Special mention goes to Aurelia E for winning gold medals in both the U10 individual fin and manikin rescue races, as well as Ike L, Reuben W, Thomas P, Daniel S and Alice A who, between them, amassed over half of the team’s total of 267 points.

The U13 boys’ team of William D, Bryn B and Reuben W bagged a silver and two bronze medals in all of their relay events, assisted by Daniel S and Thomas P from the U12 category, whilst Leo M secured two silver medals in individual and pair events, alongside Ike L who also placed third in two of his individual races.

Sidmouth Herald: Thomas P in action for Sidmouth SLSC

First time competitor Alice A was awarded silver in the U11 fins event and placed third in the manikin rescue, whilst fellow newcomer Morgan J secured 3rd place in the U10 manikin rescue.

U10 competitors Bea D and Ben P were also commended for standing in at the last minute for the U11-U13 team events in the afternoon, despite competing strongly in their own age categories in the morning, with Ben also scoring an individual silver in the U10 manikin rescue.

Yet again, autumn/winter focussed pool training sessions clearly paid dividends, with Sidmouth fielding its strongest Nipper team and achieving its highest medal count to date. The entire team should be extremely proud of their achievements, both in training and competition, and are now looking forward to another equally successful beach season.