Storming success for young surf lifesavers

Sidmouth surf life saving club members with their medals. Ref shs 1213-29-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife

Sidmouth surf life saving club members with their medals. Ref shs 1213-29-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

A small team of young lifesavers clinched an impressive 22 medals in just their second year of competing in a regional contest.

Sidmouth Surf Life Saving Club members battled the elements at the Nipper Devon Surf Lifesaving Championships to finish in fourth place overall against nine other clubs at Saunton Beach, North Devon.

The team of eight to 13-year-olds beat all of the south coast teams and came home with nine gold medals.

They now have their sights set on the British Championships in Exmouth on August 28 and 29.

Club chairman Dave Manley said: “It was another great performance by our nippers.

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“The whole team performed well. While it is nice to win events, without all our competitors continuing to get top 10 positions, we would not have placed so well as a club.

“This sets up the team nicely for the British Championships.

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“We placed 14th in 2014 and the goal is to get in the top 10 of clubs this year.”

He added that Sidmouth did particularly well in the relay races – winning three of the categories, including boys aged 10-11 and 12-13 and girls 12-13.

The stand-out individual performance was from Josie Crisp, who won medals in all four events she took part in, three of which were gold.

Other events that the 250 participants competed in included a one-kilometre beach run, sprints and relays and beach flags.

The concept originates from lifeguard training competitions in Australia, which aim to test individual’s reactions, skills and fitness.

The Devon championships should have been a mix of beach and water events, but the surf conditions were not suitable to run the sea-based part of the event - which has now been delayed until September.

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