PICTURES: Sidmouth surf lifesavers benefit from good conditions at Longest Day Ocean Challenge
PUBLISHED: 13:13 19 July 2018 | UPDATED: 13:32 19 July 2018
Sidmouth Surf Lifesaving Club has hosted its largest watersport event for 2018 - Longest Day Ocean Challenge
Saturday, July 14, saw over 200 competitors, from the age of eight to 60 years old, take on the ocean on a beautiful summer’s day on the Jurassic Coast.
Conditions were good with a small sea running to aid the paddlers around their respective courses.
The two elements of the event were a youth board paddling race and a 15km long distance Ocean Ski race – newly introduced for 2018.
The board race saw 160 children aged between eight and 18 years from surf lifesaving clubs around the South West, including Newquay, Woolacombe, Teignmouth, Exmouth, Weymouth and Bournemouth. Sidmouth had podium finishers in every race.
Club medallists included Esmee Gregorious, Archie Rowe, Josh Roberts, George Manley, William Horn, Masie and Poppy Crouch, Hayden Barnes, Rose Ashby and Ellie, Henry and William Birchall.
The long distance Ocean Ski race saw 50 paddlers light up the bay with colour.
Paddlers had travelled to compete in the race from all over the UK, including Scotland, London, Bristol, Bournemouth and Brighton.
Lewis Kirton from Scotland won the men’s open race in a time of one hour and nine minutes and the ladies’ race was won by international paddler Rebecca Newson from London in a time of one hour and 15 minutes.
All paddlers enjoyed their first visit to Sidmouth and vowed to return for next year’s race.
Sidmouth Surf Lifesaving Club would like to thank event sponsors Costa Coffee and Sidmouth Lifeboat, and Exmouth Surf Rescue Club, who provided water safety cover – as well as the many club lifeguards and volunteers who made the event run so smoothly on the day.
Dave Manley, Sidmouth Surf Lifesaving Club’s chairman and race director for the Longest Day Ocean Challenge, said: “This second Longest Day event has been much larger and more diverse; there is little doubt that it has raised the profile of Sidmouth as a watersports location in an outward looking event that has attracted new visitors to the town –supporting tourism businesses.”