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 Longest Day.The youth medallists.  Picture: Simon Horn

Sidmouth Surf Lifesaving Club Longest Day.The youth medallists. Picture: Simon Horn

Simon Horn

Sidmouth Surf Lifesaving Club has hosted its largest watersport event for 2018 - Longest Day Ocean Challenge

Sidmouth Surf Lifesaving Club Longest Day.  U12 race. Picture: Simon HornSidmouth Surf Lifesaving Club Longest Day. U12 race. Picture: Simon Horn

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.

Sidmouth Surf Lifesaving Club Longest Day. U12 board race start. Picture: Simon HornSidmouth Surf Lifesaving Club Longest Day. U12 board race start. Picture: Simon Horn

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.

Sidmouth Surf Lifesaving Club Longest Day. U10 winner Ellie Birchall. Picture: Simon HornSidmouth Surf Lifesaving Club Longest Day. U10 winner Ellie Birchall. Picture: Simon Horn

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.

Sidmouth Surf Lifesaving Club Longest Day. U10 race. Picture: Simon HornSidmouth Surf Lifesaving Club Longest Day. U10 race. Picture: Simon Horn

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.

Sidmouth Surf Lifesaving Club Longest Day.  U10 competitor. Picture: Simon HornSidmouth Surf Lifesaving Club Longest Day. U10 competitor. Picture: Simon Horn

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.

Sidmouth Surf Lifesaving Club Longest Day.  Start of U10. Picture: Simon HornSidmouth Surf Lifesaving Club Longest Day. Start of U10. Picture: Simon Horn

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.”

Sidmouth Surf Lifesaving Club Longest Day. Start of ski race. Picture: Simon HornSidmouth Surf Lifesaving Club Longest Day. Start of ski race. Picture: Simon Horn

Sidmouth Surf Lifesaving Club Longest Day. Start of ski race 3. Picture: Simon HornSidmouth Surf Lifesaving Club Longest Day. Start of ski race 3. Picture: Simon Horn

Sidmouth Surf Lifesaving Club Longest Day.  Longest Day - board U15 and 17 youth race. Picture: Simon HornSidmouth Surf Lifesaving Club Longest Day. Longest Day - board U15 and 17 youth race. Picture: Simon Horn

Sidmouth Surf Lifesaving Club Longest Day. Start of ski race 1.  Picture: Simon HornSidmouth Surf Lifesaving Club Longest Day. Start of ski race 1. Picture: Simon Horn

Sidmouth Surf Lifesaving Club Longest Day. Girls' race U10. Picture: Simon HornSidmouth Surf Lifesaving Club Longest Day. Girls' race U10. Picture: Simon Horn

Sidmouth Surf Lifesaving Club Longest Day.The youth medallists.  Picture: Simon HornSidmouth Surf Lifesaving Club Longest Day.The youth medallists. Picture: Simon Horn

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