The British Masters (ages 30+) Surf Life Saving Championships were held on 16th and 17th August at Exmouth. This annual championships sees teams from all over Britain but mainly South Wales, Devon and Cornwall come together to compete in a variety of surf life saving related races. The competition comprises several water events including individual surf swimming races, board and surf ski races and oceanman/woman races as well as varied beach events. Pairs and team events include board rescue races, races using surf craft and beach relays.
Bude surf life saving club took a team of 14 women and 4 men to the championships and hauled in a fantastic tally of gold, silver and bronze medals. A record is also kept of all positions in races with points being awarded for the top 16 competitors in each event. Points are accumulated so that every team member taking part can contribute to the team’s overall score.
For many of the Bude women’s team it was their first ever competition yet they were competing against people with many years’ experience. The fighting spirit and determination of each person to do their best whilst performing well outside their individual comfort zones contributed to a fantastic team spirit and some amazing accomplishments leading to the women’s team being overall victors on aggregate score. The members of the women’s team, brilliantly captained by Nic Hammond (who won so many medals she will need a new trophy cabinet), were absolutely delighted. It is a credit to Paul Cottle, Mini Fry, Simon Hammond, Horace Parsons and Sam Roberts who give up many hours of their time in coaching the team.
Bude men’s team were thin on the ground due to clashing dates for some regulars but quality compensated for quantity and with outstanding performances by each member they came 5th overall on aggregate score. This was all the more remarkable since both Graham and Paul sustained injuries on the second day of competition which prevented them from adding to the medals tally and points score in their specialist beach events.
Combining the men’s and women’s aggregate scores Bude came overall 3rd in the championships with Portreath SLSC taking silver and Saunton Sands SLSC taking gold. This is a great achievement for Bude Surf Life Saving Club and team members are already planning their winter training regime in order to defend their title.
Bude team members were Mel Bardsley, May Botham, Stephanie Clark (Club Captain), Helen Cottle, Deb Fox, Nicky Gowan, Nicola Hammond (Women’s Captain), Jayney Henwood, Liz Kay, Clair Roberts, Sue Roper, Alison Stroudley, Michelle Teague, Isobel Waterhouse, Paul Cottle, Mini Fry, Simon Hammond and Graham Keat. Jessica Lynes should have been in the team but unfortunately was injured shortly before the competition started. Horace Parsons (Club Chairman) who couldn’t attend as a competitor came and supported the team and presented medals in the awards ceremony.