Life Saving Club
British and European Inshore Rescue boat (IRB) championships
The first weekend of October saw Bournemouth yet again hosting the British and European Inshore Rescue boat (IRB) championships. 2 local clubs were represented in the form of Branksome Chine Surf Life Saving Club and Southbourne Surf Life Saving Club. What was going to prove to be one of the hottest weekends of the year saw equally hot competition as Britain’s best lifesavers showed off their skills in the IRB. Normally used around the cost to save lives these boat and their crews came together to compete against each other.
Southbourne Surf Lifesaving Club had always done well in these competitions and every year the numbers involved and the standards improve so it was going to be a challenge to do well. This year also included a Masters Team for those over 40 and Southbourne had entered a Team.
On Saturday morning the heats took place. This was mainly about driving safely so as not to be disqualified and miss out on the semi finals after lunch. All of Southbourne’s teams qualified for these semi finals although Philip Younger in our Master’s team pulled a muscle but thanks to the good sportsmanship of all the other teams was able to continue and use a ‘runner’ when necessary.
The first semi finals were for the Rescue Tube event. This requires the crewman to swim to the ‘patient’ and bring them back to the boat. Southbourne have always found this one of their weakest events and with some Clubs being linked to swimming clubs were unable to get to the men’s final. The women had done a little better and were therefore through!! The next few events saw Southbourne progress to the finals and when the dust settled at the end of the day Southbourne knew they had a few medals. In fact they had won 2 Gold, 3 Silver and 2 Bronze medals out of the 7 finals they had reached. Overall they had come out as the 2nd best Club in Britain not bad considering the winners Saunton Sands is more than 3 times the size of Southbourne.
On the Sunday it was back to the beach to do it all again but with more opposition as it was the European Championships and teams had come from Belgium, Germany, Poland and Latvia so it was going to be tougher!! The Event was opened by the Mayor of Bournemouth and the President of ILSE Klaus Wilkins.
Again Southbourne got to 7 of the 8 finals but unfortunately one of Southbourne’s men Sam Bailey managed to fracture his ankle. In the first of his 3 finals and had to be substituted. By the end of the day though the team had still managed 3 Golds, a Silver and 2 Bronze medals as well as making it into 2nd place overall (yes Saunton Sands came first again).
The Teams are now looking forward to a few months rest before getting back into training for next year. They are also going to be working hard to raise funds to send the team to Australia for the World Championships in November. Many of the members have volunteered to provide their lifesaving skills at the 2012 Olympics.
A small team (Zac Anderton, Sam Bailey, Helen Keeling and Sam Redman) went to Egypt in October 2010 to compete at the World Championships. Despite the hot sun, sandy beach and warm water the team put in an excellent performance against some of the World's best and won a Bronze in the Single Rescue Event. This is the first World Championships at which a British team has won a medal in IRBs at a World level. Well done to all the team, roll on Adelaide 2012 and maybe we could sneak a few medals home.
Another year and another bunch of medals. Sadly the rest of GB has realised they needed to work hard to beat us and had unsportingly practiced before the event. Having said that girls came away with a Gold and 2 Silvers and the men managed one of each colour. Overall we got 3rd position but we were one of the smallest teams so that's still and achievement.At the Europeans we managed to maintain our 3rd position with the girls getting 2 Golds and the men just one Gold. The team didn't seem to want to win any other colours.
Southbourne's IRB teams were in action over the weekend of 26th and 27th September. On the Saturday they competed in the International event against teams from England, Wales, Germany Denmark and Australia. This event proved to be a good warm up for the British Championships on the Sunday.
On Sunday morning the teams (2 male and 1 female) made themselves ready to do battle against the rest of Britain. In the morning the heats were hard fought with all Southbourne's teams making it through to the finals. After lunch the finals were run and Southbourne seemed to be doing quite well! When the dust had settled the results were in and the rest of Britain were stunned. Southbourne had come in Second in the tube rescue and had won gold in the Mass Rescue, Team Rescue and Blue Ribbon Single Rescue. The girls had managed silver in their 3 events. Once the team had 'jangled' off the rostrum the overall scores were announced. This was the accumulated score of all teams representing a Club so the larger Clubs had the advantage over little old Southbourne. This meant that in the men's event Southbourne only managed 3rd place with Hayle 2nd and Saunton first (quantity over quality). Fortunately Hayle and Southbourne hadn't brought a female team so the girls' second place behind Whitsand Bay was added into the overall Club score. So, who had won? After a long day we were all having trouble with the maths, hd the girls score given Southbourne enough? Then the numbers were announced. The points were tied! So, how do they work out who comes first. Well, at last quality beats quantity, the most gold medals win.
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