Ripley RASCALS’ trip to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Aquatic Centre in London last weekend provided the club with the highlight of the year.
The RLSS National Speed Championships have always been a big hit with the RASCALS, the 2015 event was no different for a group of 36 local lifesavers.
The venue more than lied up to expectations as the RASCALS produced two days of superb lifesaving swimming.
The event was also graced by former Olympian Mark Foster who gave his support and even had a go at line throw, albeit not very successfully.
There was increased competition this year, with entries up by 25 per cent, including very strong Irish teams, but the RASCALS stayed true to form and came away with a haul of medals and personal best times.
In the hugely competitive youth age groups Jessica Hancock won gold, silver and bronze medals, while Jess Lockwood took a silver and bronze in the gruelling Super Lifesaver.
Frazer Crump secured a bronze in the 100m.
And Manikin Tow and Georgina Holbird both took the bronze medal in the 100m Manikin Carry.
In the Masters category medals included bronze for Terry Fox in 200m Obstacles, gold and silver medals for Karen Dening and a silver for sister Joanne Dening in the Manikin Carry.
New-comer to lifesaving, Becky Emerton had a great start, winning silvers medals in the Rescue Medley and Manikin Carry.
In the team events, 15/17 year boys, Frazer Crump, Sam Wesson, George Spendlove and Brad Bonus took silver medals in the Obstacle relay, Manikin Carry and Medley relay.
Esme Parker, Kezia Emerton, Georgina Holbird and Jessica Hancock won a well-deserved bronze in the 12/14 girls Manikin relay, with the 15/17 Girls Jess Lockwood, Susannah Allsop, Millie Hammond and Amy Evans finishing strong to take the Gold in Line Throw relay.
The masters teams, including Steve Emerton, Becky Emerton, Sandra McRobert, Terry Spendlove, Ian Hutchinson, Dan Woodthorpe, Joanne and Karen Dening and Richard Crump competed in the obstacle and line throw relay and both male and female teams won gold in the Obstacles, the men adding gold in the Line Throw.
The medalled swims were complemented by strong personal best swims by Alex Fox, Rebecca Somes, Hannah Broughton, Amelia Spendlove, Alistair Hutchinson, Jason Lockwood, Olivia Broughton, Abigail Butterworth, Isabel Hyde, Imogen Parker, Todd Baldwin-Webster, Anthony Mason, Jennie Lockwood, Olivia Strachan and Cameron Hutchinson who flew in from Edinburgh for the event.
As a result of their excellent performances, Frazer Crump, Jessica Hancock and Jess Lockwood all retained their places on the RLSS UK Performance Squad and will be joined by Sam Wesson, who has trained exceptionally hard to secure a place.
A club spokesperson praised the team, and their coaches for the performances: “Well done to everyone who competed at the RLSS Nationals and thanks to Jeremy Johnson and Dan Woodthorpe who once again have done an amazing job in coaching and preparing the team for this extremely high level of competition.”