Thirty-three Ripley Rascals Lifesavers made the trip to London’s Aquatic Centre last weekend to contest the RLSS National Speed Competition in the Olympic pool. This is a prestigious event in the lifesaving calendar and this year attracted 600 competitors from the best clubs from across Great Britain.
The Rascals were on superb form following a season of hard training and their performances did not disappoint with the club thrilled to be placed second overall behind the mighty Crawley.
Jessica Hancock led the way in the heavily contested 12-14 years age group, taking four out of four potential individual golds and smashing the 100m Rescue Medley and 100m Manikin Carry National records on her way.
Emily Field had a very successful first performance at the event to come away with two bronze medals in and Rebecca Pollicott, also in her first National competition came extremely close to the medals finishing fourth in the 50m Manikin Carry.
Esme Parker and Molly Alldread impressed everyone with their bronze medal in the Line Throw and other highly placed finishes came from Alex Fox, Emma and Rebecca Somes in this age group.
The strength of these individual performances were reflected in the relays where, joined by Kezia Emerton, Hannah Broughton, Kay Fox and Thea Bednall, they achieved gold in three out of the four relays, breaking the Manikin relay National record by over six seconds and further securing silver in an extremely close Rescue Medley relay.
Daniel Waterfall, the only 12-14 male and at his first Nationals, recorded some impressive personal best times and highly placed finishes in all events. His best swim came in the 100m obstacle, where he finished 19th out of the 67 competitors!
In the 15-17 years and Open categories Rascals swimmers demonstrated their impressive skill and experience to achieve some excellent personal best times. Jessica Lockwood won two gold medals, silver and bronze and this combination of top swims, consistency and stamina helped her to finish in a highly impressive second overall in the U18 ranking.
Imogen Parker had consistently strong swims, with her best performances coming in the 100m Carry, Rescue Medley and Manikin Tow and Millie Hammond, Abigail Butterworth and Amy Evans also produced some big swims with personal bests galore.
Jennie Lockwood yet again put in strong performances in all events with an excellent 13th placing in the grueling Super Lifesaver.
The girls joined together for the relays, getting a bronze and a closely fought fourth and fifth placing.
Alistair Hutchinson was the only 15-17 year-old boy competing for Rascals and he finished in the top thirty in all events, with his top place being 15th in the Line Throw.
Frazer Crump, Antony Mason, Sam Wesson and Cameron Hutchinson teamed up with Alistair in the open relays, where the boys had extremely tough competition but still finished in the top ten in all events.
In the individual events Frazer had a great weekend achieving personal bests in the 100m Manikin Carry and Tow and a strong Rescue Medley which earned him an 11th place finish complemented by a strong Line Throw, which secured him sixth place.
Not to be outdone by the both younger age groups, Rascals Masters achieved some outstanding results with individual swims from Rebecca Emerton achieving two silver medals and Karen Dening’s individual Rope Throw took the gold medal.
The ladies were then joined by Sandra Massey and Joanne Dening to impress with double gold in the relays.
The Masters men also performed extremely well. Terry Fox, Richard Crump, Phil Peake and Dan Woodthorpe smashed a record time to win gold in the Obstacle relay and joined by Tim Dening in the Ropes they also secured a further gold medal. Terry Fox competed in the individual titles and out of six events some very impressive swimming won three gold and three silvers.