Young team pool their skills

THE annual Ipswich Life Saving Club Pairs Championship took place at Fore Street Pool recently to mark the end of another successful year for the Suffolk club.

Stuart Watson

THE annual Ipswich Life Saving Club Pairs Championship took place at Fore Street Pool recently to mark the end of another successful year for the Suffolk club.

Running on a handicap points system to even up ability, this competition allows the many youngsters at the club to take on those with far greater experience.

Competition was fierce from the off, with sisters and best friends drawn in opposition to each other. Claire Pickering and Marc Howes, defending champions from 2007, were not drawn together this time.

The championship is made up of four events. The Aquatic Incident gives competitors 90 seconds to rescue as many people in a previously unknown situation in the pool, while the Rope Throw sees participants coil up and throw out a rope 11 metres to their partner before pulling them back as fast as possible.

Body Board sees a straight sprint of one length of the pool on the body board, an event which tests speed and bal-ance, while Swim and Tow sees each pair swim one length and tow one length.

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The Aquatic Incident was won by Megan Pugh and Marc Howes with a strong display of teamwork, the pairing edging ahead of Tom Linford-Wood and Emily Massey.

A second event victory for Howes came in the rope throw, with a strong throw by Martyn Barker sealing him the runners-up position in this event. Also catching the eye was Nathan Bruce in fourth place.

The Body Board provided a victory for Claire Pickering to push herself and Sofia Burdett into the running. This proved to be a good event for the Pickering sisters as Helen took third place behind Josh Smith.

The Swim and Tow is always an interesting event as the younger and smaller club members have to put in maxi-mum effort to tow their often much heavier partners.

Steph Bailey and Josh Smith proved to be an equally weighted pair and took the victory ahead of Sophie Burns and David Ebbs.

At just 10-years-old (four days short of her 11th birthday), Burns had the task of towing the experienced Ebbs, who is over twice her weight and 25 years her senior, but came through with ease.

In memory of former club member Maxine Brown, who passed away two months ago aged just 35, Bailey and Smith were awarded the Maxine Brown Memorial Shield for this event victory in which third place was secured by Sofia Burdett and Claire Pickering.

The overall scores resulted in third place for Lenina Morris and Martyn Barker, while Burns and Ebbs shared the championship with Pugh and Howes.

James Suckling and James Johnson also caught the eye with a solid performance to finish just short of the bronze medal in fourth, which was no mean feat considering Suckling only joined the club some three months ago.

For details on joining Ipswich Life Saving Club, which resumes on Friday 5 September, please call: 07981 273232. The club runs courses for ages 10 up to the masters age groups.

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