A team of 20 competitors from Saunton Surf Lifesaving Club ventured to the World Surf Lifesaving Championships in Alexandria, Egypt, in search of experience - and came back World Champions!
In the Inflatable Rescue Boat competition, conditions were not what the team was used to, the sea was a mill pond. But everyone in the team medalled, with the girls team winning gold in the team event, silver in both the tube rescue and the mass rescue, and bronze in the single rescue.
The ladies were represented by Gill Hevingham, Cara Deasy, Sam Cordery, Daisy Freeman, Kiera Harrington and Lucy Smith
Gill Hevingham medalled in six out of the seven events, winning gold in the beach sprints, beating the Australian world champion into second, and also gold in the ladies board relay, joined by Sally Bunney and Claire Frank (Dawlish Warren).
The team of ladies then went on the celebrate silver in the surf swim relay and beach sprint relay.
Gill continued her medal haul with silver in the swim and beach flags.
Claire won gold in her age group for beach flags and surf ski, silver in the beach sprints and a bronze in the board race.
The week long competition also brought home a wealth of medals in the Masters section.
The men, joined by Jon Ward and Stuart Sherman from Woolacombe, also bought home some â€œblingâ€. Stuart won bronze in the swim and both surf swim teams won silvers in their age groups.
This meant that every Master competing medalled.
Ladies team: Gill Hevingham, Sally Bunney Claire Frank.
Menâ€™s team: Bob Bunney, Dave Worms, Jeff Priddis, Neil Johnson (Dawlish Warren), Jon Ward and Stuart Sherman (both Woolacombe).
Sauntonâ€™s only woman competing in the Interclubs, Cara Deasy, reached the final against some very tough competition.
The event finished with the Interclub championship, in which some of the clubâ€™s youngest competitors competed against the worlds best, mainly from Australia, South Africa and Europe.
The flat conditions favoured the pool swimmers from Europe, particularly the German clubs, but Rich Folland, Ian Allen, Chris Gratton, Rob Reid and James Bunney all made quarter finals in their disciplines, with the taplin team missing the final by a few inches!!
Now there are plans being made to go to Adelaide, Australia for Rescue 2012.
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