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Cornish Surf Life Saving Champs at Widemouth – a looooooong day!

August 10, 2011 Posted by Philippa in Latest News 0 comments

Well done to all the hardy souls that journeyed up to Widemouth this Saturday to compete in the Cornish Champs.  We CAME at the crack of dawn, we SAW some of the action and we CONQUERED the long wait for events by having a good giggle and then we RETURNED very late!

The whole day was a series of Porthtowan style set backs, but in true Porthtowan style we took them all in our stride and agreed it was a great day and that we had ‘done our bit for the club’!

Set back no 1.  Shaun and John rocked up early and set up our camp right in front of the action arena, with a brilliant view of the competition.  Then pleased with a good half hours work, they popped off for a coffee only to return and find that the whole competition area had inexpicably been moved 1000m up the beach, leaving us all with a view of …nothing!

Set back no 2.  We were geared up for the beach events to kick off in the morning, and the sea events to be in the afternoon.  But no one at Surf Life Saving GB had bothered to look at the tides, so when they arrived for the beach events, the tide was in and therefore no beach, so a switcheroo of the days events ensued.

Set back 3.  Lizzie was really looking forward to the swimming and had been training for weeks/months/years and felt she was in with a real chance of Gold bling.  Wetsuit ready, she sauntered down to the shore and saw some people limbering up for a swim, then taking a dive, they all seemed to be women, they all seemed to be about Lizzie’s age – OH GOD!! It was Lizzie’s race.  Great news was, Lizzie leapt into the water and overtook at least five other competitors.  I magine how well she would have done if she actually got to the start on tome!

Set back 3a.  The board race bouys were set waaay out to sea – Phil didn’t realise the board race meant you would get BORED after half an hour of paddling!

Set back 4.  John Craze’s banana got eaten (see photos for John pointing to the crime scene and remnants of half eaten banana!)  Was it linked to Ed’s lost banana in Saunton?

Set back 5.  John and Shaun were coming in first (ish) on the Double skis when disaster struck – some Hayle boys ploughed into the side of the ski and nearly dismembered Johns leg.  Luckily all was fine on arrival back to beach and they didn’t even come last!

Set back 6.  With Phil, Lou and Lizzie all keen for the sprint relay; tactics discussed (run as fast as poss) and positions ordered the dreadful news came that FOUR runners were needed.  Luckily a Crantock lady stepped in for us and we came in a brilliant….LAST!

Set back 6.  Ditto above – Shaun, Ben and John were all guns blazing to win the sprint relay, only to also find they needed another member – well their only option was to borrow sprinter extraordinaire Lou Gapp.  Lou became an honorary man and ran in for the boys, I think they came in a brilliant…second to last!!!

Set back 7.  Neil Gapp was getting very fidgety with all the waiting around (fair ’nuff) so the brilliant plan was hatched for him to take ALL the kids back to chez Gapp (five kids in tow off he went) – thanks soooooooo much Neil – what a star!

Set back 8.  We didn’t get back to relieve Neil of the kids until gone 9!  Yikes, but they were all good as gold under Neil’s charge – thanks again Neil – we owe you!

Set back 9.   Nasty accident to marquee leg – the less said the better, at least it wasn’t our marquee that was seen rolling over someones black car.


There were however a few moments of happiness and joy during the loooooong day;  2 silvers for Shaun, a silver for Lou Gapp, a silver for Stella Evans on the paddle boards, Shaun and John getting into the finals of the rescue, Shaun and John doing brilliantly in the flags (John got a Gold) and Lou Gapp getting into the last 4 of the flags.  A few hilarious yarns from John Craze and some general good Porthtowan style gossip and giggles left the hardy 8 that competed reflecting that it might have been a loooooooooong day, but ’twas a good ‘un!


(P.S. Disclaimer – a few factual inaccuracies may have been reported above in true journo style (but noones phones were hacked in the process of obtaining aforementioned factual inaccuracies).

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