Top paddlers from around the country compete in Sidmouth Surf Life Saving Club’s Longest Day Ocean Challenge

Sidmouth Surf Life Saving Club’s annual Longest Day Ocean Challenge proved to be a big hit.

The event combines long-distance ocean surf ski and outrigger racing with inshore boat racing. It annually attracts competitors from the age of eight right up to the 55-year-plus category who race as veteran ski paddlers.

There were 70 paddlers from across the country who took part in the long-distance race. It took place over a 15km offshore course with paddlers navigating three 5km loops; the inside leg taking them close to shore along Sidmouth seafront.

Rebecca Newson, from London, won the Women’s Open race in a time of one hour and 20 minutes and Jonathan Boyton, from Bournemouth, won the Men’s race in a time of one hour and 15 minutes.

Members of other surf lifesaving clubs took part in the board race; with teams from Poole, Weymouth, Exmouth, Polzeth, St Ives and Teignmouth.

The board racing winners rostrum was well represented by the club with wins for Josh Roberts in the U17 boys race, George Manley and Lucy Tanner in the Under 15yrs girls and boys race and Ellie Birchall in the Under 10yrs girls race.

There were second places from Louis Spalding in the open, Archie Rowe in the U17, Teigan Moss in the U15 race. Poppy and Masie Crouch and William and Henry Birchall also secured silver in the U12 and U10 races respectively. Harriet Paley took third place in the 1U2 girls race.

Dave Manley, Sidmouth Surf Life Saving Club chairman and the event director, said: “The event continues to grow year on year and is now the largest annual sea-based event hosted in Sidmouth, attracting top paddlers from around the country boosting Sidmouth’s tourism industry.

“I would like to thank all those that helped run the event and especially our water safety cover partners – the Sidmouth Lifeboat and Sidmouth Sailing Club.

“A special thanks to club and event sponsors Gilbert and Stephen’s Solicitors.”

Read more Sidmouth sport here.

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