Broadstairs Surf Lifesaving Club compete in first ever Eastern Regional Championships

posted 16 Oct 2018, 13:29 by Clare Warren   [ updated 16 Oct 2018, 13:29 ]

Broadstairs Surf Life Saving Club had a successful trip to Norfolk at the end of the summer season bringing home medals of every colour from the inaugural Surf Lifesaving GB Eastern Regional competition.

Our first ever nippers team kicked off the action on the beach at Sea Palling. We were the smallest team by far (in numbers not height) but our young clubbies took part in the board race, board rescue, beach sprints, beach flags and the team relay. Hannah had an amazing competition picking up silver in the girls board race and gold in the girls beach sprints, then teaming up with brother Joe to bring home bronze in the board rescue. Joe just missed out on the medals coming in fourth in both the boys board race and the boys beach sprints. Katie - our youngest clubbie took 5th place in the girls board race while Sam also came in 5th in the boys beach sprints. There were smiles all round at the end of a great morning of competition with all of the team feeling proud of their achievements.

The afternoon saw the senior teams in action competing in individual board races, beach flags, beach sprints and a run-swim run as well as a team board rescue, mixed ocean relay (board, swim, run) and team beach sprints.  The afternoon got off to a dramatic start with Matt bringing the team to a photo finish for third place in the mixed relay then injuring himself in the beach sprints and having to pull out early from the beach flags. Jonno brought home two individual gold medals in his first outing for Broadstairs leading the pack in both the mens run-swim-run and the board race. Jonno and Dave then teamed up to take another gold in the board rescue. A  great day of competition was finished off with a fourth gold medal as Clare joined Dave and Jonno for the mixed ocean relay.

The club will now be focusing on some land-based fitness training and maintaining and developing our First Aid skills over the winter with beach sessions resuming in Spring as we prepare for another summer of competitions.

dstairs Surf Life Saving Club duo win a clutch of medals at SLSGB Masters

posted 16 Oct 2018, 13:25 by Clare Warren   [ updated 16 Oct 2018, 13:26 ]

Broadstairs Surf Life Saving Club excelled at the beach in the National Masters’ Championship last weekend, bringing home two gold, two silver and a bronze medal.

The team of just two athletes, Louise Tomlinson and Dave Bennett, were both in the 45-49 age group and took part in the two day festival of Surf Life Saving sport held at Holywell Bay in Cornwall, a round trip of almost 700 miles.

The water events were held in 3 to 6 foot of surf with swim races, board races and surf ski kayak races, which can be challenging while swimming – diving under the largest of waves – and more challenging still on the 10’6” race boards or the 18’ surf ski kayaks.

Water events start at the beach and head out through the breaking waves and then return to the shore to the finish line. The land-based events are in the soft sand of the beach, making running more energy sapping than usual. All the events mimic the real needs of lifeguards working on the beach where split seconds can make the difference between saving a casualty and not.

The land events led to an early medal, with Louise getting a silver in her first event: the beach sprint – 80 metres across the soft sand – going through heats, semis and a final to get a silver medal. Meanwhile, Dave struggled in the water, having taken a year off competition through shoulder injury and surgery. He fell outside the points in the Surf swim and just missed a finals place in the board race having had bad luck catching a wave on the return to the shore.

With a swap over from land to sea and vice versa, Dave took the next honours getting his own medal in the beach sprint – this time a gold. Louise got a creditable 5th place in the surf swim but elected not to do the board race with the large surf.

The surf ski kayak races were also held in large surf, and Dave was held up by  people who fell off, so was recalled before he even really got to the impact zone of breaking surf.

The last races of the first day were the 1km sand runs. Dave set off with the lead pack, one of the few who ran the race barefoot, but struggled to stay with the eventual winner who pushed hard at 450m. He stayed with two other runners before pushing clear at 100m to  claim a silver medal for the club. Louise worked hard throughout her 1km and was in a solid 3rd place from half-way through, picking up her second medal of the day – a bronze.

The morning of the second day was shrouded in mist, so water events were cancelled until the visibility was good enough for competitors and safety teams. So, it was just the beach flags events for the pair. Dave gained a 6th place finish, but it was Louise who shone getting a gold medal by beating all comers in her age group.

The large surf on that day meant that only the most experienced and best athletes attempted the water events in the afternoon, with the majority being the team events. The club were rightly pleased to have gained so many medals from the championship and competed in some very challenging conditions in the water.

Dave, who volunteers a RNLI lifeguard, in the summer said: “It’s a great way to push yourself and see how you stand up against other lifeguards around the country. We know we don’t get the big surf in Broadstairs, so we don’t expect to do as well with the conditions we had at Holywell in the water as the other athletes, who have big surf week in and week out, but it’s good experience to practice in it for those occasions when we do get a large swell.”

Medal haul for Broadstairs Surf Life Saving Club at National Competition

posted 30 Aug 2017, 13:00 by Clare Warren   [ updated 30 Aug 2017, 13:06 ]

Broadstairs Surf Lifesaving Club return with 4 medals from Surf Life Saving GB Nationals in Cornwall. Josh Crottie struck Gold in the Beach Flags, with Louise Tomlinson taking Silver and Bronze in Beach Flags and Sprints, while Tom Walton took Silver in Sprints at the week-long age group championships held at Holywell Bay this month. The team also competed in the water events of Surf Swim, Board Races and Rescue events.

Six athletes from the club made the 600 mile round trip to Holywell Bay in Cornwall to join over 1000 competitors from 32 clubs for the 2017 National Surf Lifesaving Championships. The annual competition is made up of a series of land and water-based races showcasing core life saving skills such as sea swimming, board paddling and soft sand running. A team of Masters (over 30) and a team of Youth 13-19 took part in this challenging set of events.

Despite tough competition, mixed weather conditions and some of the water events taking place in 3-4ft of solid surf, Louise Tomlinson, competing for the first time in the Masters had a flying start bringing home a bronze medal for the 80m soft sand sprint in the first r

ace of the competition and then finishing up with a silver medal for Beach Flags. She and Clare Warren also took part in the Surf Race (sea swimming), with Louise also taking part in the board race.

The Youth Team of Josh Crottie, Oscar Keyworth, Zack Rothman and Tom Walton were the furthest travelled in the UK to the event and faced tough local competition. They all fared well in their events with Zack and Josh both getting 6th place in the Soft Sand Sprints for their age groups and Zack pairing up with teammate Oscar to get 7th place in the Tube Rescue. However, it was newcomers Josh and Tom who brought home more medals for the club with Tom getting silver in the Soft Sand Sprints and Josh winning gold for the Beach Flags.

Broadstairs Surf Lifesaving member second at swim-run in Whitstable

posted 4 Aug 2016, 23:41 by Ross Halfpenny

Broadstairs Surf Lifesaving member second at swim-run in Whitstable.

Dave Bennett, chairman of Broadstairs Surf Lifesaving Club and local Volunteer Beach Lifeguard with
the RNLI, came in second male at the Whitstable SurfNTurf Aquathlon. 

The roughly 400m sea swim and 5k run took him just 31:25 minutes to complete. “I had to take the swim easy as I’m coming
back from a shoulder injury”, said Bennett, “but I was very pleased with the overall race.” The result gives testament to the 
level of fitness that our lifeguards in the area have and can put to use to save lives in the sea or the beach. 

“High levels of fitness is one of the requisites for Beach lifeguards and it shows that training with the Surf Lifesaving Club can 
help maintain and improve this ready for an emergency situation”, said Dave. Club members will be attending the Masters and 
Junior National championships in Exmouth, Devon between the 6 th and 10 th August.

Competition season is upon us again!!

posted 29 Jul 2016, 13:11 by Ross Halfpenny   [ updated 29 Jul 2016, 13:24 ]

Competition season is upon us again!!

Broadstairs SLSC has a full calendar for the coming weeks as competition season fast approaches.

Training began in earnest on a rain lashed prom in darkest October as Dave, James, Ade, Clare and (from time to time) Matt battled cutting winds and cruel circuit training sessions.

They will be part of our Masters Team for this years upcoming 
National Masters Championships in Exmouth on 6 th -7 th Aug. 

Clare will be joined by Louise becoming the clubs first female entrants to the Masters.

Learning from the Masters is our National Youth Team. BSLSC will be taking 5 of our Youth Team to Exmouth during the 9 th -10 th Aug to compete against some of the UK’s
best young athletes in a range of individual and team events.

Beach training sessions have been picking up momentum as the Old Sea Dogs try to keep the youngsters behind them. A task made more difficult by the huge improvements in technique and hunger to win that the youngsters have shown.

One man who won’t be beaten is Club Chairman Dave – Who has a 1km Sand Run Gold Medal to Defend…

Watch this space for updates or follow us on facebook or twitter to see how our teams get on.

Good luck to all our teams 

#bringhomethegold #FTW

Article by Matt Jones

Let the fun begin "Junior Lifeguard 2016"

posted 18 Jul 2016, 14:21 by Ross Halfpenny

Well  summer seems to be here at last and just in time for our first Junior Lifeguard session of the 2016 season.

We believe that our Junior Lifeguard program gives children the tools and knowledge to be safer by the sea, and therefore for parents to feel at ease to allow them to have fun in the water.

During the Junior Lifeguard session children will learn to bodysurf, dolphin dive, paddle a rescue board, identify waves, rip currents and other dangers as well as fun beach activities including ‘beach flags’, a fast and energetic sport event.

The sessions will cater for the ability of the group; the only pre-requisite is that the child must be between the age of 7-14 years and able to swim 50m unaided.  All our coaches are experienced in working with children and have full DBS checks and safeguarding training.

All participants will receive a SLSGB Junior Lifeguard certificate – an SLSGB entry-level award and a T-shirt

For anyone interested in our other session date's please just visit our club Web site for more information.

Junior Lifeguard 2015 Is Go!!!

posted 27 Jul 2015, 03:40 by Ross Halfpenny   [ updated 27 Jul 2015, 03:42 ]

Well that's the first of our Junior Lifeguard sessions all done and dusted for the 2015 season.

A fantastic time had by all, even through the weather was not playing ball today.

Big well done to all the participants for the effort shown today. We hope you all learnt some new skills and most of all had fun!

For anyone interested in our other session date's please just visit our club Web site for more information.

How far we've come!......

posted 11 Nov 2014, 11:30 by Ross Halfpenny

As we draw a close onto the Summer training plans and look to the winter sessions it's time to take a stock check and see how far we've come in the first 12 months as a start up Surf Life Saving Club.  
In the summer 2013 a new SLSC in the side town of Broadstairs was set-up.  Viking Bay beach is the centre piece to this wonderful town. The beach is a large sandy bay boarded to the left with a small pier where a handful of fishing boats are moored up.  An ideal place to set up a club, with romantic images of a club house on the beach, regular training sessions followed by BBQs on the sand; reality sets in, where do you start? 
Following The SLSGB Set Up A Club guidance was a great starting block.  Following each step to become a voluntary club.  

A lot of hard work was put in with some people putting huge amounts of time into chasing funding opportunities and countless hours of grant applications. All of this hard work paid off tremendously. The club was presented with a defibrillator, First Aid kit and money for the hire of oxygen in March by the London Array along with a small grant from Mars Milk which was spend on training equipment.  We are very thankful for these early grants as without them we would have been unable to start the beach training sessions.
One of the clubs chief aims is to promote Lifesaving in the community and especially to young people.  As a start-up club we opted to run as an adult only club until we were confident before trying to add any regular youth or nipper sections.  However we did offer a range of Junior Lifeguard sessions over the course of the summer holidays.  Under the guidance of SLSGB and with the help of a Awards for All National Lottery grant we ran 3 sessions seeing 25 children complete the course. Some enjoyed it so much they came back twice: looks like we may have a nipper section coming together for the coming season!  

With equipment coming together and with a team of trained TAs we ran two Beach Lifeguard courses over Easter and a further one over the summer holidays.
Throughout the summer we had regular members coming along to training sessions and it was time to start putting together some teams to represent at competitions.  We managed to send teams to Youth, Open and Masters Competitions in August, bringing home a good medal haul for such a young club. 

We survived our first IQA observation and have taken on board some minor changes for the following season. 
The Club is hugely proud of how far it's come in the last 12 months; from 6 members in March to a current membership of over 50 and excited to see where the next 12 months will take us. We won't let up over the winter though and have two training a sessions a week still planned throughout the rougher months.
If you'd like to get involved with Broadstairs SLSC then look us on Facebook ( or our website at

Three way tie for Club Open Champs

posted 15 Oct 2014, 11:55 by Ross Halfpenny

A week after the handicap champs saw club members return for some fast and furious racing with no advantage sought or given. There were separate Men’s and Women’s races over 4 events: 

Beach Sprint, Surf Race, Board Race and Beach flags. Each event was awarded points from 16 for first place, with a reduction of one for each subsequent place. 

In the Beach Sprint over approximately 80 metres, Lucy got top spot, followed by Emmie and Pam for the Ladies and in the Gents race Gabe drew ahead of Dave and Josh. The swim saw Pam come out on top for the Girls and Josh for the Boys, while the board race had Dave on his race board 
arrive ahead of Josh on an old club rescue board. The points score was super tight going into the final event: the Beach Flags, where Lucy pipped Emmie to top spot and Gabe pushed out Dave in an exciting final. 

The points total had Emmie, Lucy and Gabe all on 61 points to be crowned joint champs for 2014.

Ayers wins Broadstairs Surf Life Saving Club Handicap Championships

posted 15 Oct 2014, 11:50 by Ross Halfpenny

Members of Broadstairs Surf Life Saving club met to challenge each other for the end of season club handicap championship. The seedings for the racing were taken from some fast and frantic racing the previous week.

All races were Run-Swim-Run-Board-Run around Viking Bay in Broadstairs - requiring speed and stamina as well as skill in the water. The first run was about 80 metres, before a 200m swim, a further 150m run, a 400 metre board paddle and a final 250m run. 

The first competitors were set off at different times, based on their previous performances. In theory every club member should have a chance to win the overall championship, as slower racers set off earlier. Each heat had four or five competitors with the top two going through to the next round. Fairness was also ensured as each competitor had to use one of the clubs own rescue boards; no one could use their own racing boards. 

In the first semi-final Maddie set off first with a one minute and ten second head start over Dan and Emmie, with Lucy setting off some forty seconds after that. Finally Gabe sprinted from the line and hit the water at high speed. At the end of the race Gabe had over taken all others from his position 
at the back with Emmie coming in second to go through to the final.

The second semi had the big guns of Josh, Adrian, Nick and Dave. There was only 50 seconds separating all the competitors for the start, with Josh and Adrian setting off side by side and Dave heading off only 10 seconds later. Nick had to wait a further 40 seconds before he could leave the start gate. At the finish Josh came in a clear first, with Nick having overtaken Adrian and Dave on the board section. Dave tried valiantly to push back up to Nick on the final run, but is efforts were for naught and he finished in third place, out of the finals spot.

In the final Josh was the early leader, trying to keep ahead of the marauding Nick Ayers, and was doing well until the final wave of the board paddle into the beach. Josh fell off the back of one wave and Nick caught the wave behind. In the final run up the beach Nick just had the edge and came 
home winner. 

Some excellent racing was concluded with prize giving and then fish and chips in Broadstairs.

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