Porthtowan Ladies at Arena Rescue 2012, Montpellier, France
A ladies crew from Porthtowan (Becky Lloyd King, Yvette Stephens, Jo Lloyd King and Kim-Marie Clothier) participated in the surfboat event at La Grande Motte, Montpellier, as part of the Arena Rescue 2012 Surf Lifesaving event held from 25-28th May 2012.
After a slow start (i.e. arriving on the beach at 8.00am to find no surfboats, no sweeps, and only 1 other crew), racing eventually got going at 2pm, with a big crowd of spectators.
Five crews participated: - a mixed crew from Begles, two men’s crews, and one ladies crew from Biarritz, and the Porthtowan Ladies. Due to only 2 boats being available –one from Biarritz, and a ‘vintage’ (or hedge) boat from the local club, it was decided to mix up the racing. There were 4 rounds, where each crew raced against every other crew, and the two winning crews made it into a ‘race off’ final. Porthtowan were swept throughout by Manu, the Biarritz sweep and Philippe, the Begles sweep. Both sweeps were excellent, and made the racing lots of fun – inter sweep goading and banter always makes for good racing! Thank you to the organisers and to the French crews and sweeps for making us so welcome, and for a great day!
In the final, it was the Porthtowan ladies against the Biarritz men….in the end the testosterone won out, and the boys beat us…by a metre! We are very happy with our 2nd place trophy though, and are looking forward to a rematch at the open in July!!
The race was part of a bigger surf life saving competition (think flags, sprints, surf ski, taplin, paddle board and swim rescue etc), in preparation for the World Arena Rescue Surf Lifesaving Championships in 2014, in Montpellier. There is another race planned for next year, and it would be great to get a greater UK delegation to participate. The French crews, and event organisers were delighted that we went, and would be keen to welcome us all again next year (and of course for the World’s in 2014).
Perhaps some other clubs would consider going, and also participating in the other events – and of course any opportunity to promote the surf boat league is a good one! I can’t promise there will be waves, but when you are racing in the sunshine, in 28 degree heat, then who cares?!!! See you in Montpellier next year…..