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2022 SLSA Wales National Still Water Life Saving Championships


2022 SLSA Wales National Still Water Life Saving Championships
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Crawley Town Life Saving Club added the Welsh Open Still Water Championships title to their British Pool title at the Swansea 50m Olympic pool. Despite a smaller than usual squad, eight gold, four silver and two bronze medals helped them achieve a total of 470 points, 113 in front of the second placed team.

Sam Lawman was once again CTLSC’s top performer, winning four individual golds and a silver, closely followed by one of the club’s newest signings, Sally Cater, who won three gold, one silver and two bronze medals.

Perhaps the performance of the weekend came from Martin Schofield, Crawley Town’s Current European 12.5m Line throw Champion, when he retained the Welsh title with subject Jack Sadberry, lowering his current British record to 9.08 seconds, just 7/100ths of a second off the World record time and 9/100ths from going down in history as the first man to break the 9 seconds barrier.

Sam and Martin and Jack then teamed up with former GBR bronze medallist, Alex Jackson, to take gold in the Championship Blue Ribbon event, the 4x50m Medley relay. Iker Lopez also took three seconds off his personal best time when swimming for the first-time using Rocket Fins in the 100m Manikin Carry, finishing just 0.7 seconds behind the third-place competitor.

Crawley Town’s top Master competitor, Donna Wickens, broke her own British European record in the 50+ years 50m Manikin carry, which unfortunately cannot stand, as the Welsh Championships was not officially sanctioned by ILS (International Life Saving). In addition to establishing a new Ladies 50+ British record in the 200m Super Lifesaver event, she also paired up with Jennifer Amos as her subject in the 12.5m Line throw to win silver.

Jennifer, along with Vanessa Eagland and Marsha Bayliss-Culter, also won individual golds respectively in the 60+ 100m Manikin tow with fins, 50+ 100m Manikin tow with fins and 40+ 50m Manikin carry.

Yet again the loudest cheer of the championships went to Crawley Town’s 85-year-old Maureen Fakley (Donna’s Mum) in the 100m Manikin tow with fins, where she set a personal best time to win silver.

In the Welsh Championships Masters, relays need to be mixed, so the four Crawley Masters ladies, Donna, Jennifer, Marsha and Vanessa, entered the Ladies Open instead so they could break their own British records in both the 4x50m Medley and 4x25m Manikin relays, which incidentally were also European best times, which frustratingly could not be considered as records.

Crawley Town’s best youth competitor was once again Asier Lopez, winning one gold, two silver and a bronze medal in his individual events, plus a bronze in the paired Line throw, when he acted as subject for his partner, the current national British champion, Koji Bayliss-Cutler, in the 12.5m Line throw. 16-year-old Amaia Lopez recovering from a shoulder inquiry, only entered the Ladies Open 200m to demonstrate to the GBR selectors present that she was still swim fit and surprisingly took bronze, just two seconds behind the winner.

Shortly after their return from Wales, brother, and sister Iker and Amaia, won the RLSS Sussex Branch Open Mixed Pairs Life Saving Competition at the Windlesham School Pool. This is the first time the event has been held since 2019 when the winning duo also took gold in the Youth championships.

If you would like to become a part of the success, please come along to one of CTLSC’s club sessions every Tuesday evening from 8.00pm to 10.00pm.