Crawley Town Life Saving Club achieved what no other team has done in the past by winning all three major senior national championships titles SLS Wales Still Water, SLS GB Pool and RLSS SPEEDs in the same year when the club were crowned RLSS champions the Tollcross Olympic pool in Glasgow originally built for the recent Commonwealth Games.
The Championships was rescheduled due to the Beast from the East which resulted in Crawley Town squad size being halved but this did not stop the 19 strong squad picking up 36 gold, 34 silver and 15 bronze medals details of which follow; Crawley’s men that led the way with Martin Schofield, Sam Lawman, Simon Worne and Richard Jagger convincingly winning three male Open relays, but were chased all the way by the B team of Alex Jackson, Sam Murray, Enrique Riuz and Dan Seagrove-Castle as they took three silvers.
Crawley’s top individual man was the ever hard working GBR international Richard Jagger who at the age of 29 final achieved another goal by breaking the British record for the gruelling 200m Super Lifesaver which had only recently been broken in February having been held for nine years by Crawley Town’s Andrew Kane.
Not content with just one title, Richard also took the 200m Obstacle title.
The Crawley Ladies relay team featuring Jade Hand, Jessica Hancock, Vicky Threlfall and Luisa Petra won the 4x50m Obstacle relay but had to be content with silver in both the 4x25m Manikin and 4x50m Rescue Medley relays as the team was forced to change its favoured order due to a wrist strain sustained by Vicky.
In the drawn mixed Lifesaver relay Jade and Jessica joined up with Simon and Sam for a comfortable win in an event reintroduced for forthcoming world club championships RESCUE 2018 taking place in Adelaide, Australia.
For the 15-17 Youth category it was the girls that lead the way when their relay team Georgia Blenkley, Ellyn Reeve, Jade and Jessica taking golds in both the 4x50m Obstacle and Medley Rescue relay’s but had to be content with just a silver in the 4x25m relay.
The weekend’s most successful competitor was GBR Youth international Jessica who won a total of five individual and three team golds together with two individual and three team silvers when competing in both her age group and her Open team-mates.
Sadly in the boys 15-17 Youth age group only Alex Jackson and Sam Murray could make Glasgow so no team golds were possible, however the two lads did ensure the Men’s B team went away with two silvers and a bronze.
In their individual events there was some very exciting racing with the pair medalling in virtually every event which included Alex securing his first National title in the 100m Manikin Tow with fins just over a second ahead of third place team mate Sam who both smashed their previous personal best performances.
In the youngest 12-14 age group Crawley Town was lest with just one competitor Emily Hurst who despite being one of the youngest in her group secured a worthy Bronze in the physiologically demanding Rescue Medley which involves a long underwater swim to retrieve the manikin half way.
A special mention goes to George Hopkinson, Crawley Town’s former European Club Open fin bronze medallist who came out of retirement and travelled all the way from Melbourne, Australia to compete at Glasgow so that he can once again represent Crawley Town in this year’s World Masters Championships.
While George did not medal on this occasion he put in two very impressive performances following his 9 year absence from the sport.
Crawley Town will now start to prepare for the ocean based Surf Life Saving championships and for further information about these and the club please visit their website at www.crawleytownlsc.com.