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Woolacombe surf lifesavers represent Great Britain in Japan

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: September 20, 2012

CUP LINE-UP: British team members (from left) Jo Devine, Ellie Parker, Rhian Thomas, of Pen-Y-Bont, and Lily Nichols in Japan.

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THREE members of Woolacombe Surf Lifesaving Club have represented Great Britain in a prestigious competition in Japan.

Jo Devine, Lily Nichols and Ellie Parker in the 12-strong team for the Sanyo Bussan Cup.

Britain competed against Australia, Canada, the United States and Japan, finishing third.

Australia were the winners, with Japan just 15 points ahead of Britain in second place.

The girls travelled to Japan fresh from their success in the British Lifesaving Sport Open Surf Championships where Woolacombe finished second.

The club came home from Polzeath with ten gold medals but was unable to prevent Portreath winning the title for the ninth year running.

Portreath posted 1,314 points, 436 more than Woolacombe. Saunton Sands finished fifth with 263.75 points.

It was the same result in the Super Club standings, for the combined results from pool and surf championships in 2012 – Portreath beating Woolacombe to the title. Saunton were third.

With places up for grabs in the Great Britain and Northern Ireland team to compete at Rescue 2012 in Adelaide, there was some of the stiffest competition the event has seen.

Parker, who had been successful in the youth championships, won the women's board race, with Nichols in fourth.

Parker just missed out on the Oceanwoman title, coming second behind Pen-Y-Bont's Rhian Thomas.

Woolacombe also won the men's ski relay and women's board and surf relays.

Saunton's one gold medal came from James Bunney in the 2km run and there was a bronze for the club in the men's ski relay.

Esther Pearson, chief executive of Surf Lifesaving GB, said: "Yet again we have seen our top athletes performing at a high standard.

"Portreath, Woolacombe, Saunton Sands and Pen-Y-Bont have had an incredible fortnight of competition and it is just reward for all the hard work they put into their training."

Saunton will host the British Lifesaving Sport Championships next summer.

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