Saturday morning was a hive of activity at Horseshoe Bay, Port Elliot with three concurrent surf life saving events occurring.
The early starters were the Bronze Medallion and Surf Rescue Certificate (SRC) squads being put through their paces during their much-anticipated examinations.
Being assessed were 18 candidates from three clubs. The Port Elliot candidates were Ryan Smart, Ryan Johnson, Georgia Hil , Briony Parnell and in a nice touch, the father and daughter combination of Mark and Georgina Tenney, and well as mother and son combination, Caroline and Jobe Hendricks.
Gaining a Bronze Medallion is the culmination of many months of serious training, which includes a theory component, being able to provide CPR and first aid, carry out rescues, and a demonstration of fitness.
The SRC is a stepping stone to the Bronze Medallion, with these young people being able to join patrols also. They were Mia Harris, Jake Megaw, Ollie Leech, Amelia Foot, Finn Porteous, Summer Byerlee, Abby Nottage, and Max Fancsali.
SRC holders will be eligible to sit their Bronze in the next season or two. These members can now bolster the patrol ranks at Horseshoe Bay, and hopefully enjoy many years involvement in surf lifesaving.
Many thanks were given to trainers, Jeff Collins and Darren Flynn, who put in many hours of volunteer work, and to the assessors on the day, Ian Grant and Lucinda Remilton.
Starting a bit later in the morning were the Club Championships. In some clubs these are highly competitive and are used to select teams for competition, but Port Elliot adopt the motto of 'having serious fun'.
There were three age groups - Youth (U14), Open (U30), and Masters (30 plus). Somehow, Elly Smee managed to talk her way into competing in masters five years ahead of schedule, and Dave Palmer turned back the clock to compete in the Open/Youth division.
Events were the long run, swim, boards, flags, sprints and the ski. Jack Read totally dominated the long run winning by close to 100 metres.
Other racing was close across all categories, with some last minute efforts seeing late positional changes. Elly and Sonia Read put their bodies on the line in their flag event, both ending up with faces full of sand.
Tim Cannell competed and organised the day - his crowning moment was losing his board shorts during the swim and having to turn around to retrieve them. Luckily he had bathers underneath.
Dave Read assisted as an official with his own unique style, and Kirk Dixon helped set the buoys in the IRB.
Tim organised for the category winners to receive a 'golden flipper. The aim was achieved with everyone having fun. The winners were :
Youth Male: Zach Plamer; Youth Female: Skye Jucius; Open Male: Jack Read; Open Female: Piper Hudson; Masters Male: Shane Porteous; Masters female: Elly Smee.
Further down the beach, 'Samewave' was underway.
This is a program for people with a disability who want to enjoy the beach and improve their water skills.
On the day there were six eager participants of varying ages, being looked after by five volunteer lifesavers, and two carers.
Participants are improving their confidence and skills on rescue boards, body surfing, and paddling various craft.
This program has been running for many years, showing that lifesaving is available to all.