Lifesaving champions come to Hout Bay

The Nippers competing in the sand events at the last championships.

The Western Province Lifesaving Championship will take place in Hout Bay for the very first time this weekend.

Nearly 600 nippers and their families will descend on Hout Bay to compete in the surf and the sand.

Nippers officer, Paul Broxis, said: “Hout Bay is a magnificent backdrop to this event and we are thrilled to have the privilege of hosting the Western Province Champs.”

The two-day event, starting tomorrow, Saturday February 29, will be a showcase for the valley with 15 clubs coming from as far away as Plettenberg Bay.

The prestigious competition will be being hosted by the Llandudno Surf Livesaving Club (LSLC), which will be hoping to defend last year’s triumph. The event is the youngsters’ final preparation before the South African Championships taking place in late March. Last year, LSLC achieved its best ever result at the national competition, coming 4th out of 35 clubs from around the country.

“It is going to be a great atmosphere over the weekend and there is plenty of entertainment from the competitors and food stalls to make it a great couple of days out for local families,” Mr Broxis said.

He said LSLC will be fielding approximately 100 nippers, aged eight to 14, who are looking forward to showcasing their talents in front of a home crowd in events including beach springs, flags, swim and board races.

“Llandudno Surf relies on a dedicated team of voluntary coaches and support staff and is grateful for the support of local businesses to hold this weekend’s esteemed competition,” Mr Broxis said.

Youngsters from the Hout Bay Livesaving Club, which was established last year by the local pro surfer, Frank Solomon, will also be on hand to ensure the events run smoothly.

Ward councillor Roberto Quintas said it was an “absolute pleasure” working with organisers and said: “This ensures that our beaches and amenities lived up to the standards required for a large scale event such as this.”

When Mr Quintas was approached this year, he immediately supported the approvals required for the event and worked with the necessary officials from Coastal Management and Recreation and Parks to ensure that their scenic location and setting was once again “event ready”.

“A great deal of visitors will be coming to Hout Bay from across the province for the weekend and their welcome influx benefits local businesses and further entrenches Hout Bay as a beach and eventing destination,” Mr Quintas added.

The competition is set to start at 10am on Saturday February 29 and 8am on Sunday March 1.