Twenty male and four female teams representing the three nations Denmark, Germany and the United Kingdom took part in the European Championships 2010 in Bournemouth (UK). The strong team from Saunton Sands (225 points) emerged victorious overall ahead of Whitsand Bay (169) and Southbourne (105).
The weather was superb – very sunny and warm when out of the chill breeze. The competing teams paraded up to the front of the stage area, to be welcomed to Bournemouth by the Worshipful Mayor of Bournemouth, Mr. Barry Golbart and his wife the Mayoress. After the competitors and officials oaths had been given, John Martin, on behalf of Dr. Klaus Wilkens, the ILSE President welcomed all participants to the Championships and presented a formal gift of a Lifesaving Bell to SLSGB. David Grose, SLSGB Chairman accepted the gift and thanked ILSE for giving SLSGB the opportunity to host this prestigious event. Then the Mayor was invited to ring the bell to formally open the Championships. The powerful crafts with the standard 30bhp engines had been generously provided by the RNLI for the event.
The competition was a great spectacle for the many spectators that came down to Bournemouth beach, or walked out on the pier to the left of the competition area which offered some of the best views of the whole event.
The finals took place in the last hour of the event and demonstrated just how skilful these crews are, and how critical the balance of getting the speed aligned with accuracy is in picking up the patients while executing really tight turns with precision. The final event, the Mens Single Rescue was a most thrilling race which was just won by less than a metre by Saunton Sands A from their arch rivals Woolacombe and Bantham finishing a very strong third. The winning time was just under 50 seconds. The Womens Single Rescue had also been won in style by Southbourne.
John Martin and David Grose presented special European Championship medals to the placegetters on the SLSGB stage to loud cheers from the participants. The European IRB championships were great. A fantastic venue, good weather and well organised. Compliments and thank to SLSGB for their great hospitality.