THE University of Limerick hosted the National Stillwater Championships last weekend when there was outstanding success for Clare competitors.
Norma Cahill was, once again, to the fore, achieving two world masters records in the 100m manikin tow and 100 manikin carry, as well as one European masters record in the 50m manikin carry.
In addition, defending champions Clare retained the pool rescue national title.
A field of 250 competitors took part over nine hours of swimming pool rescues. Many of the competitors, having worked as lifeguards in pools nationwide, got their chance to pitch their skills against the finest lifesavers in the country.
“This annual competition gives the best lifesavers in Ireland an opportunity to compete in conditions that lifeguards can encounter in real-life rescue situations. The sport of lifesaving teaches participants the skills necessary to rescue people from drowning,” said Irish Water Safety chairperson, Breda Collins.
The disciplines are varied and challenging, with competitors swimming for immersed ‘casualties’ (manikins) and testing a variety of lifesaving skills in the process. The national championships are part of Irish Water Safety’s (IWS) extensive programme to promote water safety, with a particular focus on the necessary skills required by pool lifeguards.
The members of the Clare senior men’s A team were Bernard Cahill, Dylan Barrett, Patrick Hogan, Hugh McMahon, Ryan Shannon and Barry Clancy. They won the title from Wexford A, with Waterford A in third spot.
Clare also won the senior ladies title from Cork with Donegal A in third position. Making up this Clare team were Norma Cahill, Sinead Mortell, Katie Shannon, Lily Barrett and Orlaith Martin.
In the junior girls event, Clare A finished second behind Wicklow A, with Wexford A in third spot. This team comprised Róisín Cahill. Aoibhin Hogan, Aoife Deane, Ciara Doran and Odette Gleeson.
Clare finished outside the top three in the junior boys. The team members were Marley Haugh, Nathan Coote, Ruairi Power and Noel Shannon.