ALMOST 500 players and supporters took part in the third UK Sea Water Polo Championship, organised by Lyme Splash as part of Lyme Regis Regatta and Carnival Week.
The event, held at the town’s historic Cobb harbour, is now the only sea water polo championship in the country.
Over the weekend, more than 40 games were played by 18 teams from across the UK, with nine women’s teams to the men’s seven and two mixed amateur teams.
Sponsors Annie and Sam Hanbury of Baboo Gelato presented re-usable water bottles to the winners and medals to both winners and runners up.
Mrs Hanbury commented: “This is the third year we have sponsored this tremendous event. It builds year on year and we are proud to have helped its success and support our local community. Water polo is definitely back in Lyme Regis!”
Players enjoyed camping over the weekend at Haye Farm and a barbecue social evening at Lyme Regis Power Boat Club, with raffle prizes donated by Wyvern Water Polo, finishing off with the firework display organised jointly by the Regatta & Carnival Committee and Lifeboat Week volunteers.
Karen Durham-Diggins, chairman of Lyme Splash, commented: “We certainly exceeded expectations! The teams really enjoyed the challenge together with a fun atmosphere.
“Many had never played in the sea, a few got a little cold but soon warmed up in the players centre based in The Fishing College, generously given to us by Steve Postles, with a watchful eye from our paramedics and plenty of tea, coffee and Moores biscuits!
“The harbourmaster’s team, volunteers, ASA referees, officials and Fred Fowler from Bridport Barracudas all deserve a special mention. “Our new goal posts from Lyme Regis Town Council’s grant had their first outing too and performed excellently!
“We’ve heard from people who have watched the games last year sign up to clubs and we are intending to add friendly games during the year as well as the championship next year.
“We’ll be trying to get together a youth team soon. More details will be announced soon. Water Polo is back on the map in Lyme Regis!”
Results were as follows: Women: – 1st Southampton Sirens, 2nd Welsh Warriors. Men – 1st Valley Dragons/Cwm Draig, 2nd Exeter & Taunton. Amateur – 1st Lyme Launchers, 2nd Lyme Luggers.