2002/2003 Season Competition Reports
Summary 2002/2003

Competition          |  A  B  | (of) | (rank)
Oxford               |  6  -  | (23) |  4  /
Warwick              |  6  16 | (30) |  3  3
London               |  8  -  | (15) |  4  6
Birmingham           | 14  -  | (23) |  5  7
Varsity	             |  4  2  | (4)  |  -  -
Nottingham           | 13  20 | (25) |  -  -
Nationals            |  8  20 | (23) |  5  7 
Southampton          |  5  -  | (21) |  5  7
Bristol              |  7  -  | (14) |  4  8

Oxford 2002

Given how many of the normal A squad were out of action due to running the competition, we were very pleased with the sixth place finishing. It bodes well for the rest of the year.

For more information on the competition itself, take a look at the Oxford 2002 page.


Teams: Nick, Aimee, Chris, Annant | Greg, John, Katrina, Nikki

It was all too much for John and Annant

We sent two teams along, and both did quite pleasingly well. The B team contained two lifesaving freshers, Nikki and Katrina, who showed great promise and we have high hopes for them! The A Team of Nick & Aimee (wet) and Chris & Annant (dry) did very well on the wet, but the dubious expected treatment of the diabetic let them down on the dry. The rope throw went well, and the swim and tow time showed the extra training was paying off. The B Team of Greg, Nikki, Katrina and John did pleasingly on the wet and try compared to the other B teams, but were again let down by slow ropethrow and swim&tow times. That said, they stil came the third highest B team, so we can't really complain!

The London Flag!

Still, bonus marks to Katrina for trying to turn early on the swim & tow but still making a very respectable time, and Nick for somehow turning the wrong way despite all the practice and instructions! Oh, and well done to Chris for not getting us DQ'd again this year ;-)

The scores can be found at uni-lifesaving.org.uk here.

The social afterwards was a great sucess (far better than last year), and as every you'll find a report of it in the socials section.

The photos
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Team: Nick, John, Alex and Hilary

Originally, we had two teams entered for this. Unfortunately, the day before Kat discovered she couldn't make it, and on the day (half way to London no less!), Chrisaimee decided they weren't going to be coming after all. So, we only ended up with the one team.

We arrived in plenty of time, despite Nick being late (as ever) to the bus, grabbed some lunch, and chilled out waiting for the competition to begin. Since this was Hilary's first comp, we were busy telling her all about how they went. This did mean she nearly forgot to get changed before isolation started! We were drawn second to last, so we settled down for a long wait before things began.

The incident senario was a speed boat crashing and sinking, but that was all we were told in advance. Quite impressivly, Nick was able to fairly accurately predict what casualties there would be, and were. Still, didn't help hugely, as our performance lacked the sparkle it has had in the past. We got most people to the side, a few out, found and used the phone, but didn't use everyone that effectivly. More practice on 4 person incidents is needed, rather than just 2 person. Still, for a team with one new competitor, someone who hadn't competed in a while, and where the team wasn't as planned, we can't really complain!

With the rope throw, however, we can complain.... Alex said "don't worry, I've done lots of rope throw practice, let me go first", so we did. He did a wirly bird that didn't make it out, then a second that did but knotted. Nick spent some time mostly sorting it, but it made the subsequent throws much harder. Hilary had only just got a throw out to Alex when the whistle went, which was a shame. Still, Alex later bought us lots of drinks to make up for his poor performance, so we can't complain too much.

The swim and tow was over 33.3m rather than the usual 50m, which made it much more of a sprint than usual. Did fairly well on this, but as ever a second weekly pool session would be nice. Next year, next year... After that we had the torpedo bouy relay, which was good fun, and we finished favourably. Roll on the beach competitions in the summer!


Team: Nick, John, Katrina, Aimee

The Incident

With Chris and Aimee going to this, we had a car to take us all the way up north that is Birmingham. In typical style, we left 15 minutes late, but managed to get to Birmingham on time (despite a length BK stop en-route, and Chris's dodgy directions in Birmingham...). Impressively, we even managed to get the car into one of the Uni carparks without any of the normal hassle this entails.

The incidents were being set by the Birmingham old boys, so we readied ourselves for the worst. We packed Chris off to body, Nick and John sat down to munch some lunch, while Aimee and Kat were keen and got changed early. Eventually, we made it into isolation, and discovered we'd been drawn first! We quickly did some planning for the 4 person wet incident, and tried to impress upon Kat the importance of non contact rescues in Birmingham competitions (see the photos for what happened to people who tried contact rescues). Once we were happy, we sat back to read the Cherwell, and wait to go in.

Not the best rescue aid

The setting up took longer than we'd expected, and we got to watch an episode of the simpsons while waiting! Eventually, we treked off into the depths of the building to do the water incident.

On being given the incident brief, we realised there was a secret land incident first! We quickly tried to memorise the location given on the card, and headed out to deal with the incident. It was a simulated car crash! There was an overturned car, with a person (glass cuts to his arm) and a child manequin in it. The driver (another manequin, and covered in simulated vomit, nice...) lay outside the car. A second car had a women suffering from shock in it. A cyclist had been knocked down, and was complaining of lack of feeling in his legs. There was also a bystander (went into shock), a first aid kit, and a phone to call 999 on (with a judge on the other end). Impressively set up, and challenging to deal with.

After that, we went round the corner, and onto the wet incident. This featured locked swimmers, Bill with a head injury (he took you down if you came at him without an aid), a child on the bottom, and various "happy" people in the water. On the side was a choking woman, a woman who'd lost her child, an abandoned baby, and an annoying sunbather. Oh, and there were very few aids.... The canoe was half underwater and filled with bricks, its paddle tended to drift off, there was a ball. We had the clothes we were wearing, and that was about it. One team decided to try to use a plate...

Don't get too close to bill...

We then sat around while 22 other teams did the incident. When they were all over, it was the rope throw. John had been doing lots of practice, so we let him go second and try his alternate throw. Mistake! He did 4 throws, all made the distance, but the first 3 went wide, doh! After this, Kat only had time for 2 throws, neither of which quite made it, so we only got 3 people in. John was forced to drink a pint of Guiness as penance for this carelessness.

Finally was the scrubs race. Despite a request at captain's meeting last year that events such as this would only be done "for fun", and not in the main competition, Birmingham opted to make the event count. Admitedly with the 2 incidents there wasn't really time to hold a scrubs race and a normal swim and tow (as the captain's meeting suggested should be the case). Ah well, it is their competition, and they can do what they like.....
We'd learnt from past years how to change, but a lack of scrubs ourselves meant we were unsure how to tie them up properly. By the third person (John) we had it figured, but not before it'd slowed us down, and we'd had the odd foot touch the bottom.
Unfortunately, we had a bunch of "thorough" national judges present, instead of the usual (chilled out) suspects. These judges seemed to be judging more to their national rules, and less to the University rules (unsuprisingly, they are senior national judges...) When you add into the mix lots of people in heavy, water sodden scrubs, and some confusion over the spirit of the rules..... Yes, you guessed it... they disqualified us! Not just us, but 5 other teams as well (for letting our feet touch the bottom we're told. Come on guys, we're wearing scrubs!). Ah well, we'll bring the matter up at captains meeting, and hopefully ensure everyone knows the score (whatever we all decide on) in time for next year. There's a chance that we (as a club) might even get a set of scrubs for then too...

The photos
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A Team: Nick, John, Annant, Nicola
B Team: Chris, Greg, Will, Nikki

The Wet Incident

Well, Annant was supposed to be writing a report for this (and for the Cherwell), but he got snowed down with work half way through, so it once again falls to Nick to wibble at length about another competition. You know you love it really....

This year, the Varsity match was back in Cambridge. Owing to the actions of the Cambridge varsity committee, it was run largely outside of the Varsity match fold, so went nice and smoothly. Well, apart from the result anyway...

After a bit of a mix up and panic over who was going, 6 of us + supporter headed over on the bus (picking Nicola up on route), while Chris and Aimee drove over. Despite how long the bus took, we still managed to eat lunch in the center of Cambridge and make it to the pool before Chris and Aimee, who had issues with the Cambridge road system... Still, we had both our teams and our supporter (alas no flag) there by the start time, so we can't really complain.

Waiting for the rope throw

In a pleasant change from the large competitions, things ran fast and smoothly. We had the same judges as two years ago, and for once there was no moaning about the rules, possibly a world first... Cambridge won the toss, so the order was Oxford A, Cambridge A, Oxford B and Cambridge B. In no time at all, we were all in isolation, doing the usual last minute preparations for the incidents.

The wet incident featured two fighting groups, each having an injured person and their friend helping them. Also in the mix was an unconcious person, and a bystander. All the teams got the two groups to the side, and most sent the bystander off for help at some point. The differences came in how much aftercare was offered, if the fighting groups were allowed to get close enought to have another go at each other, and if the unconcious person was brought in by the end. The dry incident took place out of site (in a changing room), so if someone who did it wants to write about it, they should send something to the club account....

Towing Hard

After the incidents came the rope throw. The lack of anything to affix the back rope to meant two tabs had the fun task of holding the rope in place. Pleasingly, everyone in the A team got their ropes out (including Nicola!), and the B team were looking quite close before the time ran out.

With the rope throw finished, everyone supprised themselves by doing a warm up! Once we'd recovered from the shock of that, it was onto the swim and tow. This was quite close, but Cambridge's second weekly pool session really payed off, and they maintained the speed edge. Ah well, that'll be us next year, with our shiny new pool (well, once it's finished anway!)

The competition was over really really early, and with the presentations done, we headed off for the social.

The photos
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Nottingham (Nationals)

A Team: Nick, John, Chris, Katrina
B Team: Will, and some Tab's


As usual, we entered two teams. As usual, we had a load of people drop out in the last week (some with better excuses than others, hey Greg?). Unlike previous years, we did actually have enough transport for two teams, thanks to Simon offering to drive people. The collection plans were supposedly fixed, but owing to the B team dropping out, Will spent some time standing on his own at St Hilda's, wondering if he was in the wrong place. Meanwhile, the north Oxford posse bought lots of dime bars from the shop they were waiting outside (see the social report for why), and Kat managed to go into the shop about 4 times!

With typical OULSC tardiness, we had both cars by about half past (meeting at quarter past), handed out the maps Nick had cunningly made, debated routes, and departed for the northern wastelands also known as the midlands. Aimee took Chris and Will, along with an excessive amount of stuff. Simon took Kat, Nick and John, with somewhat less stuff, but also with head rests designed for midgits. Took us most of the way to the ring road to figure out how to raise them!

The Torpedo Bouy Race

Simon's car took the M40 / A34 / M1 route, and was there in two shakes of a cat's tail (for Nick and John at any rate, as they slept most of the way there...). Having learnt from past mistakes, we had little trouble finding the campus, and were at the pool by 11. We settled down, munched some lunch, and swore about the cold. Eventually, Aimee rang, to say they were stopped at services on the M42 (having opted for the M40 / M42 route), and wouldn't be there for 45 minutes to an hour! So, we sat around, not in isolation, and waited for their arrival.

The Wet Incident

Eventually Aimee arrived, blamed Chris for the poor route choice, and we headed into isolation. Since the incidents were quite complex, we had a fair wait. Some people occupied their time with skipping using their practice ropes. Others spent it learning bandaging, slings and knotts. Still others spent it teaching the above. The captain's briefing showed just why we'd tried to standerdise the rules, and why we still need to finalise the process... (Southampton pleasingly showed what happens when things follow the process - captains meeting took 2 minutes, and had no complaints or arguments). Being one of the first teams out, we didn't have quite enough time to teach everyone everything, but hey...

First up was the stations test, where we each did different things depending on a letter we were given at registration. Annoyingly, we generally got the ones we didn't want... Nick and Chris got the questionaires, which were mostly straight forward, but with the odd obsucre question. John had bandaging, and did OK. Kat had knots....

The Birmingham 'Girl'

Scant moments after finishing the stations, we were taken out into the coridoor, and prepared to do the 4 person first aid incident. This was set as an exercise class gone bad. We had asthmatics, injured shoulder (which Chris couldn't get the triangular bandage round...), feet with glass in them, dead people, people in shock, basically the works. There was a phone and an inhailer, both of which we found. So, didn't go too badly overall.

After that, it was on to the pool for the wet and dry incidents. Thankfully this year it wasn't snowing as we walked across the car park! The dry incident featured a choking person, whose mouth John neglected to clear, a nose bleed incident (which led Kat to demonstrate she'd always been told to do the wrong thing when she'd had them herself), and a panicing mother (who was dealt with fine). The wet incident was a water polo game gone wrong. There was a dappy new lifeguard, who we quickly dispatched for help (having filtched his torpedo bouy). There were various injured players (who we got out fast), the coach who'd suffered a heart attack, and a missing person (who we knew about, but couldn't find). We came second overall on this :-)

The Torpedo Bouy Race

Then we had a nice wait as we watched the others (including the commedy Birmingham Old Boys Team, with their "interesting" female competitor), before the other events. The rope throw wasn't as good as hoped (John messed up his aim again, but at least he had length), but was about our usual form... The swimming went well, as we got a stunning 7.33, with three sub 1.45 performances! Roll on next year, when we have our own pool so we can train even harder, and we'll beat the rest of them! Oh, and there was a torpedo bouy race, which we did quite well in, bodes well for the summer beach comps.

Finally, we got changed, and headed off for the social.

The photos
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A Team: Nick, John, Annant, Nicola

Isolation Dancing

As is seeming to be the case this term, we entered two teams, but had to fall back to one after lots of people pulled out. Unfortunately we were also without Chris and Aimee, we were forced to rely on Virgin Trains to get us there *shudder*.

Nick had headed home to Bournemouth the night before, so had the joys of picking up half the Boscombe team in a car with his sister (who has no idea about directions. at all. ever). Still, despite the traffic, they'd arrived by 11.40. This was just in time for Nick to walk over to the station to meet the others of their delayed train, and still have everyone at registration for 12. Bonus marks to the second Boscombe car, for being late because they went to the wrong pool....

Isolation Lazyness

Laziness and tardiness meant we didn't head into the West Quay center for lunch this year, instead we got sandwiches from the pool, and vegged out in isolation. While some teams took pre-match preperations seriously, others didn't quite so much. Nicola tried to work, John and Annant slept, and Bosombe used exercise equipment to bombard Birmingham and Cambridge with various items, from the safety of across the room. A big bonus this year was a games console with a dancing game, and floor pads! Some clubs did slightly better at this than others... Oh, and we wrote out the nominations for all the awards to be voted for and presented at the AGM. Lots of hilarity ensued, and we had great fun trying to explain awards and nominations to (typically tab) passers by. Well, it helped pass the time!

Isolation Catapults

We were drawn in the middle of the last heat, so had a nice long wait before going out. Tab Chris came to listen in on our incident preparations, though it didn't help him. Liz also loitered lots, as we were clearly the people to chill with. Maybe our commedy AGM writing helped out on that front though... Eventually it was our turn, and we headed on out. We got bonus marks for being one of the only teams who had hats on and kit off by the briefing, so had loads of time to read over the briefing sheet, and finalise out plans.

The start of the incident

The incident, as in past years, was a 3 minute, 4 person combined event. Rather than try to describe it in detail, it's easier to go look at the photos - Boscombe were looking after the camera, and got some great shots. We got people out quite quickly, sent someone off for help, found and used the aids, usual stuff. Nick found all his practice incident setting had paid off, as the electrocuted guy in the cupboard was straight out of our pre-nationals session... We even managed to start CPR on the tango man, and get the kayaker in without killing / braining him.

Annant rescues the locked swimmers

Quite pleased, we headed upstairs to watch, and quizzed the other teams on how they'd done. First up was Luf'bra Jo, who congratulated us on not dying as she had. The we found that Cambridge Liz had also turned off the stereo (who's extention lead was wrapped around the dummy), rather than unplugging it at the wall, and so spent most of the incident lying on the floor! The we found that Boscombe B had made the same mistake, as had around half the other teams. Timmie! Timmie! The only reason Boscombe A hadn't died was because they hadn't noticed the cupboard, the woman by it, or the torpedo bouy! Oh, and we hadn't had someone attacked by the deaf swimmers (if you tried to take their ball they got angry), so all in all went quite well. Plus, we did get to laugh at lots of people for quite some time!

The pool and cupboard

Then it was the rope throw, with a short 2:30 time limit. John again disgraced himself, by throwing his first shot wide. Annant also disgraced himself, by badly knotting the whole rope up... So, we finished with 3 in, as did many teams.
Finally was the swim and tow. Stunning swims by all gave us a time of 7.36, with John managing to pull ahead and beat most of the people in our heat, so we'll nearly let him off for the rope throw.

Time was unfortunately short, so we didn't get a chance to do the torpedo bouy relay. Ah well, that's what the beach competitions are for! We joined the loitering masses in the foyer, and debated the best route to the Union in the heavy heavy traffic. With one selected, we allocated people to cars, and headed off into the carpark.


By some amazing coincidence, Laura and Nick's car ended up at the front of the convey, and the cars with Southampton types were at the back... Owing the the excessive traffic, we were largely stationary for about ten minutes. This allowed for car swappings (as the Southampton types drifted forward), pointless phone calls between adjacent cars, people running from one car to another to get directions Owing the the excessive traffic, we were largely stationary for about ten minutes. This allowed for car swappings (as the Southampton types drifted forward), pointless phone calls between adjacent cars, people running from one car to another to get directions, then running back and then running back, drivers leaning out of their car to yell at each other etc. Well, it ammused us, and it certainly ammused the passers by!

Eventually, we reached the roundabout by Toys 'R Us, and the convoy split. Most of Boscombe headed in to buy more props for the social, and most of the rest carried on. After this brief pit stop, we headed off, again with Laura taking the lead. Thanks to luck, remembered directions and a bit of "it must be that way", Nick and Laura made it to the Union at the same time that those who didn't stop got there! However, the others who stopped took quite some time to arrive. Still, many of us know had both hats and toy guns, and several people had water pistols. But, for more details on what they were used for, you'll need to read the social report.

The photos
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A Team: Nick, Greg, Will, Hilary

This was the last competition of the year, but unfortunately it was announced late and held very near the start of term. This meant we could only field the one team, and some other uni's couldn't make it at all.

Preparing a crack squad, we arranged to get the train over to Bristol. 10 minutes before the train left, we had everyone except Greg, and his phone was off. 3 minutes before the train was due to leave, we boarded, and kept trying to ring Greg. Just as the train doors were closing, we spotted a frantic Greg stood on the far side of the ticket barriers, not being allowed through. He waved wildly, we all pointed at our mobile phones. He waved a bit more, and the train drove off...

Greg still wasn't answering his phone, so we rang Annant to let him know the score. When Annant had finished laughing, he agreed to try to track down the errant Greg, and tell him to get on the next train. Since Greg wasn't going to the captain's meeting, he could afford to be a bit later.

Eventually, when in Didcot, we got through to Greg. He was still in Oxford, and hadn't bought a train ticket at this point. We convinced him to buy a ticket and get the next train, then we boarded our train to Bristol with fingers crossed.

We made it to the competition without too many hitches (finding the right bit of the hospital, having lost the email with directions etc), Greg finally made it to join us, and the competition began.

The incident was a 4 person combined event. The pool had a number of swimmers in it, including an annoying and panicky mother, a manikin on the bottom (found by very few, but we did), a number of swimmers, and two swimmers with eye problems. At the end of the pool were two workmen who'd had an accident with acid - one had burnt arms and the other was unconcious. The acid had spilt into the pool, hence the eye problems. In the far corner was someone listening to a walkman, who had a phone and some fresh water.

We got everyone in, but couldn't manage to get the baby of the panicing mother. We had the manikin on the side and had started CPR by the end. We'd sent the only person who knew were the phone was for help. However, we hadn't spoken to the person in the corner, and hadn't been as safe as we might've been around the acid.

The rope throw was OK, but not stunning. The ropes were brand new, and quite slippery. The roof was deceptivly low, and of a rough texture, so any rope that hit it went no further! Ah well, we still need to improve for next year. The swim and tow was a shorter course than normal, and we pulled of some stunning swims, so well done all around.

After that was the fun event - the chair tow! One member sat on the chair, and the others had to tow them for 2 lengths. We were up first, and after a bit of faffing, found some fast ways to swim. We also pioneered the idea of reaching shallow water and running with it! Alas other teams learnt from us, and so managed slightly faster times in later heats, grr....

Finally, we finished the comp early, and went off for the Social.

The photos
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Beach Training Weekend with Boscombe Lifeguards

Attended: Nick, Will and John

More to come, including John's hypothermia and the helecopter rescue!

The photos
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Universities Beach Competition

Attended: Nick, Hilary, Chris and Aimee

This was a great sucess, despite us only having one person competing (in the Old Boys Team). Since we were running it, such things are to be expected...

All the details on the event, including results and photos, can be found here.