RNLI staff to compete in Paddleboard World Championship in China

Lifeguards News Release

Nick Ayers, RNLI Community Safety Partner, and Elle Veale, RNLI lifeguard, will represent the UK on the Great Britain SUP & Paddleboard Team in the Surfing Federation (ISA) World Championships in China.

RNLI/Nicola Quinn

Nick Ayers, RNLI Community Safety Partner
Nick and Elle are part of a team of 12 who were selected from the top riders in Great Britain and they will compete in the categories distance and technical SUP (stand up paddle board), distance and technical paddleboard, SUP sprints, and SUP surfing.

Nick, 27 from Suffolk, swam competitively until he was 18, gaining regional, national and Olympic trials. At 18, he became a RNLI lifeguard and took up paddling where he spent UK winters in Australia and New Zealand as a swim coach and lifeguard and retuning to the English coastline in every summer.

Throughout his adult life, he has remained fiercely competitive regularly taking part in endurance races in the UK and internationally. In 2016, he paddled across the English Channel in 5.5 hours raising funds for the RNLI, following a gruelling training schedule. As well as his full time role leading drowning preventions initiatives at the RNLI, he volunteers for the Waveney Surf Lifesaving Club, coaching the young and old in how to stay safe in the water.

Nick said: ‘I’m really proud to be part of the team representing the UK in China and have taken every opportunity to prepare over the past few months. I travel the country as community safety partner for the RNLI so my paddleboard has been packed and I’m training in the water every chance I get. China will be an incredible experience and I can’t wait for the competition.’

Elle Veale, 17 from Cornwall, started paddleboarding when she was 14, borrowing a board from a fellow lifeguard to take part in a competition in Carbis Bay. She has been competing ever since and this year won the under 18’s technical paddleboard at the UK championships, qualifying for the World championships in China. She is currently training five times a week in the sea, with further land based training too.

Elle said; ‘I love being part of the paddleboarding community. I compete in both the racing and surfing elements and enjoy them both, they both give something different to the experience. My main goal for China is to do the best I can and make the most of every minute while I’m out there. It’s an opportunity in a lifetime.’

The championships run from 23 November to 2 December 2018 and the UK team includes some internationally established riders and some young sports man and women eager to make their mark on the international scene.


• Footage of Nick paddling across the English channel:
• Nick and the team are crowdfunding for their place in the completion:
o https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/david-ferguson-2

RNLI media contacts

For more information, contact Nicola Quinn RNLI Regional Media Manager on 07810 658 072 or nicola_quinn@rnli.org.uk, Emma Haines, RNLI Regional Media Officer on 07786 668847 or emma_haines@rnli.org.uk, or the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789.

RNLI/Nicola Quinn

Elle Veale, RNLI Lifeguard

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