Competitions are open to all ages, from 8yrs old to Masters.

Nippers can take part in the U/10, U/12 & U/14 age groups.

Seniors wishing to take part fall into the following either U/16, U/19 or Open age categories. There are even irregular Masters events for the over 30yrs.
Age is determined from the 30th September. Thus anyone turning 10yrs old on the 1st November is able to compete in the u/10 age group for the entire season.

At each gala, times are taken and at some medals or ribbons are given out.

Events Include

In the pool:


  • 50m manikin rescue- swimmer dives in, swims 25m, dives to retrieve a submerged manikin and tows it for the remaining 25m.

  • 100m manikin rescue with fins – swimmer dives in wearing fins, swims 50m, dives to retrieve a submerged manikin and tows it back to the start

  • 50/100/200m Obstacle race – swimmer dives in and swims the distance according to age, passing under obstacles placed at 12,5m from each end without displacing them.

  • 100m Medley (aka Combined) rescue – only u/14 and older swimmers participate diving in, swimming 50m, turning and swimming 10/17.5m underwater to retrieve a submerged manikin which is towed to the finish 100m manikin rescue with tube and fins- swimmer dives in wearing fins and a rescue tube, swims 50m, retrieves half filled manikin held by assistant by clipping tube in place and towing it back to finish 200m

  • Super Lifesaver event- swimmer dives in, swims 75m, dives to retrieve submerged manikin and tows to the start where it is dropped, puts on fins and tube, swims 50m to retrieve half filled manikin held by an assistant, clips tube into position and tows manikin to finish.

u/10’s and u/12’s only swim the first 3 events while the u/14’s swim the first 4 events and the Juniors and Seniors do all events


The relay events include:


  • 4x50m Obstacle relay – each team member swims under 2 obstacle gates in the length

  • 4x25m Manikin rescue relay- each team member tows a manikin. In the Nipper event, any 2 team members may wear fins

  • 4x50m Rescue torpedo relay – 1st swimmer: 50m freestyle, 2nd swimmer: 50m free with fins, 3rd swimmer: 50m free with torpedo buoy, 4th swimmer: 50m free with fins towing 3rd member who holds onto torpedo buoy and kicks

  • 4x50m Medley rescue relay- 1st swimmer: 50m free with fins, 2nd swimmer: 50m free with fins to retrieve manikin set underwater at the end wall, 3rd swimmer: tows manikin, 4th swimmer: tows manikin with fins

  • Ball Throw rescue – 2 Nipper rescuers retrieve 2 Nipper patients from the lane using a ball in a net at the end of a line. This is a very technical event requiring nerves of steel and a complete understanding of all the rules by both rescuers and patients.

  • Line Throw rescue- a rescuer throws an unweighted rope 12m to a patient and pulls him/her to the pool edge within 30 secs

  • Simulated Emergency Rescue Competition- A team of 4 lifesavers have 90 secs to react appropriately to an accident simulation involving between 5 and 10 “patients”


In Open water:


  • Swim – competitors swim from over 100m to about 300m according to their age.

  • Run/Swim/Run – competitors run along the shore, enter the water, swim round the buoys and exit the water, running the same distance as initially to finish. Distances increase with the age of the competitor. u/10’s and u/12’s compete as a relay team of 2 runners and 1 swimmer.

  • Taplin relay- 1 runner, 1 swimmer and 1 board paddler compete as a relay

  • Torpedo tube rescue- is competed for as an individual by u/10’s (i.e. no patient is rescued) and as a relay in the older age groups with a patient swimming out to a marker buoy and being rescued by a swimmer wearing fins and using an RTB

  • Malibu board race- is run as a relay of 3 in the Nipper section and as an individual race in the Senior section

  • Ironman/ woman- only u/10’s do not compete in this the premiere open water event which requires competitors to run, swim and paddle a board in a continuous race.

For full details of all Competition, matters log onto and view the Competition Manual. 
Galas are held throughout the summer season culminating in the Jozi Champs, GPLA Champs and finally National Championships.