ALMOST 500 players and supporters took part in the third UK Sea Water Polo Championship.

The event was created and organised by Lyme Splash, as part of Lyme Regis Carnival and Regatta in the Cobb harbour.

During the weekend more than 40 games were played by 18 teams – with nine women’s teams to the men’s seven and two mixed amateur teams.

Southampton Sirens claimed the women’s title, while Valley Dragons/Cwm Draig took the men’s prize.

Runners-up for the women were Welsh Warriors, while Exeter & Taunton claimed second for the men.

In the amateur section, there was home joy as Lyme Launchers triumphd with Lyme Luggers the runners-up.

Sponsors Annie and Sam Hanbury of Baboo Gelato presented water bottles to the winners and medals to both winners and runners-up.

Annie Hanbury said: “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 at the Powerboat Club, with raffle prizes from Wyvern Water Polo, finishing off with a firework display.

Karen Durham-Diggins, founder of Lyme Splash added: “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 in the Fishing College, generously given to us by Steve Postle, with a watchful eye from our paramedics.

“The Harbour Masters, 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.”