Skip to content
Recruiting now.Explore navy careers

Royal Navy Observer rides the waves

30 June 2016
Budding Royal Naval Observer, Sub Lieutenant (SLt) Sandra Olmesdahl of Britannia Royal Naval College, has been crowned the Ladies Tri-Service Surfing Champion for 2016.

As well as winning the individual title, the 27-year-old helped the Royal Navy Women’s team achieve second place overall in the competition held at Penhale Beach, Newquay.

Originally from Cape Town, South Africa, where she competed regularly, SLt Olmesdahl moved to the UK to join the Fleet Air Arm and put surfing behind her for several years. 

She was able to get back into the water properly on completion of the first phase of initial naval training and took part in the Royal Navy / Royal Marines Surfing Championships earlier in the year – the first time she had competed in seven years.

It was a great honour to complete with the fantastic men and women of all three Services in this excellent sport

Sub Lieutenant Sandra Olmesdahl

Not only did she win the Ladies Open competition she was also the runner up in the Men's Longboard division and earned her selection for the Royal Navy team to face the Army and RAF in the Tri-Service champs.

SLt Olmesdahl said:  “It was a great honour to complete with the fantastic men and women of all three Services in this excellent sport.  People often ask me what the biggest difference is in surfing the beaches of South Africa and the UK - it is a lot colder up here!”

The newly crowned champion now hopes to continue to build on her recent successes and help raise the profile of the sport within the Royal Navy, particularly amongst women.

Related articles

Navy News Magazine

We bring you the latest news, features and award-winning photographs from the front-line. Navy News has been reporting on all that happens in the Royal Navy and its wider community since 1954.