2018 NSW Surf Life Saving Championships:
Masters and Opens Events
THRILLS AND SPILLS AS MASTERS CHAMPS GET UNDERWAY
Wednesday 7 March 2018
Mother Nature threw up a challenge with a surging swell and swirly wind, but the veteran competitors relished the conditions during what was a sizzling first day of action at the 2018 NSW Masters Surf Life Saving Championships, proudly supported by Your local club.
In what is shaping up to be the battle for Bondi, Bondi Surf Bathers proved to be the early pacesetters racing to first place by the end of the day’s proceedings.
Defending champions North Bondi SLSC are sitting in second with Redhead surging to third on the back of some encouraging results.
Individual events were the focus of day one with the competition commencing under strikingly blue skies, and the presence of a strong shore dump certainly made things interesting as competitors negotiated the tricky conditions.
It was a solid day of racing for Trent Martin (MacMasters Beach) who took home medals in all five of his events including gold in the 30-34 Surf Race, Ironman and Board Race.
Other winners in the highly competitive age group included Redhead’s Adam Rowe (Ski), North Bondi’s Dean Scarrf who claimed the Beach Sprint/Flag double, and Quentin Reeve (Palm Beach) who was first past the post in the 2KM Beach Run.
Quentin Reeve (Palm Beach)
Some of the female athletes who enjoyed success included North Bondi’s Eloise Starr (Rescue Tube Rescue), Nicole Jones (Beach Sprint), and Emily Gillies (Ski).
“It was an awesome race fantastic to get my first ski gold. The start really set us up perfectly and there was a lot of whitewash to navigate,” said Gillies.
Wednesday proved busy for the Bondi lifesaver who also took gold in the 30-34 Board Race, bronze in the Board Race, and silver in the Rescue Tube Rescue and Ironwoman.
Other water athletes to shine included Terrigal’s Paul Lemmon who took home gold in the 50-54 Surf Race, Rescue Tube Rescue, and Ironman events, and former Aussies Ironman Champion Robert Chapman (Bondi Surf Bathers) who won gold in the 60-64 Iron and Surf Races and finished just outside the medals in the Rescue Tube Rescue.
Blacksmiths is proving to be a happy hunting ground for Mei-Ling Venning who claimed three gold medals in the 70+ Surf Race, Beach Sprint and Flag events to back up her performances from 2017. Club mates Barbara Attard and Wendy McNamara were among a host of Toowoon Bay athletes to stand on the podium.
Also enjoying the conditions was North Avoca’s Kim Findlay who claimed bronze in the 35-39 Rescue Tube, Ski, and Board Races before storming home to convincingly win the Ironwoman.
“It was great to get a win today as this is what I train for. Training has been going really well we have a great group at North Avoca and with a full program scheduled it’s fantastic to be back in the water,” she said.
There was action on the beach too with a number of impressive results as the athletes loosened their hamstrings and channelled their inner Usain Bolt to scorch the track on the way to sprint or flag glory.
Melanie Brock (Manly)
Male Winners on the track included Rubin Ruzicka (Newport), Nigel Kassulke (Manly), and Maxwell Murphy (South Maroubra).
While Davina Strauss (Coledale), Sophie Stokes (Mona Vale), and Robyn Henderson (Queenscliff) also medalled in their respective events.
Right; Sophie Stokes (Mona Vale)
Competition was fierce in the Beach Flags as expected and with the event’s first aiders subtly moving into position in case they were needed the athletes had no hesitation in putting their bodies on the line.
One of the most closely fought races was the Male’s 40-44 event eventually taken out by Wade Alcock (Caves Beach) who did just enough to hold off Warriewood’s Ben Hargy.
“It was very competitive the boys certainly pushed me all the way. It’s great to compete at a familiar beach, the sand was very soft which made it challenging but fortunately I managed to convince the officials to let us run with that wind rather than against it,” Alcock said.
The 2018 NSW Masters Championships, proudly supported by Your local club continues tomorrow Thursday 8 March with the team events. Action kicks off at 8:00am AEDT
Day One Masters Point Score
Bondi Surf Bathers LSC – 310
North Bondi SLSC – 221
Redhead SLSC – 148
Queenscliff SLSC – 131
Coogee SLSC – 131
Toowoon Bay SLSC – 120
Umina Beach SLSC – 108
Manly LSC – 98
Palm Beach SLSC - 87
Mona Vale SLSC - 83
BONDI SURF VETERANS VICTORIOUS AT STATE CHAMPS
Thursday 8 March 2018
Australia’s most iconic beach location boasts two surf life saving clubs and both have taken their place on the podium at the 2018 NSW Masters Surf Life Saving Championships at Blacksmiths Beach.
Bondi Surf Bathers LSC, arguably Australia’s oldest surf life saving club, eclipsed its rivals this year to claim the top spot, finishing well ahead of second place getter and neighbouring club, North Bondi SLSC.
With only a handful of points still to be counted from the Masters surfboat event yet to be contested, Bondi safely celebrated their victory at Swansea Belmont SLSC after two days of all out competition.
For the first time in four years, a newcomer has broken into the top three which has been dominated by Bondi, Nth Bondi and Queenscliff who have taken it in turns to take the title. The team from Redhead SLSC managed to push Queenscliff out into fourth spot with some great performances in the water events, especially the skis.
But it was the distinctive navy blue and white caps that kept coming across the line for Bondi that made it almost impossible for other clubs to make their mark. Last year’s winner North Bondi mounted a mighty effort but even deep-seated rivalry wasn’t enough to retain the trophy.
Legend surf athlete and former Australian Champion Ironman Bob Chapman had a great return to racing, collecting gold in the 60-64 year Surf Race and Ironman and bronze in the 150 years Surf Team and Ski Relay with his new club mates.
In his first State Masters hitout with new club Bondi, ‘Chapo’ said that although he was a bit rusty at some of the finer points of ironman racing, he was really enjoying competing again. Chapman is coaching the younger competitors and is using his expertise in an effort to rebuild competition capacity at the club.
“It’s been a great couple of days. It’s good to be competing again, I’m loving the training and all I need now is a couple of new knees,” said the former Open Champion.
Other Bondi competitors on the podium included Dean Gladstone, Ryan Jenkin and Simon Nothling in the 35-39 years, Blake Francis, Calvin Brodie, Robert Harvey, Greg Brynes and William Hardman in the 40-49 years and Iain Macfarlane in the 35-39 Beach Sprint. Fiona Nay and Fiona Tschaut were gold and silver in the 35-39 Surf Race, Laura Thurtell and Kristie Krenkels were all over the 50-54 swim events and Leah Trebilcock and Emily Gillies went one two in the 30-34 Ironwoman and Single Ski and Emily also grabbed the Board Race gold medal for good measure.
Dori Miller successfully retained her long held title in the 45-49 Surf Race and also took out the Rescue Tube Race. Cyril Baldock and Jan McCloskey carried the can for the club in the 70+ events.
Notable performances for the North Bondi team included Andre Dalton in the 40-44 Ironman and Board, Scott Thompson in numerous individual and teams events in the 50-54, Greg Clifford in the 60-64 years events and Jim Walker won gold in the 45-49 years Ski and Double Ski.
Former Collaroy competitors helped spearhead the North Bondi effort, with Dean Scarff in his first Masters event for his new club taking gold in the 30-34 Beach Sprint and Flags and Ross Langbein doing the same in the 35-39 years.
Stand outs among the masters women included Eloise Starr in the 30-34 years and Jane Cichero in the 55-59 year events.
|2018 NSW Masters Surf Life Saving Championships Overall Results.pdf|
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EYES ON THE PRIZE AS OPENS SET SIGHT ON STATE GLORY
Thursday 8 March 2018
Over 2000 of the state’s finest surf sport athletes will converge on Blacksmiths Beach from Friday as the final competition of the 2018 NSW Surf Life Saving Championships kicks off.
Competitors from across the state will contest the U15, 17, 19 and Open events and with medals and glory on the line it promises to be a barnstorming competition.
Newport SLSC are gunning for their 5th consecutive title and led by familiar names such as Charlie and Max Brooks, Emily Doyle, Blake Drysdale, Jake Lynch, Georgia Miller, Oliver Signorini, NSW Captain Mitchell Trim and the emerging Morris Twins the Northern Beaches powerhouse are confident that they have the talent to once again sit on top of the standings.
They won’t have it all their own way with fierce rivals Manly boasting their own formidable line-up with Naomi Scott, Jay Furniss, and Kendrick Louis in strong form.
Over the three-competition days 83 clubs will be represented, highlighting the depth of surf sports in the state at present.
In many finals it will virtually be an Aussies-quality race which always brings the best out of the competitors.
Due to its geographical proximity, the Central Coast will be well represented at the event with Avoca, Umina, and Terrigal all fielding strong numbers this season. Rio Olympian Riley Fitzsimmons will be pulling on the cap of Avoca Beach, while Australian representatives Jemma Smith, Rachel Wood (Umina), and Tim Schofield (Terrigal) will all be on the start line.
Hunter athletes will be out to take full advantage of their local knowledge with Redhead competitors Daniel Collins, Isak and Lily Costello, and Nicola Owen keen to capitalise on their strong summer campaigns.
Hosts Swansea Belmont will again field a strong squad with the likes of Nicholas Stoddart, Angela Leadbeatter, Ashby Allen, Kurt Murphy and Beau McGregor keen to make the most of the Championships on their home break.
Cudgen Headland will boast a strong squad with Anthea Warne, Luke Chaffer, and Olissa Onley all making the trip, while Byron Bay will field Caitlin Callaghan who has enjoyed plenty of success over the last few seasons.
From Illawarra Lucas Ottaway (Bulli) performed strongly in the Age Championships and will be out to make the most of a step up to senior racing, while Mollymook will be out to show their break-out season on the sand in 2017 was no fluke with Sam Zustovich, Brock Scrivener, and Steine Lofts all committed to starting.
A number of competitors from the Far South Coast will make the long journey north with Lachlan Blake (Batemans Bay) keen to turn his Country Champs form into NSW success, while his club mate Geordie Kemp who flew under the radar to win the Beach Flags at Blacksmiths Beach last season as well as securing himself a bronze in the Beach Sprints will be hoping for more of the same when he takes to the track.
The State Championships also marks one of the last chances for the competitors to tune up ahead of next month’s Australian Titles to be held in Western Australia.
With the World Championships also on the horizon later this year there’s also spots on the Australian Life Saving team up for grabs, and strong performances at Lake Macquarie could certainly put the NSW athletes on the selectors’ radar.
NSW Surf Sports Manager Rob Pidgeon is anticipating a fantastic weekend of competition.
“It’s been an amazing couple of weeks at Swansea Belmont and we’ve been fortunate to have great conditions.
“We’re looking forward to a fitting finale to this year’s Championship and I would like to take this opportunity to wish all our Open competitors the very best of luck,” Mr Pidgeon said.