April 21 - 27, 2024: Issue 622


The 2024 Australian Surf Life Saving Championships: The Long List Of The Hundreds From The Peninsula Who Took Part In Youth, Masters, And Open Surf Sport Disciplines

Photo: Surf Life Saving NSW/Surf Life Saving Australia

The Volunteer Surf Life Saving 2023-2024 Season finishes next Sunday April 28, having started on September 23 2023, with thousands of local surf club members keeping visitors and residents on local beaches safe over the past 7 months.

With more than 1.4 million hours volunteered by surf lifesavers on patrol every year, their actions are estimated to have contributed $1.6 billion economic value to the Australian community during the 2023/24 summer alone.

On March 1 2024 Surf Life Saving Australia CEO Adam Weir said: “Beaches around the country are busiest during Summer, with our surf lifesavers and lifeguards increasing their hours and services across Christmas, New Years, Australia Day as well as school holidays periods to meet the demand.

“Volunteer surf lifesavers also save more lives over Summer than any other time of the year.'' Surf Life Saving Australia CEO Adam Weir said

“Surf Life Saving Australia is grateful to all surf lifesavers and lifeguards who collectively have performed 5,176 rescues and 1,363,588 preventative actions, returning so many loved ones to their family and friends.

That number would have risen since March 1.

Surf sports allows surf lifesavers to practice and hone the skills used to save people on the beach and in the water. With disciplines such as Board Rescue, First Aid, Single Ski, Beach Sprint or 1- to 2k runs, Rescue Tube Relays, Surf Boat rowing, the First Aid Competition, Champion Patrol and the most prestigious of surf events – the Ironman and Ironwoman, all aspects of what surf lifesavers learn and undertake are included.

An IRB surf sports calendar of events takes place over Winter as these vital part of the lifesaver equipment are used throughout the Season and, more and more, as part of rescues and support during weather emergency events for evacuations. 

Traditional events such as the March Past and R&R are making a comeback with an increased number of competitors taking part over the last couple of seasons and once again Collaroy SLSC has proved to be among the best at the March Past competitions this Season, as have the next generation of Mona Vale SLSC's members.

Although many of these surf sport disciplines are practised during Youth, Open and Masters carnivals within the the SLS Sydney Northern Beaches Branch Season over Spring and Summer, and thousands take part in the Surf Life Saving NSW State championships, the annual Australian Surf Life Saving Championships, the ‘Aussies’, is the one most members want to take part in at least once, or as much as they can, year after year.

The Aussies is as much about reinforcing the core focus of surf sports as it is standing yourself beside all others across Australia to see how well you can do. The Aussies brings members from Australia's 314 Surf Clubs to compete in more than 480 beach and ocean events, and makes stronger that camaraderie that stretches right along all Australian coasts simply through thousands of people from surf clubs all over the country coming together.

Run at the end of the Season, the best and brightest from local surf clubs have shone on this national stage, bringing home a bagful of gold, silver and bronze medals from the 2024 Australian Youth, Masters and Open Surf Life Saving Championships on the Sunshine Coast. 

Results for those from our area show the strength and ability of local clubs being able to fulfil their commitment to looking after those on their beaches. Placings were made across most disciplines, including excelling in some age divisions. For example, in the 60-64 yrs Male Surf Race, Dave Bredeson, Freshwater, won the gold, fellow Freshwater member John de Mestre, took the silver and Tim Gates, Narrabeen, rounded out the trifecta by winning the bronze. Freshwater won the 170 yrs Male Surf Teams Final as well with Dave Bredeson, John de Mestre and John Landells leaving most in their wake.

Mona Vale SLSC's Lise Layard, Kristyn Monnock and Sophie Stokes won the gold in both the 150 yrs min Single Ski Relay and the Taplin. Mona Vale's Lisa Critoph, Lise Layard and Kristyn Monnock also took gold in the 170 yrs Taplin. Kristyn and Sophie won the silver in the Female Board Rescue and won medals in individual events - in fact, every event Kristyn went in accounted for a medal for this outstanding Masters Athlete. 

Mona Vale's Team A; Lisa Critoph, Kristyn Monnock and Lise LayardPhoto: Surf Life Saving NSW

Manly, which has a large Masters Team, also excelled, while Newport's Ted Smithies again won gold in the 70-74 Beach Sprint and the Warriewood Sandmen; Glen Bauder, Adam Gee, Ben Hargy and Christopher Macdonald, won the gold yet again in the men's relay, along with individual medals in beach sprints.

Manly, North Curl Curl, and Newport athletes featured among the Youth water and sand events placings, indicating local surf clubs are looking after the next generation as well. 

Palm Beach SLSC's Puddles crew of Chloe Driver, Chloe Brunker, Zoe Elliot and Madeleine Julliard with Boat Captain Peter Spence as sweep won gold, completing a whole Season of back to back wins. Surely the success story of the Surf Boat Season for local crews.

The Collaroy Cannons took silver in the U19 girls and Mona Vale's McChicks rounded out another trifecta by winning the bronze. In the U19 boys South Curl Curl's Dribblers won the gold, nicely rounding out a great season for them. Mona Vale's men's junior crew, the Muppets, also made the final and finished 5th, gaining their club points.

To complement these skills, the Open Male 5 Person R&R was won by the Freshwater team of Sebastian Di Sano, Ian Donald, Patrick Kiely, Christopher Tyrrell and Hugo Weston.

PBSLSC's Puddles win gold at Aussies and gold all Season. Photo: Malcolm Trees

The South Curl Curl Dribblers: Levi Welsh, Rob Lowery, Cody Kearney, Zane Mcgregor, Sam Merry. Photo: Malcolm Trees

Open Male 5 Person R&R: gold for Freshwater. Photo: Surf Life Saving NSW

Ultimately, those who travelled to Queensland's Sunshine Coast to represent their local clubs were 'having a go', even without a visit to the podium. They were joining in with meeting up with their peers and listening to and learning about their experiences in the surf lifesaving movement - all of which makes for a better club when they return home to share that knowledge with those who stayed put to fulfil the last Patrols of the Season.

This year an 'all in' Profile results list for all those who travelled north to take part in the 2024 Australian Youth, Masters and Open Surf Life Saving Championships, many of them taking all family members with them. 

However, along with all those who came in the first 6 across the line in Finals, winning points for their club, those who 'had a go' in the Youth and Masters disciplines are also listed this year. 

As surf life saving has creating great Australians as a core value and encouraging people to become all they can, it's good to remember that having a go can be more important than getting a go. If you try, you're already a winner, even if you don't win points or a medal. If you keep trying you are definitely giving yourself a go to do better than last time and bound to learn more, pick up new skills, and meet like-minded people along the way. So 'having a go' gets into the records here as well.

All of these local representatives, and more, runs as this Issue's Profile of the Week.


Astrovan Win 2024 Northern Composure Band Comp.

Councillor Miranda Korzy has sent through this photo of Astrovan - who apparently took out the 2024 Northern Composure Band Competition last night (April 20).

Congratulations Astrovan!

Bands through to the Grand Final, held Saturday 20 April, 7pm, at PCYC Dee Why, were:

  • Astrovan
  • Bangalley
  • Melaluka
  • Overnight Lows 

This year the grand finalists were supporting The Grogans as headline act - they're an Australian garage rock band from Melbourne. The trio consists of Quin Grunden, Angus Vasic and Jordan Lewis. Since forming in 2016, they have released four studio albums – most recently, Find Me A Cloud in 2023.

Astrovan released a new single called 'Whats Wrong With Olivia' in February. Their bio info states they're inspired by the best of Indie rock from the 2000’s and are a Mosman high school formed band a few years back. Cr. Korzy said they were spot on and incredibly tight live. The boys are focussed on composition and song writing - the bedrock of all great music.

Bangalley, named after a local Avalon/Whale Beach headland that itself was named for a tree, released 'For Molly' on March 17. Their Triple your Yays bio reads;- 'Indie Surf-Rock band, Bangalley, is comprised of 4 close mates that found their passion for crafting smooth, psychedelic, reggae tunes through their collective music taste. Inspired by their environments, experiences and each other; they look to reach their potential and create a strong relationship with their fans, one song at a time

Melaluka also have a brand new song out 'Already Done'; which is FULL ON!! and has a huge metal base. They too are a beaches outfit that play tight, fast and LOUD! REALLY LOUD!!!

The Overnight Lows are another local band, a trio and have a diverse music taste with influences from various genres including but not limited to Punk, Rock, Hip-Hop and Metal and are having a go in Unearthed High 2024. They are high energy outfit who ran 'Blanked Out' for the online voting part of the 2024 Band Comp - don't be fooled by the slow whimsical start to this piece, the lullaby soon turns into jump aroundness....

This year’s four finalists competed in an online heat, live semi finals shows and then the grand final, performing in front of a panel of industry experts and opening for this year’s headliner.

Competing bands were judged on five categories at the semi-finals and final:

  • Musicianship – Technical ability for singers and musicians 
  • Originality – Even when playing covers, have you put your own brand into the song
  • Stage Presence – How you interact with your audience and each other
  • Youth Audience Appeal – Do you appeal to a wide audience of 12-24 year olds
  • Overall Conduct – How you conduct yourselves as individuals and as a band

More next Issue - when we all return from our near and far wanderings over the Autumn school holidays break.

Congratulations Astrovan, Bangalley, Melaluka, Overnight Lows  and ALL who had a go in this year's band comp - great stuff.


Surfing Australia's Irukandjis Updates: 2024 ISA World Junior Surfing Championship Team Announced - Milla Brown Team Captain +  Irukandjis Team Now In El Salvador For The 2024 ISA World Longboard Championship

 17-year-old Dane Henry and 16-year-old Milla Brown who have been named team captains. Pics: Surfing Australia

Surfing Australia is excited to announce the 12 surfers who will represent Australia at the 2024 ISA World Junior Surfing Championship in El Salvador, next month.

The athletes have been attending a training camp at the Surfing Australia Hyundai High Performance Centre as they prepare for the waves of La Bocana and El Sunzal.

Surfing Australia Talent Pathway Coach, Peter Duncan, who is travelling with the Junior Irukandjis, said: "This camp is all about preparing them for the ISA's in El Salvador. We're going to throw different challenges at them, make sure they adapt and get the gist of what an ISA campaign is.

"The team consists of surfers from across Australia, who qualify either by winning the Woolworths Australian Junior Surfing Titles, winning the national rankings or through a wildcard system. The level of talent is unbelievable. These surfers are setting the benchmark in international standards, which is cool as well.

"The wave in El Salvador can be a nice, punchy kind of wave, which suits the Aussie style of surfing. We expect to see big combos and big turns and we expect the team to do pretty well. Sierra Kerr won individual gold last year. We ended up fourth overall but are hoping to get back into that top tier and take home gold this year. Isabella Nichols and Jacob Wilcox were in the last team to do that. And they're currently on the World Tour, so it's great to see the pathway and where you can get to from the ISA's."

14-year-old Charli Hately said: "This camp is about team bonding, figuring out what it's going to be like when we get over to El Salvador, heat drills and just having fun.

"Representing Australia on this team is amazing. I've never been to El Salvador before and I hear it's an amazing wave and the culture is amazing too. Our team is good on paper, so I think our chances are pretty good of winning. Sierra (Kerr) is amazing and has won it. I could only hope to do what she did."

17-year-old Dane Henry and 16-year-old Milla Brown have been named team captains.

"Being named captain is a huge accomplishment. I'm really keen to work with everyone. We have a really strong team and I think we have a good chance of getting gold so I'm hoping to get us there," Henry said.

"Looking forward to surfing with the crew and having as much fun as possible and hopefully leading the team to gold. It's a pretty big role, to be the captain alongside Dane, and pretty cool," Brown said.

The best junior surfers from every part of the globe will contend for medals at the ISA World Junior Surfing Championship, which will take place from the 3rd to the 12th of May. This championship has proved to be a direct pathway to the Olympic Games, with  Olympic Bronze Medallist Owen Wright, eight-time World Champion Stephanie Gilmore, two-time World Champion Tyler Wright and Sally Fitzgibbons among the past ISA World Junior Champions.

For more information visit the ISA event website.



Australia's Sailing Squad For America's Cup In Barcelona Announced 

Left to right: Sarah Hoffman, Lisa Darmanin, Miles Davey, Tash Bryant, Tom Needham, Nina Curtis - Image Credit: Nic Douglass, SAILOR GIRL HQ

The sailing squad for Australia’s 2024 America’s Cup challenge in the Unicredit Youth and Puig Women’s competitions in Barcelona was announced on Saturday, April 20, 2024, with a combined team of 13 sailors including several Olympic and Sail GP athletes, who are also members of the RPAYC, PBSC, ASC and Manly 16' Skiff Club.

The final Team Australia Challenge combined squad members are Tash Bryant, Nina Curtis, Lisa Darmanin, Miles Davey, Jack Ferguson, Sarah Hoffman, Tom Needham, Max Paul, Olivia Price, George Richardson, Cole Tapper, Zoe Thomson and Annie Wilmot.

America’s Cup winning skipper and Campaign Patron John Bertrand AO applauded the performances from the finalist field of 17 sailors saying the process of selection involved many analytical points from data and coaching observations to interviews, team building and skills assessment in order to assemble a formidable squad.

The training program will now intensify on the squad’s high-tech simulator to identify the team positions, with three female sailors also eligible in the under 25-year-old Youth category. The campaign also now aims for on water experience in the exceptional AC40 foiling monohull yachts that will be raced at the 37th America’s Cup where 12 nations will compete in the Youth and Women’s competitions.

The Emirates Team New Zealand new one-design AC40 foiling yachts, named World Sailing Boat of the Year in 2023, races with a crew of 4, two skippers and two trimmers, reaching speeds three times the wind speed up to 85klm an hour.  The controls run on hydraulic power and lift is off twin canting T-foils and steel foil wings. The cockpit crews are literally flying on water through the unique custom sail design. The yachts are supplied to each of the 12 teams as part of entry in the competition.

AC40 foiling yachts. Photos supplied

The Youth regatta starts in Barcelona on September 17th with the final scheduled for September 26th. The Women’s regatta starts racing on October 5th with the final to be staged amid the main AC75 America’s Cup racing program, on October 13th.

Bertrand declared “It’s game on!” now the sailors have been selected. “Barcelona is going to be a big deal. There's no question about it. I believe this project is of national importance. Our young athletes are red hot the way they come together.”

America’s Cup Regatta Director and legendary Australian sailor Iain Murray AM said this was a watershed moment in the race’s history to introduce women and youth at the elite level and an opportunity for Australia to re-engage with the sports pinnacle event.

“It's important to make the most of that contest and build for the future. You know, we have everything we need in this country. We just need to put it together, direct it, harness it, and get momentum. We want to bring the young sailors on, get them experience.

“We're at the top of the wave. We’ve got to paddle like hell.  We're showing that we're serious as a (sailing) country again,” he said.

Australia’s squad have been selected from over 130 original applicants. The two Australian teams will compete against host nation Spain and Cup holder New Zealand as well as UK, Netherlands, Canada, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, Italy, USA and France.

Find out more here: www.teamaustraliachallenge.org


Commendation For Newport Surf Club's President: Fit For Change Surf Program + Region Commanders Certificate Of Appreciation For Young Life Saver

Guyren Smith with his wife and daughter and Superintendent Sam Crisafulli of the NSW Police Force Youth Command. Photo: NSW Police

In November 2022, NSW Police Force Youth Command partnered with the Newport Surf Life Saving Club to integrate surf awareness, beach safety skills into a ‘Fit to Learn’ program involving at-risk and vulnerable youth from South West and Northern Sydney.

With the invaluable support of Mr. Guyren Smith, President of the Newport Surf Life Saving Club, the program also emphasised positive role modelling, achieved through presentations led by Ironman and Ironwoman athletes and police from the NSW Police Force Youth Command.

This collaborative effort not only equipped youth with vital life skills and fostered positive connections between police and Surf Life Saving Australia illustrating the power of community partnerships in addressing social challenges. Mr Smith has continued his support of the ‘Fit to Learn’ program, assisting with a total of four programs. Since it’s inception this program has developed so now participants graduate with the SLSNSW Surf Rescue Certificate qualification. The course has resulted in over 30 young graduates from across the entire Sydney Metropolitan area.

On the 11 April 2024, at a Capability, Performance and Youth Command  awards ceremony, Mr Smith received a Region Commander’s Commendation for his ongoing commitment, leadership and dependability in the delivery of these programs, and the positive impacts it has on the young people.

Mr. Smith said:

''It was an honour to receive a commendation on behalf of the club from the NSW police. 

Thank you to those that have helped out over these programs to deliver lifesaving skills and a great environment to the participants.''

A Region Commanders Certificate of Appreciation was also awarded to Koby Ell in recognition of the bravery he displayed in rescuing a young male from surf conditions on Sunday 21st January 2024 at the NSW Police Force Youth Command Annual Awards Ceremony, 

Koby was at North Maroubra Beach when he noticed a young male some distance from the shore who was struggling to keep his head above the water. With no lifeguards or equipment nearby, Koby ran into the water and swam to the aid of the struggling young male.

Koby managed to reach the young male and without the assistance of any equipment, pull him back to shallow water and complete a successful surf recuse. The young boy thanked Koby for his efforts and left the area safe and well.

In December 2023 Koby successfully completed the Fit For Change Surf Program, a partnership initiative between the NSW Police Force PCYC NSW and Surf Life Saving Australia, at Newport Surf Life Saving Club. 

Koby received training in beach safety and received a ‘Surf Rescue Certificate’ qualification.

By way of his actions, Koby has demonstrated bravery and the knowledge, skills and training he gained from the Fit to Learn Surf Live Saving program to successfully rescue the young male.

Guyren and Koby with their awards with J. Egbers, NSW Police and Superintendent Sam Crisafulli of the NSW Police Force Youth Command. Photo: NSW Police

About the NSW Police Force Youth Command 

NSW Police Force Youth Command seeks to work collaboratively with Police Districts and Police Area Commands, as well as local communities and agencies to reduce the contact of young people with the criminal justice system, as victims and offenders, through coordinated operational and stakeholder engagements.

Police Citizens Youth Clubs NSW's Rise Up Opportunities

Guyren and Koby's Awards have been signed by Gavin Wood APM, Assistant Commissioner of the Police Citizens Youth Clubs NSW.

PCYC NSW is a registered charity, whose mission is to empower young people to reach their potential through Police and community partnerships.

With over 66 clubs across the state, PCYC provides quality activities and programs in a safe, fun and friendly environment.

PCYC's aim is to engage with, and positively influence their 70,000+ youth members through mainstream sport, recreation, education, leadership and cultural programs.

In addition, PCYC work with at-risk youth to break the cycle of disadvantage through crime prevention, vocational education, youth capacity building and social responsibility programs to change the life outcomes of over 7500 youth per year.  

PCYC is a unique youth organisation operating in partnership with the NSW Police and community throughout NSW with a focus on early intervention to prevent and disrupt crime. It is a collaborative approach with PCYC NSW and industry leaders to achieve positive outcomes for young people and divert them from the criminal justice system.

RISEUP is a strategy developed by the NSW Police Commissioner, connecting disengaged young people to workplace opportunities.

RISEUP incorporates job ready programs, mentoring and vocational training for at risk youth aged between 15 and 18 to build their engagement with education, employment opportunities and the community. Although our primary focus is to return young people into the education system, it is appreciated that there are youth who are less likely to return and would benefit more from assistance to facilitate them into employment. These young people are the key participants of the RISEUP programs, facilitated by the NSW Police Force and PCYC NSW.

Find out more at: www.pcycnsw.org.au/programs/rise-up


Autumn 2024 School Holidays Fun That Won't Break The Bank: Explore All Those Pittwater Pathways To Public Lands & Reserves, Catch A Ferry, Take A Stroll, Have A Hike, Go Watching Whales, Dolphins, Birds

This Issue, as many of us look forward to spending some time with loved ones - and as we head into the Autumn school holidays break, a few ideas to get into the Great Outdoors or simply out and about.

You can go:

  1. whale watching - these giants of the sea are now making their way north
  2. bird watching - we're lucky here as you can look at birds that live in wetlands, along the shore and in the bus reserves - you just have to listen for them too in order to find some species
  3. there are some great walks - long ones, short ones, ones beside waters, ones that wend over hills beneath trees and have breath-taking views from the top of hills, ones 
  4. a ferry ride is a great way to see the estuary - you can catch one from Church Point Ferry Services or over to The Basin via Palm Beach Ferries and have...
  5. a picnic!

Here are some spots to visit and what to look out for if you want to do your own thing this Autumn break and enjoy living in the best place this side of the harbour bridge.

Take A Stroll, Take A Walk, Go On A Hike Along All The Pittwater Pathways To Public Land

Our good friends Joe Mills and Kevin Murray have been taking some great long walks for a few years now and provided us all with great insights on where yo go and what you may see along the way. These hikes mean you will need to pack some drinks and lunch to have at a nice chosen spot.

Even a short stroll can be a great way to get some sunshine and fresh air - either slowly or fast - along a favourite footpath or beside a creek. We have so many public footpaths wending all over our hills and up and down to the bays and waters where you can spend some time at one of any of these many reserves. Just look for one of these signs to find any of those paths:

Sometimes it will only look like this one at 320a Hudson Parade that leads down to Refuge Cove Reserve on Pittwater - another lovely little bay and Pittwater place of public land - you would have to choose when to visit that one though; low tide would be best:

Refuge Cove Reserve, Clareville is 1.16 hectares of public foreshore land and a nice spot for a sunny afternoon dip or a picnic - just remember to check the tides:

Refuge Cove Reserve

The group “Pittwater Pathways” have put an extensive, well research report into Pittwater Council which lists every pathway in Pittwater and the current state of these pathways as of May 2013.

That list of public pathways to public lands is in the PDF HERE so you can find them all and have a nice romp. Below this Kevin and Joe's lists of the walks they've shared with those of us who are less mobile so far - they have a few planned for this year too!

There's even history pages you can explore before or while you walk to find out a little more about how these places may have changed or who stood here in this same place and same season where you stand - just one hundred or two hundred years ago or more.


The view over The Basin from the Bairne Track walk - by Kevin Murray


Autumn In Pittwater 

Mullet creek waterfall - Ingleside-Warriewood-Narrabeen. Photo: George of Patonga, April 15 2024

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