January 24 - 30, 2021: Issue 480


The Perfect Weekend Of Surf: Manly's Open Carnival & Freshwater Open Carnival - Australia Day Long Weekend 2021

No one around here needs to be told that a lot of local Surf Life Saving carnivals and ocean swims have been postponed or cancelled so far during the 2020/2021 Season. For months local clubs and officials have worked towards running what they can and planning for the future. With just over 19,500 Members in the SLS SNB Branch, there have been many looking towards the eastern horizon wondering when they will get to race beside each other again.

This weekend Branch is Back! 

The Manly LSC and Freshwater SLSC have joined forces once again to bring you some fast and furious racing across two days - Saturday January 23rd at Manly and Sunday January 24th at Freshwater.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, this year’s event are being conducted with block racing, starting with all male races and followed by all female races for water events. This year there was a dedicated event for the R&R and March Past at Freshwater on the Saturday. 

The Surf Boats - the U19's and U23’s ran on Saturday, with Opens and Reserves on Sunday, hosted by North Steyne SLSC. This is the club's second time running this event and with the recent lockdowns it is sure to be a great turnout and some exciting racing. 

Known as the Manly Open (Saturday) and Freshwater Open (Sunday) this is one of the bigger carnivals each year and attracts members from across the Sydney region with Members from clubs outside the branch area have travelled to join in.

The past week and a bit has already been busy for the Surf Life Saving Sydney Northern Beaches Branch members - apart from responding to call outs, Nippers attended the SLSSNB Surf Intensive Camp while the 26 Finalists in the Sydney Northern Beaches Junior Lifesaver of The Year took part in a Workshop facilitated by the Member Services Team on January 15th and this week faced their interviews. Friday January 29th will see Branch host the Presentation at Branch Office. Congratulations to all Finalists!

This week the 2021 Surf Life Saving Sydney Northern Beaches Branch Championships will commence and will be run until March 27th 2021 across beaches from Manly to Palm Beach in all age divisions. The scope of what's involved and the amount of work being done by members can be seen on this dedicated webpage: surflifesaving.net.au/surf-sports/carnivals/2021-slssnb-branch-championships

Prevalent at Saturday's events was a joy to simply be able to get back beside each other in the water and on the sand and back into their sports. 

Every Carnival held locally, at state or national level has always emphasised that spirit of being one family on the sand with that competitive edge being honed against mates to push each other as individuals to go a bit further, try a bit harder, reach to fulfil and exceed individual potential not only in fitness but in skills learned, knowledge processed, experience honed. The esprit de corps is the constant, runs like waves or wind furrowed sand through the whole complex, and is what each single person catches and stays with and what stays with them as a result.

This Season of Surf Sports that is what is making anyone and everyone a winner; whether a competitor who turns up and has a go, an official who turns up and helps run the events, or those working unseen to make it happen, or those staying at home waiting to hear how your day went so it's not too crowded on the beach. 

And that means you have all already won.

It may be in part the opposite of what we're used to and like doing - but every time you do get to do what you LOVE doing for a minute, that's another day 100% won.

A few photographs by Bill Sheridan of the next generation of surf boat champions, already, taken on Saturday.