Aussies open competition underway on the Gold Coast
The first day of Open events at the Australian Surf Life Saving Championships got underway at Broadbeach on Wednesday.
The Ironman heats saw all the big names progress through to the next round without any concerns.
Shannon Eckstein competing in his final Aussies Ironman, as a professional, eased through to the finals. His brother Caine won his heat, as did other local favourites Ali Day, Matt Poole and Matt Bevalacqua.
“We had a pretty good heat and only six made it through, so makes it pretty cut throat… in these sort of conditions, you can’t make any mistakes” Caine Eckstein said.
All eyes have been focused on Caine’s brother’s farewell to Ironman racing with Caine admitting he’s looking forward to racing alongside him in the Ironman.
“You just get out there, think about yourself and have a good one but I’m sure he’ll be pretty switched on when it comes to Sunday, and trying to get that last Ironman (title) and try and get a win.
“We’ve got Taplin relay last event, I’m sure he’ll be pretty focused for that. So, I’ll just worry about myself, and I’m sure he’ll be firing. It’ll be awesome to be in that final with him and hopefully it’d be awesome to go one, two. So, see how we go,” said Eckstein.
Defending champion Kendrick Louis from Manly and Rhys Burrows from the Sunshine Coast also had solid wins in the heats.
This was the inaugural Aussies for the Surf Boat Short Course events, and both South Curl Curl crews are celebrating.
The female crew known as the ‘Straw Hats’ beat Somerton SLSC with Mona Vale getting the bronze. The Curl Curl champions are Charlotte Walters, Sophie Coolican, Mark Spiteri, Ellie Winstanley, Lara Campbell.
The Curl Curl men Rob Lowery, Christopher Hughes, Trent Rogers, Michael Egan and Jordan Thurlow were the other champions.
In the Open Women’s competition, the Board Relay showcased the great depth of the Northcliffe women’s ranks, the Club taking out the the gold and bronze medals.
The champion team got off to a strong start through Hannah Sculley, who handed over to Georgia Miller and then Danielle Mckenzie brought it home. It was a special title for Miller.
“This is my first gold with Northcliffe and I’ll get my cap number which is so special and to do it with these two is incredible,” Miller said.
“We’ve all had a really big season so I know this one means a lot to us. It just really sets up the carnival for the rest of it.”
Olivia Heaton, Lani Pallister and Emma Woods won the silver for Alexandra Headlands. Bronze medallists – Grace Rosato, Courtney Hancock and Maddy Dunn – are all expected to feature prominently in finals over the next four days.
For full results from the #Aussies2019 go to https://aussies2019results.sls.com.au
Competition will resume at 8am on Thursday with a revised schedule, due to some races postponed due to the blustery conditions.