AUSSIES Wrap – Day 1 Youth Championships – 16 April
More than 700 young surf life savers from the U14 and U15 age groups gathered from across the country, with Maroochydore and Mooloolaba Beaches hosting the first day of competition.
In the U14’s it was Cooks Hills’ Alexander Walker who had the crowd on their feet, claiming the triple crown with gold in the U14 Ironman, Swim and Board.
“It’s incredible, it is so overwhelming it is such an amazing feeling to have completed the triple,” Walker said.
“The team at Cooks Hill and everyone is just so friendly, and we all work together at training to help each other improve as athletes and it is just a great atmosphere. It was great to come out here today and do it for them,” he said.
In the U14 Ironwoman final, a close run up the beach saw North Curl Curl’s Dominique Melbourn (North Curl Curl) claim her first Australian gold medal after taking silver earlier in the day in the swim race.
“It’s such an unreal experience and I’m so lucky to have achieved the Australian title,” Melbourn said.
“It’s surf and anything can happen, so I wasn’t confident until the end – but once I got down that last wave I got pretty excited.
“The club is really a team environment and we all work together so well, pushing each other through training. But nothing pushes us more than our coach Michael Clues.
“He’s such a determined coach and he just wants the best out of us and as it’s shown so far this weekend he’s definitely done that,” she said.
Former NSW Ironman legend and proud Wanda man Nathan Smith is helping usher through the next generation, with one of the Club’s stars Fletcher Warn taking out the U15 Ironman crown.
“Shout out to Nathan Smith and Greg Pierce for entering all the kids, none of this would have happened without you guys so thank you very much,” Warn said.
“To win it is just incredible. That was one of the scariest moments I have ever been in, I can’t, I pulled up onto the wave and I was like oh no cause I know he could run fast, so I had to get off and just run to get there.”
Jayda Kempton from Burleigh Heads Mowbray Park SLSC won the U15 Female Surf Race, a win that took her a bit by surprise.
“I’m a bit shocked actually – I went in to just have a go and I had no expectations to do as well as I did so I’m super happy,” Kempton said.
In the beach arena at Maroochydore the crowd was on it’s feet for the teams from Coogee, taking out both the U15 Female Beach Relay and the U15 Mixed Beach Relay Aussies titles and a Bronze medal in the U15 Male Beach Relay.
Eden Levitt from Coogee SLSC also took out a Bronze in the U15 Female Sprint and said she had no doubt in her mind that the two Beach Relay teams could get the Gold.
“Definitely two, I trust the relay team a lot, but it’s all experience it’s all new for all of us, there’s a lot to learn and A lot more to go,” Levitt said.
The local crew from Maroochydore took out the U15 Male Beach Relay ahead of Metropolitan Calounrda and Coogee with their coach saying the crew practiced changeovers multiple times to make sure they got it right.
“It’s exceptional for the young lads, they raced their hearts out and in such amazing competition awesome stringing a run together like that,” the Maroochydore coach said.
“The practiced over and over and over on the wrong side, upside down and forward and backwards and they’ve done it.”
The Australian Surf Life Saving Championships will be held on the Sunshine Coast from 16-24 April, with more than 5,900 competitors going head-to-head across three beaches and nine action packed days of competition.
Daily Aussies Podcast
Tune into the first episode of the Daily Aussies Podcast – Surf Studio: Aussies Edition
For a full list of today’s results, click here.
To watch today’s livestream, featuring the U14 and U15 Surf, Board and Ironperson Finals, click here.
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For further details about the Aussies and any other information head to – https://sls.com.au/aussies/