The 2018 Aussies in WA turned back the sands of time on a history-making week on Scarborough Beach which saw some the fiercest finishes in over a century of Australian Championship competition.
All eyes are always on the premier ironman and ironwoman finals and they didn’t disappoint with the arrival of new champions in Manly’s Kendrick Louis and Noosa’s Lana Rogers – winning the coveted titles for their respective clubs for the very first time.
Northcliffe, with their virtually unstoppable Under 19s on the warpath and champion swimmer Bailey Armstrong winning the male competitor of the carnival took out a record-continuing 14th straight overall pointscore with 360 points from Newport (258) and Kurrawa (153).
Armstrong left Perth with his pockets lined with gold after his winning efforts in the Under 19 surf and belt double and Under 19 and Open surf teams and an agonising one that got away after he led till the last metres of the open surf race – only to be swamped by his rivals on a wave.
Female competitor of the carnival again went to Jemma Smith, the amazing Under 19 competitor from Umina on the NSW Central Coast who continues to turn her hand to everything – winning nine medals – two gold in the Under 19 Champion Lifesaver and Under 19 single ski; four silvers in the Under 19 ironwoman, open single ski, under 19s board race and board relay and three bronze medals in the Under 19 Taplin Relay, Rescue Tube Rescue and surf race.
While in the boat area Bateman’s Bay won the club’s first ever A grade final over former champions North Cronulla and Avoca and Northcliffe’s open women’s boat crew completed the mother of all seasons by taking out the gold medal ahead of Lorne and Palm Beach (NSW).
Sweep Damien Clayphan’s crew of Sara Watson, Tara Townsend, Penelope Hamilton and Rachel Clayphan are all mums, and Townsend and Hamilton both gave birth in the past 12 months.
And there were unprecedented scenes of celebration after the final event of the major water finals on Saturday afternoon when the Currumbin Vikings turned back the clock 40 years to win an emotional fourth Australian Taplin Relay title – the race all clubs value so much.
In a heartfelt interview after the win – that saw two members of the club’s under 19 winning team, Ky Kinsella and Corey Fletcher play key roles in the open victory, the club’s president Ben Munro dedicated the win to three club stalwarts John Munro, Annie Owen and Bonnie Alchin who had passed away during the 2017-18 season.
Club members swamped final paddler Fletcher who staved off challengers from Trigg island and Newport to claim a special victory with Kinsella, the kid from Coffs Harbour and other team members Hayden White, Jackson Maynard, Jayden Erskine and Joey Engel, prompting Munro to declare: “Last time we won it in 1978 with a team led by an Olympian (Steve Holland) and world champions, this time we’ve done it with a bunch of kids.”
There was also a history-making moment when the club’s latest Stawell Gift winner, Elizabeth Forsyth became the first female or male in Aussies history to win the open beach sprint and beach flags double in a competitive beach area with Kurrawa and Sorrento in dominant form.
The beach area also saw Sorrento’s favourite son Jackson Symonds become the fourth man to win four open beach sprint titles, the last man former Manly rugby league Kangaroo winger Nick Yakich in 1965.
The other two four-time winners were Manly’s Rex Phillips from 1932 to 1935 and another North Narrabeen legend, John Bliss, whose first two titles came in 1946 and 1947, and the next two were in 1952 and 1953.
For ironman winner Louis it has taken him a decade to turn his under 19 Australian titles from 2008 an 2009 into open gold a decade later – again berating Ali Day as he did back in ’09 and eight time champion Shannon Eckstein.
Taking a leaf out of unstoppable US swimmer Kate Ledecky’s book, 27-year-old Louis wanted to lead from the outset and that’s what he did from his opening heat until he crossed the line to add his name among the greats – but the first from the famous Manly club in the 50 odd year history of the event.
Fellow Manly paddler Stu McLachlan won his fourth open board final in a sky blue quinella with Harrison Stone, declaring his retirement after a great career than puts him third behind the greats Mick Porra (six) and Trevor Hendy (five).
Rogers, the 22-year-old daughter of two-time Olympian and former Clovelly surfing great Greg Rogers, was the popular pick all weekend and delivered in spades with what was close to the perfect race – dominating through all disciplines and winning Noosa’s first ever ironwoman crown since the first one in 1992 won by South Maroubra’s Sam O’Brien.
She raced away to beat two-time winner, Commonwealth Games champion swimmer Rebecca Creedy, who announced her retirement from professional ironwoman racing after her sterling silver with emerging Under 19 champion Lizzie Welborn (North Bondi) taking the bronze.
The golden Aussies for Noosa started with a dramatic history-making open surf race win to Australian open water champion Nick Sloman, who came from behind to snatch the gold with one final lunge over another open water star, Simon Huitenga (City of Perth) to start a string of dramatic finishes.
On the swim home it was Northcliffe’s own open water star Armstrong who had opened up what appeared to be an unassailable lead – getting to his feet, wading and then being caught by a wave that included Sloman, and fellow open water stars, defending champion Ollie Signorini (Newport) and 17-year-old Hayden Cotter (Maroochydore) who had already won his age group surf race and 2km swim.
All five got to their feet in a charge to finish and Sloman, coached by a former Maroubra surf star in John Rodgers (brother of the legendary Barry Rodgers) who added his name to the immortals like Ky Hurst and the great 1956 Olympian Jon Donohoe who had won the title 60 years ago, also at Scarborough Beach.
And the gold for Noosa and coach, ironman legend Darren Mercer, didn’t stop there when the popular picks delivered again to take out the women’s Taplin Relay with Rogers swimming ability truly matched by Jordan Mercer’s epic start on the ski and Electra Outram’s final leg on the board.
It was an all Sunshine Coast finish with Maroochydore and Alexandra Headlands making it an all Sunny Coast podium.
It was a successful weekend for the Maroochy nursery with the Black Swans – led by swim star Hayden Cotter (with wins in the Under 17 surf race and 2km swim) and all-rounder Tiarnee Massie (Under 17 leading the club to a seven-gold medal haul and the Under 17s trophy and a very bright future.
Alex combined all their resources to win the Lifesaver Relay with Steve Davies and his women’s boat crew combining with Jett Kenny (board), James Porter (ski), Cooper Williams (swim) and Thomas Baker (sprint).
While Noosa Heads had their share of glory, honours on Super Saturday in Scarborough saw the Vikings not only claim the Under 19 and open men’s Taplin but saw Prue Davies win the club’s first open women’s surf race and he rescue tube rescue – showing expert surfing skills to snatch the surf race gold after Noosa’s Kareena Lee had led into the wave area.
And not to be left out were dynamic Elouera board rescue team of Christopher King and Jake Evans won gold for the third year in a row in the Under 19s event, having previously won the Under 17 board rescue in 2016 and 2017.
Avalon Beach also had a great day in the boat area, claiming two gold medals, in the Reserve Grade final ahead of Collaroy and Ocean Beach and in the under-19 division ahead of Noosa Heads and Dicky Beach.
Palm Beach (NSW) won the surf boat relay earlier in the carnival and the club’s men’s under-23 crew won another gold medal, finishing ahead of Torquay and Caves Beach.
While one of the great surf boat clubs, Queenscliff with a remarkable sweeping effort from former National double ski champion Damien Daley, won the under-19 championship after doctors had told him he could never paddle a ski again and he turned his hand to sweeping.
His late father and Queenscliff immortal and champion boat sweep Peter Daley sure would be proud.
2018 AUSTRALIAN SURF LIFESAVING CHAMPIONSHIPS, Scarborough Beach, WA, Open Results:
Legend: Alexandra Headland (Alex), Albany (Albany), Anglesea (A’sea), Arcadian (Arcad), Bellambi (Bella), Brighton (B’ton, SA), Bilgola (Bilg), Binningup (B’up), Bondi (Bondi), Bribie Island (Bribie), Brunswick Heads (Bruns), Bundaberg (B’berg), Burleigh Heads Mowbray Park (Burl), Byron Bay (Byron), Bronte (Bron), City of Perth (City), Currumbin (Curr), Coogee (Coog), Coogee Beach WA (Coog B), Cronulla (Cron), Cott (Cottesloe), Coolum (Coolum) , Coolangatta (C’gatta), Collaroy (Coll), Cudgen Headland (Cudgen H), Esperance-Goldfields (Esp-G), Elouera (Elou), Fairhaven (F’Haven), Freshwater (Fresh), Fremantle (Frem), Glenelg (Glen), Grange (Gran), Henley (Henl) Hampton (Hamp) Helensburgh-Stanwell Park (Hel Stan Pk) Jan Juc (Jan Juc), Kurrawa (Kurr), Lennox Head-Alstonville (Lennox A’ville), Long Reef (L Reef), Lorne (Lorne), MacMasters Beach (MacM), Manly (Manly), Maroochydore (Maroochy), Maroubra (M’bra), Mermaid Beach (Merm B), Metropolitan Caloundra (Mel Cal), Mentone (M’tone), Mollymook (Molly), Mooloolaba (Mool), Mullaloo (Mull), Mudjimba (Mudj), Newport (N’port), Noosa Heads (Noosa), North Avoca (N Avoca), Northcliffe (N’cliffe), North Burleigh (N Burl), North Cottesloe (N Cott), North Cronulla (N Cron), North Steyne (N Steyne), Palm Beach (Palm B NSW), Ocean Grove (O Grove), Palm Beach (Palm B QLD), Point Leo (Pt Leo), Port Noarlunga (Pt Noar), Queenscliff (Queens), Quinns Mindarie (Quinns M), Redhead (R’head), St Kilda (St Kilda), Scarboro (Scarb), Seacliff (S’cliff), Shellharbour (Shell), South Curl Curl (Sth CC), South Maroubra (S M’bra), Southport (S’port), Surfers Paradise (Surfers P), Swansea Belmont (Swan Bel), Sorrento (Sorr, WA), Sunshine Beach (S’shine B), Swanbourne Nedlands (Swan Ned), Soldiers Beach (Soldiers) Tallebudgera (Talle), Terrigal (Terr),Thirroul (Thir), The Lakes (The Lakes), Toowoon Bay (T’woon B), Torquay (Torq), Trigg island (Trigg), Tweed Heads & Coolangatta (TH&C), Umina (Umina), Wanda (Wanda), Warilla Barrack Point (War BP), West Beach (W Beach)
Surf Race: Open: N Sloman (Noosa), S Huitenga (City), H Cotter (Maroochy).
U19: B Armstrong (N’cliffe), R Clout (N’cliffe), T Wilson (N’cliffe). U17: H Cotter (Maroochy), Z Morris (N’port), H Came (Cron). Over 24 Restricted: S Huitenga (City), L Ryan (N Burl), L Allan (N’cliffe). Surf Team: Open: Northcliffe, Newport, Surfers Paradise. U19: Northcliffe A, Northcliffe B, City of Perth. U17: Maroochydore, Newport, Umina.
Ironman: Open: K Louis (Manly), A Day (Surfers P), S Eckstein (N’cliffe). U19: M Coombes (N’cliffe), C Williams (Alex), T Gallagher (City). U17: Z Morris (N’port), B Hessel (Umina), A Palmer (Maroochy).
Beach sprint: Open: J Symonds (Sorr, WA), J Caldow (Curr), C Loughnan (Kurr). U19: C Rigby (Sorr, WA), M Hanna (Elou), J Smith (Wanda). U17: S Zustovich (Molly), C Scrivens (Grange), J Musika (Coog B). Beach Flags: Open: B Drysdale (N’port), J Gough (Kurr), J Lynch (N’port). U19: B Scrivener (Molly), S Beale (A’sea), M Hanna (Elou). U17: S Zustovich (Molly), L Alleyne (Bribie), T Baker (Alex). Beach relay: Open: Currumbin, Kurrawa, Newport. U19: Sorrento (WA), Wanda, Kurrawa. U17: Grange, Sorrento (WA), Coogee Beach (WA). 2km Beach Run Open: A Najem (Wanda), J Andersen (Elou), N Thompson (Cott). U19: H Miller (Mermaid), N Thompson (Cott), L Crawford (Wanda) U17: C Verco (N Bondi), J Collins (N’cliffe), B Hillen (Mull)
Taplin Relay: Open: Currumbin, Trigg Island, Newport. U19: Currumbin: Northcliffe B, Northcliffe A. U17: North Bondi, Newport, North Cronulla.
Single Ski: Open: W Bain (Mool), M Trim (N’port), R Fitzsimmons (Avoca). U19: J Collins (N Bondi), E Neville (Manly), Z Havard (N Bondi), U17: N Havard (N Bondi), F Armstrong (Avoca), W Jones (Byron).
Double Ski: Open: Trigg Island, North Burleigh, Northcliffe. U19: North Bondi, Trigg Island, Newport.
Ski Relay: Open: Manly, Trigg Island, Avoca Beach. U19: North Bondi, Manly, Avoca Beach. U17: N Havard (N Bondi), F Armstrong (Avoca), W Jones (Byron).
Board: Open: S McLachlan (Manly), H Stone (Manly), M Bevilacqua (Kurr). U19: H McAlpine (N’port), C Guthrie (Alex), C King (Elou). U17: J Murphy (Swan Bel), S Frost (Curr), W Taylor (N’cliffe).
Board Relay Open: Northcliffe, Surfers Paradise, Newport. U19: City of Perth, Alexandra Headland, North Cronulla. U17: Maroochydore, Kurrawa, Swansea Belmont. Board rescue: Open: Wanda, Noosa Heads, Newport. U19: Elouera, Northcliffe, Newport. U17: Northcliffe, Maroochydore, Avoca Beach.
Surf Boat: Open: Batemans Bay, North Cronulla, Avoca U23: Palm Beach, Torquay, Caves Beach. Reserve: Elouera, North Bondi, Mona Vale U19: Queenscliff, North Cronulla, South Curl Curl.
2km Ocean Swim: N Sloman (Noosa), B Armstrong (N’cliffe), S Huitenga (City). U19: T Wilson (N’cliffe), R Clout (N’cliffe), C Guthrie (Bondi). U17: H Cotter (Maroochy), H Came (Cron), L Kaye (N’port).
5 Person R & R: Open: Coogee, Wanda, Freshwater.
Champion Lifesaver: Open: M White (Alex), B Doughan (Alex), L Allan (N’cliffe). U19: J Moore (N’cliffe), C Cumner (Alex), C Linton (Alex). U17: R Zikarsky (Maroochy), B Regan (Mool), J Jenkins (N Steyne).
Rescue Tube Rescue: Open: Northcliffe, Mermaid Beach, Trigg Island. U19: Northcliffe, North Cronulla, Kurrawa.
Surf Belt: Open: J Carberry (Burl), D Little (R’head), B Rodgers (N Burl). U19: B Armstrong (N’cliffe), L Vitnell (Cronulla), T Ford (Cronulla). U17: Z Morris (N’port), W Taylor (N’cliffe), J Sergis (N’cliffe).
Board Riding: Open: J Davies (Cott), G Frost (Curr), T Morgan (Sorr, WA). U19: D Lewin (Trigg), T Nott (Wanda), O Line (Cott). U17: J Schram (Torq), F Armstrong (Avoca), R Thomson (Alex). Longboard: Open: J Davies (Cott), A Carroll (Bondi), R Thomson (Alex).
Surf Race: Open: P Davies (Curr), G Miller (N’port), H Brown (N’cliffe), U19: L Taylor (N’cliffe), N Scott (Manly), J Smith (Umina). U17: T Massie (Maroochy), K Fittock (Wanda), E Outram (Noosa). Over 24 Restricted: H Brown (N’cliffe), B Hancock (Kurr), J White (War BP).
Surf Team: Open: Northcliffe, Noosa Heads, Kurrawa. U19: Northcliffe, Wanda, Kurrawa. U17: Maroochydore, North Bondi, Sunshine Beach.
Ironwoman Open: L Rogers (Noosa), R Creedy (Kurr), L Welborn (N Bondi). U19: L Welborn (N Bondi), J Smith (Umina), N Scott (Manly). U17: N Owen (R’head), J Prowse (N’port), M Ward (Manly).
Beach sprint: Open: E Forsyth (Curr), N Kay (Kurr), B Masters (Kurr). U19: S McGovern (Coog), T Stickler (Kurr), N Hadfield (Cron). U17: C Mannix-Power (Cron), S Welsh (Kurr), S Rafferty (Sorr, WA).Beach Flags: Open: E Forsyth (Curr), B Masters (Kurr), O Eaton (Curr). U19: K Lewis (Molly), N Hadfield (Cron), J Yew (Thir). U17: A Rampoldi (N Cron), L Rampoldi (N Cron) M McWilliam (Alex). Beach relay Open: Kurrawa, Currumbin, City of Perth. U19: Kurrawa, Currumbin, Sorrento (WA). U17: Sorrento (WA), Alexandra Headland, Kurrawa. 2km Beach Run: E Coates (N’cliffe), B Williams (Swan Ned), M Simmonds (Swan Ned). U19: S Hogan (N Cott), L Costello (R’head), E Trinca (S’port). U17: H Jones (Scarb), C Murray (Albany), Z Welborn (N Bondi).
Taplin relay: Open: Noosa Heads, Maroochydore, Alexandra Headland. U19: Wanda: Northcliffe, Umina. U17: Sunshine Beach, Redhead, Wanda.
Single Ski: Open: D McKenzie (N’cliffe), J Smith (Umina), B Hancock (Kurr). U19: J Smith (Umina), N Scott (Manly), B Wildin-Snedden (Kurr). U17: A Fay (Maroochy), O Emanuel (Sunshine), J Massie (Maroochy). Ski relay: Open: Newport, Burleigh Heads Mowbray Park, Northcliffe. U19: Northcliffe, Alexandra Headland, Newport. U17: Maroochydore, Newport, Northcliffe. Double Ski: Open: Northcliffe, Alexandra Headland, Wanda. U19: Alexandra Headland, Maroochydore, Mermaid Beach.
Board: Open: H Brown (N’cliffe), J Mercer (Noosa), D McKenzie (N’cliffe). U19: L Welborn (N Bondi), J Smith (Umina), B Wildin-Snedden (Kurr). U17: N Owen (R’Head), G Harris (Torq), Z Hughes (N’cliffe). Board relay: Open: Newport, Northcliffe, Manly. U19: Kurrawa, Umina, North Bondi. U17: Redhead, Sunshine Beach, Newport. Board rescue: Open: Manly, Northcliffe, Newport. U19: Kurrawa, Wanda, Northcliffe. U17: Sunshine Beach, Newport, Wanda.
Surf Boat: Open: Northcliffe, Lorne, Palm Beach (NSW). U23: North Cronulla, Newport, Palm Beach (NSW). Reserve: Avalon Beach, Collaroy, Ocean Beach. U19: Avalon Beach, Noosa Heads, Dicky Beach.
2km Ocean Swim: K Lee (Noosa), H Gan (City), A Smiroldo (N’cliffe). U19: J Slee (Merm B), O Corrin (N’cliffe), I Rees (N’cliffe). U17: M Louw (N’port), E Holyman (Merm B), K Fittock (Wanda).
5 Person R & R: Open: Freshwater, Collaroy, North Cronulla.
Champion Lifesaver: Open: K Thornton (Alex), P Savage (N’port), T Jakubans (City). U19: J Smith (Umina), E Rudland (TH&C), M Murphy (Umina). U17: K Miller (Umina), Sarah McGrath (Maroochy) E Thornton (Queens).
Rescue Tube Rescue Open: Currumbin, Northcliffe, Maroochydore. U19: Cudgen Headland, Avoca Beach, Umina.
Surf Belt Open: G Miller (N’port), B Heilbronn (Alex), T Raymond (Burl). U19: C Rose Slaven (Burl), M Bellero (Alex), O Corrin (N’cliffe). U17: C Connor (Kurr), A Warne (Cudgen H), M Thomson (Trigg).
Board riding: Open: D Air (Thir), T Smith (N’cliffe), L McEwan (Denmark). U19: O Corrin (N’cliffe), H Lane (N Cron). A Moran (N’port). U17: D Air (Thir), S Boyd (Cudgen H), E Sillar (Queens). Longboard: T Smith (N’cliffe), D Air (Thirroul), L McEwan (Denmark).
Lifesaver relay: Alexandra Headland, Northcliffe, Newport.
6 Person Curlewis R & R: Wanda, Freshwater, Collaroy. 5 Person R & R: Open: Freshwater, Wanda, Collaroy. U19: Anglesea, North Cronulla, Coogee. U17: Coogee, Seacliff.
Double Ski: Half Moon Bay, Avoca Beach, Burleigh Heads Mowbray Park.
Mixed First Aid: Open: City of Perth, Freshwater B, Freshwater A. U19: Newport, City of Perth, Maroochydore. U17: Noosa Heads, Umina, Maroochydore.
Mixed Patrol Competition Open: Alexandra Headland, Northcliffe, Freshwater. U17: Noosa Heads, Jan Juc, Newport.
Surf Boat Relay: Palm Beach, Avoca Beach, Currumbin.
Northcliffe 360, Newport 258, Kurrawa 153, Maroochydore 146, Currumbin 134, Alexandra Headland 132, North Bondi 111, Wanda 107, Manly 85, Noosa Heads 82.