NSW clubs grab the early gold at Aussies 2019
The Australian Youth Surf Life Saving Championships got off to an eventful start at North Burleigh beach on Saturday, with 1000 competitors from across the country in action on the Gold Coast.
The under 14 and under 15 individual champions were added to the history books in the Surf Race, Board and Beach Sprint. The choppy and blustery conditions provided exciting competition. But the rainy conditions couldn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the competitors and spectators.
There was plenty to cheer about for the New South Wales clubs, winning 11 of the 15 finals, including four gold to Newport SLSC.
Newport had a clean sweep in the u14 Board Race. Twins Jake and Mitchell Morris went 1-2, and Bailey Clues claimed bronze.
Mitchell also won the Surf Race earlier in the day. His clubmate Joel Piper took out the u15 Board.
“It was great in that swim I went hard, I was out in front and then that wave comes and they (rest of the field) were right there as well but that’s surf,” Mitchell said.
“You’ve got to move on to the next race with your head screwed on and just go hard… I was lucky to get that runner all the way in.”
Nathan Robinson from Warilla Barrack Point, south of Wollongong, was too good in the male u15 surf race.
Kimberly Doyle, twin of Katelynn, from Newport won the u14 Surf Race, while Lily O’Sullivan was led from the start and showed her great skills in the u15 Surf Race for Cudgen Headland.
“I saw Bailey (Day) on the wave and I just told myself to keep swimming, swimming,” O’Sullivan said.
“I knew to go hard off the start and not get hit by the waves and get into the lead. I’m really happy with that and I hope the rest of the finals go as well.”
Maroochydore’s Jamie Perkins got the first win for the Sunshine Coast region in the u15 Board Race, while Lily Fanati got a win for North Bondi in the u14 Board.
The Ironman and Ironwoman finals were postponed until 830am on Sunday (local time), as there was a sighting of a marine creature near North Burleigh before the Board finals.
Competition was immediately suspended while a search was conducted, in which no further sightings were made.
In accordance with event procedures, competition was suspended for 60 minutes. When action resumed the Board finals were completed but there was not time to complete the coveted Iron finals.
On the Beach Track, there were no delays and plenty of speed. Grace Hewitt got a great start and hung on in the u15 Sprint. She will be the talk of Fingal Bay, in NSW, after winning the title but she was humble in victory.
“It was an honour to represent my club and I want to thank my coach,” Hewitt said. She also thanked her only sponsors, her parents.
Zara Lammers from Wanda SLSC won a close finish in the u14.
Peter Thoroughgood from Eloura SLSC won comfortably in the u15’s. There were plenty of cheering from the Currumbin Vikings for Vincent Whatmough. It was enough to get him home in the u14 Sprint.
“Thank you very much it means a lot. To be the national champion feels amazing and sounds amazing. I can’t wait to tell everyone at school.”
The last final for the day was the u15 male Beach Relay. Cronulla SLSC took the honours from shire neighbours Eloura SLSC, with Alexandra Headlands from the Sunshine Coast the bronze.
The first event of the day was the under 15 Mixed 2 Person R&R, with Townsville Picnic Bay SLSC taking the gold and bronze. With North Cronulla in silver.
The second and final day of the youth events at #Aussies2019 will continue at North Burleigh with the Ironman finals before the Board and Surf team events. The 2km beach runs will commence from 7am (local time) and the action in the surf starts from 830.
At the southern end of Burleigh there will be 300 competitors, of all ages, contest the ocean swim from 745am.
On Monday the 2019 Australian Surf Life Saving Championships will move to Broadbeach for the start of the Masters events, with the Open events from Wednesday to Sunday.