The penultimate day of competition at the 2019 Australian Surf Life Saving Championships offered plenty of excitement with action extending across two beachfronts.
Former Australian Ironman Champion Nathan Smith partnered with Hayden Allum for Wanda SLSC to win the Open Male Board Rescue.
The pair outperformed an all-star line-up that boasted Ironman finalists including Matt Bevilacqua and Matt Poole who combined to finish eighth.
The field was close until the final moments when the Wanda pair picked up a wave.
“We were neck and neck with Bevy and Pooly and I’m on the back so I had a look around for the waves and saw a couple of bumps coming and I screamed we’ve got to get on the back of this little one to get us a chance to get big one, and we really lifted,” Smith said.
“Tezza (Allum) sets the tempo and I just play catch up.”
The pair were stoked to cross the line in first.
“The water was working in my favour, the race was wonderful, it’s brilliant going back to back with Smithy,” Allum said.
James Rosato and Mitchell Coombes (Northcliffe) won the U19 Male Board Rescue, their long-term partnership providing dividends.
“We’ve been board racing partners for four-five years now coming through the age groups and we’ve been in that race for the past five years at Aussies and never actually medalled in this race so to come straight to a gold is special,” Coombes said.
Northcliffe’s Cory Hill and Mackenzie Hynard the Open Male Double Ski in an event that didn’t go as expected.
“We’re the only ones on that last wave,” Hill explained.
“I couldn’t believe it, I thought we were all going to be pushing over and having a sprint finish so to get to enjoy that last 50 metres was unreal.
Thomas Hughes and Dodge Newton won Manly’s first evet U19 Male Double Ski.
“We knew we were top four coming in and we knew we wanted a medal,” Hughes said.
“Our coach told us Manly had never won this event before and we knew we wanted to make history.”
Ironwoman champion Lana Rogers showed off her swimming prowess as she secured her first gold of the 2019 Aussies in the Open Female Surf Belt race. The race came down to mere metres between Lana and Prue Davis from Currumbin, but it was Lana’s hours in the pool that paid off as her hand flew into the air and she snatched the gold for the Noosa Heads team.
“It came down to the last couple of metres.” Rogers said.
“I think the Currumbin girl went slightly right than what I did and it worked out that my can was right in front of me.”
The result is perhaps a sign of more good things to come this weekend.
“An Australian title gives you that little confidence boost especially into a big finals day.”
Northcliffe’s Georgia Miller was off to a cracking start in the Open Female Board Rescue, reaching the cans before any other in the final. Maddy Dunn followed with the paddle as fellow Northcliffe competitor Hannah Sculley was following closely behind. Maddy and Georgia managed to storm home, but with Kurrawa nipping at their heels the girls from Northcliffee had to sprint across the line to secure the Gold.
“We love doing board rescue together, definitely helps that we’re such good friends. We never actually practice so to win is incredible,” Dunn said.
Alexandra Headland won the Open Female Ski Relay, the team bolstered by Olympian Alyssa Bull who was powerful off the start line and dominated the first leg.
Lucinda Kelly maintained the lead with ease, gunning for home just as second and third where starting to come around the cans.
Tiarne Raymond was under pressure from Northcliffe’s Hannah Sculley in the third, who was quickly closing the distance between first two paddlers. But a late set gave Tiarne the push she needed to cruise home and secure gold for her Alexandra Headland team. For Ali and Lucinda this is the second gold for the 2019 Aussies, after winning the Open Doubles Ski yesterday afternoon (Friday).
Honours went to Maroochydore in the U19 Female Ski Relay after the team got off to a great start thanks to Tiarne Massie. She made it past the break and into the clear giving Alicia Faye an easy second leg around the cans. It was Ali Clark who had to power home through flat water after a wave out the back brought second and third storming through to steal the girl’s Gold. This was the second Aussies Gold for Tiarnee Massie and Ali Clark, who yesterday (Friday) won the U19 Board Relay.
In the U19 Female Board Rescue Alexandra Headland’s Morgan Bellero and Olivia Heaton won gold from Wanda’s Emily Eaves and Rachel Sothern.
Defending Ironwoman champion Lana Rogers (Noosa) won the Open Female Belt Race in a close finish.
Ellie Halliday (Alexandra Headland) was first out the back and first on the podium in the U19 Female Surf Belt Race.
“I’ve been training pretty hard in the pool,” Halliday said.
“Hard to get up and keep going in the morning but I did manage to pull out the win thanks to my pool swimming.”
Jemma Smith, Mimi Henderson, Bronte Smith, Rachel Wood won the Open Female Rescue Tube Rescue with a sprint finish against Currumbin.
Analiese Melbourn, Maddison Louw, Emily Doyle, Jamie Prouse (Newport) won U19 Female Rescue Tube Rescue gold with a sprint finish up the beach.
For full results from The Aussies 2019 <click here>