3 Waves: 129 Beaches

Former Surf Lifesaver of the Year, Andy Cross, from South Narrabeen SLSC has embarked on an enormous feat in 2014, to visit and surf a minimum of 3 waves at every beach in NSW that has a Surf Life Saving Club.

Starting on 10 March 2014, Andy has surfed 82 of the 129 NSW beaches patrolled by volunteer lifesavers. The aim is to talk to people about the Advanced Surf Life Saving Gold Medallion and share the Easy Pathway program that has been developed at South Narrabeen SLSC.

Andy is excited about the Gold Medallion course being more accessible.

"This program will make the job of the Chief Training Officer easier with any questions or enquires they may get from their members. It has worked really well at our club and within the Sydney Northern Beaches Branch," said Andy.

"Hopefully in time if more people set goals to do the course, the skill level of the whole organisation will lift. Those people who achieve the Gold will become mentors at their clubs and make us even more effective on the beaches," he added.

Andy has surfed at every beach on the Far South Coast, South Coast, Illawarra, Sydney, Central Coast, Hunter and Lower North Coast. Along the way he has surfed with everything from seals, sharks, dolphins, black swans and penguins to turtles, stingrays, manta rays, tonnes of seaweed and giant jellyfish.

Andy has also lost his car keys in the sand dunes of Stockton, got stuck at night on the beach for hours bogged in the sand, been stared down and chased by a Bikie Gang on the back streets of a small beach town, got to roadways covered by a flowing river of water, been chased out of the surf by a sea lion and been caught out by a wedding celebration while changing into his wetsuit.

In addition to promoting the Easy Pathway to the Gold Medallion, Andy is also sharing his knowledge about the 24/7 rescue program that Surf Life Saving NSW and Surfing NSW has developed with the support of the NSW Government, in order to teach recreational surfers about rescue techniques and CPR.

"I am hoping to build a bridge between surf lifesavers and surfers. We have so much to give to each other and more importantly, to the public on the beach and in the water.

"In my volunteering I have worked alongside many surf lifesavers, professional Lifeguards and surfers. Surf Life Saving and surfers are two different cultures but we have so many skills, benefits and experience we should be sharing," said Andy.

From here Andy plans to find time before the start of the 2014-15 patrol season to head up north and surf the Mid North Coast beaches, followed by the North and Far North Coast in October. He hopes to finish his 129 beaches challenge by December 2014 at South Narrabeen SLSC with a huge celebration.

"A huge thank you to everyone and every Surf Life Saving Club we've visited for their hospitality. My girlfriend Ang and I truly felt like one of the family," said Andy.

To keep up to date with Andy in his travels be sure to 'Like' the 129 Beaches Facebook page.

Fri 8 Aug 2014