Age Is No Barrier For North Coast's Surf Sports Stars

The 2014 NSW Surf Life Saving Opens Championships supported by ClubsNSW concluded on Sunday in brilliant fashion with a raft of finals across multiple disciplines including the Ironperson, Ski, Board, Surf Boat Rowing, Swim and Beach Flags.

North Coast athletes had a number of strong showings proving themselves to be the best in the state.

Ryan Beckett (Coffs Harbour) survived a bizarre U17s ski final winning the race running with his ski under his arm instead of riding it across the line after all the leaders got disoriented and went the wrong way at the end of the race.

“Well I’ve definitely never won a race like that before, it was crazy. We were all on the same wave coming in and for some reason everybody went too far to the right and we all missed the finish line so I had to run back,” laughed Ryan.

The Sawtell SLSC ladies continued their dominance from the Country Championships earlier in the year with Lauren Dam, Jessica Moore, Jayden Morgan & Isabella Underhill winning silver in the U19 Beach relay with Dam, Morgan, Underhill & Janica Duncombe getting a silver in the U17 Beach Relay. Jayden Morgan also finished third in the U17s Single Ski while Lauren Dam got a third silver in the U17 Board Race.

But perhaps the most incredible story from the North Coast was in the rowing where the 160s Masters Females led by 80 year old sweep, Albie Maxwell, won the bronze medal.

The team of Lindy Schofield, Fiona Tobin, Bernie Richardson and Rebecca Mitchell said they brought Albie out of retirement to sweep for them but Albie maintained that he’s never retired and has in fact been rowing for 63 years!

“I’ve coached at 15 different clubs in my time and I came back to Woolgoolga because no one ever hands this club anything. We all work so hard and do it for the love of the sport and that’s why I’m still here,” said Albie.

The top 10 clubs in the overall pointscore were as follows:

1.) Newport SLSC
2.) Manly LSC
3.) Wanda SLSC Inc
4.) North Cronulla SLSC
5.) Elouera SLSC
6.) Cronulla SLSC
6.) Swansea Belmont SLSC
7.) Helensburgh-Stanwell Park SLSC
8.) Avoca Beach SLSC
9.) Queenscliff SLSC
9.) Freshwater SLSC
10.)Collaroy SLSC

Next week the 2014 NSW Surf Life Saving Championships conclude with the Masters Championships and for all results including the overall pointscore, please visit the 2014 NSW Surf Life Saving Opens Championships event page.

Pending final Council approval the NSW Championships will return to Ocean Beach/Umina in 2015 with final dates yet to be determined.

Mon 10 Mar 2014