Athletes Master Aussies
The state’s best Masters competitors showed they’ve lost none of their class with an outstanding medal return at the recently completed Australian Surf Life Saving Championships held on the Gold Coast writes Kirstie Holway.
The Australian Masters Championships popularly known as “The Aussies” is the premiere surf sport event of its type on a national scale and is open to 10 age groups ranging from those who have just turned 30 through to Over 70.
NSW athletes underscored their dominance with a grand total of 318 made up of 110 gold medals, 104 silver and a 104 bronze throughout the two-day competition.
There was a number of sensational results both in the sand and on the surf.
NSW dominated the 45-49 years men’s sprint with Adam Gee (Warriewood), John-Paul Smith (Salt) and Simon Preston (Coogee) taking out all three medals in this hotly contested race.
Queenscliff’s Stephen Nelson was in scintillating form on the beach claiming gold in both the 55-59 years sprint and flags. Mr Nelson competed in his first Australia Championships in 2007, since then he and his wife Annabel have enjoyed competing each year.
“I love the competition and meeting knew people, I have made many new friends through the Aussie Championships,” he said.
The couple are very keen excited for next year’s Aussie and have already looked into booking accommodation for the event.
The Men’s 70+ years were extremely successful as an age group taking out gold and silver in the sprint, all three medals in the double ski as well as all three medals in the flags event.
In the 45-49 years male events Terrigal’s Paul Lemmon dominated the surf, Ironman and rescue tube events, taking away gold medals in each.
In the 45-49 year female sprint Coogee had plenty of success with Sharon Deans taking out first place, followed by her club mate Linda Walsh earning silver.
Queenscliff had a successful turn out in the 55-59 years Female Events, taking out all three medals in the sprint and silver and bronze in the flags event.
Merrilee Linegar took out first in sprint and second in flags. Merrilee does three beach training sessions a week as well as yoga and regular ocean swims.
The comradery of her Queenscliff team mates continues to motivate and inspire her. Mrs Linegar states with confidence “Yes, I will definitely be returning next year”.
NSW claimed the victory of all three places in the 65-59 year’s female sprint; their success did not finish there as they walked away with all three medals from the flags event as well.
Queenscliff and Toowoon bay declared triumph in both the 200 and 230 years female beach relay placing first and second respectively.
The surf boat event was another great success for NSW clubs with North Cronulla, Avalon Beach and Bilgola bringing home a clean sweep in the 180 Years Female Surf Boat Race.
NSW athletes claimed all three medals for the 65-69 years female board, ski and iron women events.
Surf Life Saving NSW Sports Officer James Trickey described the Aussie Masters Championships as a “Great way for competitors to face off against the best of the best in the country”.
“Having such a strong Masters contingent is ideal for surf lifesaving in NSW. Having such wise heads involved, whether it be competing, officiating or coaching can only mean the grassroots levels will continue to improve,” Mr Trickey said.
For full results from the 2017 Australian Surf Life Saving Masters Championships Please Click Here
Photograph - Competitors from Mona Vale SLSC in action at the 2017 Australian Surf Life Saving Championships. Credit - Harvpix
Fri 31 Mar 2017