Bondi Build Narrow Lead After Masters Day 1

The 2016 NSW Surf Life Saving Masters Championships looks set to go down to the wire with Bondi Surf Bathers Life Saving Club holding a slender lead over reigning champions Queenscliff after an exciting day of competition at Ocean Beach – Umina.

North Bondi SLSC, Coogee, and hosts Umina round out the top five positions on a day where the first four clubs cracked the 100 point barrier.

A helpful east-south-east swell was enthusiastically greeted by the competitors on Wednesday morning with the water entrants keen to make the most of the conditions.

There were a number of outstanding performances on the opening day of Masters with many of the competitors winding back the clock as they looked to get their competition off to the best possible start.

Cudgen Headland’s Nadine Canning who is competing in her first Masters State Titles began her career with a bang winning 5 gold medals in the 30-35 Swim, Rescue Tube, Ironwoman, Ski, and Board Race.

“This is my first year in Masters so it’s a little different. It’s pretty relaxed and a lot of fun. I’m still doing Opens on the weekend so this is just a little bit more chilled out! It’s good to have a hit-out before the big stuff on the weekend,” she said.

Another multiple gold medallist on the first day of competition was Terrigal clubbie and reigning Masters Athlete of the Year Paul Lemmon who took out the 40-49 Board, Swim, and Ironman, and finished with a bronze medal in the Rescue Tube.

The Ironman was Paul’s 9th straight State Title and he was delighted with the performance believing it’s a reflection of all the hard work he has been doing at training.

“This is the time of year that you want to be performing so I’m very happy and the key is now staying illness and injury free,” Lemmon said.

Chad Poland (Nowra-Culburra SLSC) has only been back in the country for a little over a week after a 7 month deployment overseas, and the endurance star picked up where he left off claiming two silver medals in the 2km Run, the 30-34 Board Race, and Gold in the Ironman.

Collaroy’s Ross Langbein again highlighted why he can still match it with the younger competitors on the sand around Sydney Northern Beaches winning the 30-34 Beach Sprint/Flag double for an impressive 4th straight year.

“You’ve got to go out there and enjoy the competition and enjoy what you do, that’s why I keep coming back every year,” Langbein said.

“I’ve still got one more year in this age group so hopefully I can aim for 5 that would be nice!” For many of these competitors, today marked the day that they could finally consider themselves a state champion and for some it had been a very long wait.

Michael Waghorn (Caves Beach) won the 35-39 Beach Flags event after years of seconds and thirds, and was delighted to finally get his hand on a gold medal.

“I’ve been at Caves Beach for 30 years now so it is great to win gold for them,” he said. Another athlete who had plenty to smile about was Craig Burke (Warilla – Barrack Point SLSC) who helped himself a hat-trick of gold in the 40-44 Rescue Tube Race, Ironman, and Swim.

Attention now switches to the team events for the second day of competition with plenty more memories set to be made.

The 2016 NSW Surf Life Saving Championships are proudly supported by ClubsNSW. Day 2 of the Masters Championships will continue on Thursday 10 March before the Open Championships get underway from Friday 11 – Sunday 13 March.

Masters Point Score:

  • Bondi Surf Bathers LSC 214
  • Queenscliff SLSC 189
  • North Bondi SLSC 179
  • Coogee SLSC (NSW) 122
  • Umina SLSC 99
  • North Entrance SLSC 98
  • Toowoon Bay SLSC 98
  • Wanda SLSC 97
  • Manly LSC 93
    Palm Beach SLSC (NSW) 93

Wed 9 Mar 2016