Countdown to State Champs

Excitement continues to build on the Central Coast as the 2015 NSW Surf Life Saving Championships draw ever closer.

With less than a week before competition gets underway with the Lifesaving Competition, the first of three events making up the NSW Championships, Gosford City Mayor Lawrie McKinna today joined club representatives and local athletes for a launch at Umina SLSC.

Mayor McKinna noted the continual economic benefits that hosting the championships have brought to the region.

“This event has provided a continued boost for tourism and small businesses in Umina Beach and the surrounding suburbs, generating an estimated $15 million for the Gosford City Local Government Area over the last few years.”

“I would like to wish all the competitors the very best of luck, and encourage everyone to enjoy the show,” Cr McKinna said.

Umina’s Jemma Smith will be hoping her red-hot run of form continues when competition gets underway in just over a week’s time. The 16-year-old dominated at the Central Coast Branch Championships last weekend winning all the U17 water events, and backed it up to claim gold in the open surf race as well.

Smith, who thrives on challenges, said she can’t wait to test herself against the best athletes the state has to offer on her home turf.

“It’s great to be able to host the championships again at my home beach. It’s always a friendly atmosphere and it will be wonderful to see so many familiar faces in the crowd.

“I’ve been involved in the State Champs since I was eight years old, and with both my mum and sister competing as well it’s going to be a lot of fun,” she said.

It’s been a big week for the family with younger sister Bronte recently named as one of two Central Coast finalists for the Junior Lifesaver of the Year.

Jack Moyes from Terrigal is hoping familiarity with the conditions gleaned from his time working as a lifeguard at the beach will give him a boost during what he believes will be highly competitive racing at the State Championships.

“It’s great being able to have it in our local area, and because I’ve spent some time working there I’m familiar with the rips, tides, and other conditions so hopefully I will be able to use it to my advantage.

“A couple of years ago in my first open swim I was leading the race until a couple of the other boys managed to catch a wave and go past me. That’s just how it goes sometimes,” Moyes said. “I’ve got fingers crossed for some good weather this time around, and hopefully we will be able to have some consistent sets.”

The 22-year-old has been training hard both individually and with his club-mates, and feels his time spent competing in the Ironman Series will prove beneficial in what looms as a hot-field.

“We’ve been pretty lucky and had some good competition over the last couple of weekends on the Coast. We’ve got a good crew at Terrigal and we’re looking forward to testing ourselves against the big boys.”

The 2015 NSW Surf Life Saving Championships will be co-hosted by Ocean Beach and Umina SLSCs and is proudly supported by ClubsNSW and Gosford City Council.

More than 7000 competitors from all over NSW, along with 600 volunteer officials and up to 15,000 family and spectators are expected to attend the Championships.

Lifesaving Competition 28 February - 1 March 2015
Age Championships 6-8 March 2015
Masters Championships 11-12 March 2015
Open Championships 13-15 March 2015

Tue 24 Feb 2015