Country Champs Profile: Dale Finch

With just four sleeps until the 2016 Stramit NSW Country Surf Life Saving Championships get underway, it’s time to get to know the athletes looking to write their name into the annals of the history of this longstanding and popular event.

When he’s not busy with his university commitments in Armidale, Wauchope teenager Dale Finch is putting in the hard yards in the waters around his club.

The talented Wauchope-Bonny Hills member is hoping that the effort will pay off when he heads to South West Rocks later this week for the Country Championships.

A popular member of his team, Dale has previously tasted success at Country Championships level in the team events, and also enjoyed favourable results at the Mid North Coast Branch Championships.

He’s hoping to replicate that success at this year’s championships and is looking forward to catching up with friends from across the lifesaving movement while also getting the opportunity to pull on his beloved club cap once more.

Name:

Dale Finch

Club:

Wauchope Bonny Hills SLSC

Age Group:

U/19

Events you are planning to contest:

Every event I can possibly go in.

Previous appearances or results at Country Champs or other major events:

Country Champs 2012 and 2013. Silver in the U/19 Rescue Tube Rescue at Country Champs in 2013. I was also part of the U/19/Open Mid North Coast Branch Rescue Tube Rescue team that placed 3rd at the recent Interbranch Championships.

How long have you been involved in surf lifesaving?

Since I was in U12s.

What do you enjoy most about being a member of a surf lifesaving club?

I enjoy the atmosphere around the club, the people you meet, and the skills you learn. Wauchope Bonny Hills has provided me with so many opportunities, and I hope I can continue to give back to the club into the future.

How has your training been going for the Country Championships?

Training at the moment has been going really well although I’ve had to miss a few sessions due to work commitments, and it being the holiday period. I have been training under the guise of Peter Smith in the Surf Ski.

I have been co-training the Wauchope Bonny Hills Board squad with Lachie and Gary Hawkins, A lot of my training is done out in Armidale which is where I spend most of my year as I go to university at UNE.

What are your goals for the Championships and the rest of the season?

For country I would like to medal in a few of the team events while also competing in the sand events like the Sprints, Flags and 2km beach run. As for the rest of the season I would like to defend my U/19 branch title, as well as the Mid North Coast Branch Open Ironman Title. I hope to continue to do my club proud.

Do you have any pre-event superstitions or preparations?

I don’t really have any pre-event superstitions, but I do like to test the water and the surf. I also prefer to be at my event nice and early so that I can calm my nerves, watch the races before mine and ensure I don’t miss the actual event.

What are you most looking forward to about Country Championships?

I’m looking forward to the whole weekend as a whole. The mateship and friendly rivalries between clubs will very much be on show and I love that because that’s what Surf Life Saving is, one big family. I’m also looking forward to representing my Club (Wauchope Bonny Hills).

Are there any surf athletes you admire or have found to be an inspiration and why?

Jackson Maynard is a person who I admire he has had a heap of medical conditions thrown at him. He has had to overcome these obstacles to get where he is today. There were times where he was not able to train and compete because of his condition. He shows that you can do and achieve anything no matter the obstacle you just have to put your mind to it.

Tue 2 Feb 2016