Eager Athletes Ready For Pool Rescue Champs

Almost 300 lifesavers will cast off the throes of winter, and swap their familiar beach surroundings for the pool this weekend at the 2015 NSW Pool Rescue Championships.

The Championships will be held at Woy Woy’s Peninsula Leisure Centre on the NSW Central Coast with athletes from clubs as distant as Byron Bay and Nowra making the long journey.

Pool Rescue is a highly technical sport, and is an opportunity for both patrolling lifesavers, and those who are approaching their senior nipper years to hone their skills over the colder months.

This year competitors range in age from 12 to 60, and will contest a variety of events throughout the two-day championship.

Events contested are a combination of individual events such as obstacle races, manikin carry and tow, and the brick carry races and team relay events such as the Line Throw, 4x 50m Medley Relay and the 4x25m Manikin Relay.

The blue ribbon event is the “200m Super Lifesaver” which is an event that includes a 75m freestyle swim, to recover a submerged manikin followed by 50m freestyle to secure a manikin with a rescue tube to tow to the finish line.

This year marks the centenary of surf sports, and the medals on offer in all championship events carry extra significance as well as the coveted title of state champion.

Twenty seven clubs from around the state will be battling it out for the overall champion club pointscore with Elouera (26) and Terrigal (29) fielding the largest teams.

The latter will be hoping to back up their successful 2014 campaign where they finished first in the points tally.

A number of athletes who enjoyed highly successful summer seasons at state, and in some instances national level will relish the chance to showcase their talents in the pool.

Umina’s Jemma Smith and Lachlan Braddish will enjoy the chance to compete in their home territory just a short drive away from where their club hosted the State Championships last March.

Other summer surf medallists in action this weekend include Scout Hembrow and Ela Heiniger (Byron Bay), Paul Lemmon, Rachelle King (Terrigal), Leo Nosatti (North Cronulla), Redhead’s Lily Costello, Manly’s Naomi Scott, Holly Abbey (Nowra-Culburra) and Matthew Sperring (Warilla-Barrack Point) among others.

“Winter is an excellent time for our members to both recover physically and hone their skills for the new season. Pool Rescue is a highly technical sport that provides great competition over the cooler months for our athletes,” NSW Surf Sports Coordinator Rob Pidgeon said.

“I would like to wish all the competitors the very best of luck, and I’m sure it’s going to be a great weekend of racing.”

With the Interstate and National Championships to be held on the Gold Coast early next month, strong performances in the pool here will put the athletes very much in the frame for selection.

Younger competitors also have the potential carrot of selection in the U18 pool rescue development squad which will tour New Zealand later in the year.

The 2015 NSW Pool Rescue Championships will be held at the Peninsula Leisure Centre, Woy Woy on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 July. Competition gets underway from 8.30am AEST.

Wed 15 Jul 2015