Huge Illawarra Medal Haul At Open Champs

Helensburgh-Stanwell Park flew the flag for the Illawarra Branch at the 2015 NSW Surf Life Saving Open Championships finishing a highly credible sixth on the overall club point-score.

The Illawarra club lived up to its reputation as a beach event powerhouse with a number of sensational performances by their athletes in both the sprint and flag events.

In the Open Women’s Beach Sprint Final no less than four Helensburgh-Stanwell Park athletes were in the field, a huge effort in what proved to be one of the most open sprint events of the championships. Two of those competitors Yvette Avery and Siobhan Dibley earned the silver and bronze medals behind Elouera’s Elly Graf.

Avery had a busy beach program picking up a gold medal in a dead-heat with Sophie McGovern (North Curl Curl) in the U17 Beach Sprint, as well being a member of the gold winning Open, U17 and U19 Beach Relay Teams. The U17 Male Beach Relay team also came home strongly to claim Gold in their event.

“I actually thought Sophie (McGovern) had won the race but I guess it was too close for the judges to call. I’m really enjoying running on such a good track here at Umina, and am looking forward to getting in some solid training as I prepare for the Aussies next month,” Avery said.

Other Helensburgh-Stanwell Park Beach Sprint winners were Timothy Burgmann (U17s) and Daniel McKellar (U19s), while Keeleigh McCauley (U19s) was the sole Gold medallist from the club in the Beach Flags Event.

Siobhan Dibley and Laura Humphries got Silver and Bronze in the Open Beach Flags to Collaroy’s Katie Williams. Brock Scrivener ended up third in the U15 Beach Flags as did Jack Williams in the U17 event. Kate Lewis was second in the U17 Female Beach Flags, and third in the U17 Sprint.

As if to underscore their dominance, Helensburgh-Stanwell Park also picked up a gold medal in the surf boat races when their Open Women stormed home to victory.

Other clubs across the Illawarra Branch also tasted medal success at Ocean Beach-Umina. Austinmer picked up four medals in the Surf Boat races with their Open Female and Male (silver), Under 19 Male (bronze) and U23 Female (gold) all recording strong results.

Thirroul’s Jazmine Yew won an individual medal for her club picking up silver in the U15 Beach Flags, while the Bulli Men’s Open Surf Boat team continued on their recent run of form, which includes victory in the Tri-Tasman Series in New Zealand earlier this year, as they claimed gold in their race.

“Congratulations to the winning Newport club,” said NSW Surf Life Saving sports manager Shane Knight following the championships. “We’ve had a great three days of competition here at Ocean Beach-Umina, again a wonderful host.

“The standard of competition has been extremely high and it was a fitting celebration to honour the centenary of the founding of surf sports.”

Final Point-Score:

Newport SLSC 419 Manly LSC 340
Wanda SLSC 172
North Cronulla SLSC 169
Avoca Beach SLSC 150
Helensburgh-Stanwell Park SLSC 147
Elouera SLSC 132
Collaroy SLSC 120
Umina SLSC 115
Redhead SLSC 105

Photograph: The Helensburgh-Stanwell Park duo of Yvette Avery and Siobhan Dibley are all smiles along with Elouera’s Elly Graf after taking the medals in the Open beach Sprint at the 2015 NSW Surf Life Saving Championships.

Credit: Jamie Nilsson/SLSNSW

Fri 20 Mar 2015