Hunter Clubs Reign at NSW Surf Life Saving Open Champs

Surf Life Saving Clubs from the Hunter have shown off their skills at the open competition of the 2014 NSW Surf Life Saving Championships, supported by ClubsNSW, held at Ocean Beach and Umina from 7-9 March 2014.

Three days of near perfect conditions saw over 2500 athletes participate in a range of team and individual events with Swansea Belmont SLSC and Redhead SLSC finishing in the Top 15 of the overall pointscore.

Stewart McLachlan of Redhead was thrilled after his convincing win in the Open Board Race.

“That was a tough race and I was lucky to get that little wave in front. This is flat water racing here today,” said Stewart.

“I am in good stead racing here with some top competitors. It is so great to compete for Redhead after you have grown up there all your life, done nippers and then stuck it out and can get some good results at State level. I have been really unlucky in this event for the last few years. It has been a long seven years and I wanted this one real bad,” he added.

When asked about his paddling style he responded, “I paddle on my stomach because I find it faster and it hurts my neck the other way. It is probably harder and you don’t get much of a rest but that is how I train. I will probably be single and arthritis ridden when I am older but it works well for now!”

40 year old Peter Scott also from Redhead caused one of the weekend’s major upsets when he took out the Open Single Ski Race ahead of World Champion Lachlan Tame from Avoca Beach.

“What an absolutely gruelling race! Lachy had a great start and I got a really tough line but I’m absolutely over the moon-it was so tough getting no waves. Lachy is still the man though and I can’t wait for Aussies,” said Pete.

Rising superstar Daniel Collins was also on fire for Redhead taking out the U17 Surf Race and U17 Ironman.

“The swim today was one of the hardest I’ve ever had. It was so long and there were no waves whatsoever but I got a great start which is vital because you can never win an ocean swim from the back,” said Daniel.

U19 Female Board Rescue Champions from Aussies 2013, Hannah Trypas and Renee Gregory of Swansea Belmont, were thrilled with their continuing winning streak.

“Swansea Belmont has great team spirit and the girls are really strong this year. State gold is a great feeling and fills you with confidence for Aussies,” said Hannah.

Swansea Belmont Age Manager, Darren Gregory, was very proud of the efforts of the girls this weekend.

“They have been training all their lives for this and really hanging in there, they train twice a day every day,” said Mr Gregory.

“It is hard for the girls in Year 11 and 12 because it is such a demanding sport which requires a lot of commitment and then they have the added pressure of school and part time jobs. Sydney Clubs are our main competition purely because of their awesome numbers, but we have a core group of athletes who stick together,” he added.

The top 15 clubs in the overall pointscore were as follows:

1.) Newport SLSC
2.) Manly LSC
3.) Wanda SLSC Inc
4.) North Cronulla SLSC
5.) Elouera SLSC
6.) Cronulla SLSC
6.) Swansea Belmont SLSC
7.) Helensburgh-Stanwell Park SLSC
8.) Avoca Beach SLSC
9.) Queenscliff SLSC
9.) Freshwater SLSC
10.)Collaroy SLSC
10.)North Bondi SLSC
11.)Coogee SLSC (NSW)
12.)Terrigal SLSC
13.)Umina SLSC Inc
14.)Redhead SLSC
15.)Byron Bay SLSC

Next week the 2014 NSW Surf Life Saving Championships conclude with the Masters Championships and for all results including the overall pointscore, please visit the 2014 NSW Surf Life Saving Opens Championships event page.

Pending final Council approval the NSW Championships will return to Ocean Beach/Umina in 2015 with final dates yet to be determined.

Mon 10 Mar 2014