Lifesavers Show Class In Pool

It was a successful return from the state’s top pool rescue athletes as they dove into the Australian Pool Rescue Championships held in Adelaide last weekend.

The strong NSW contingent travelled to the South Australian capital for the 3-day-competition confident in their ability to rise to the occasion against the best the country had to offer.

Kicking off the competition was the final Interstate Championships of the season with NSW fielding a strong team of youth and experience.

In a nod to the incredible amount of depth currently on offer in the state several competitors were drafted into the competition by Victoria giving them an opportunity to add representative experience to their resume.

Throughout the season across all surf sports it has been a titanic struggle between NSW and Queensland as the two rivals battled for supremacy with the Pool Rescue Interstate quickly falling into a familiar pattern.

It was in the team events where NSW enjoyed strong success taking out gold in four of the 14 Interstate Relays contested.

Ultimately the northerners would claim the trophy finishing on 440 points with the blues not far behind on 426 as Western Australia completed the top 3 on the podium.

Once the Interstate battle ended it was time for the NSW lifesavers to pull on their club caps and they delivered some outstanding results.

In the overall Masters standings Bondi Surf Bathers, Terrigal, Umina, and South Maroubra all finished in the coveted top 10, while in the Open Division Terrigal (4thoverall), Umina (6th) and Newport (7th) were the best placed NSW clubs.

Across The Championships there were a number of highlights as NSW athletes prepared to bring home some additional baggage.

Manly’s Kimberly Doyle and Mitch Morris (Newport) shone in the U11 and U12 Age Groups respectively, while Keeley Booth (Avoca Beach) had a productive weekend coming home with 2 gold and 2 silver medals.

Umina competitors certainly had plenty to smile about as Lachlan Braddish (U14 – 5 medals), Kayla Holmes (U14 – 4 medals), and Rachel Wood (4 medals) all finding themselves on the podium.

The experienced campaigners of the pool also had an event to remember with some incredibly strong results.

Phil Dutton (South Maroubra) claimed 5 silver medals, Cyril Baldcock (Bondi) claimed 5 medals including 3 Gold while the Terrigal quartet of Lionel Fargher (6 medals), Linda Redfern (3 medals), Daniel Harding (7 medals), and Paul Lemmon (7 medals) were all frequent visitors to award ceremonies.

NSW Surf Sport Manager Rob Pidgeon hailed The Championships as a success.

“As an organisation we have been really conscious of trying to grow the sport of Pool Rescue in NSW so to see such strong results; well we are delighted.

“I would like to congratulate all club members who made the trek across to South Australia and thank everyone involved with preparing and coaching the Interstate Team. I think the sport will continue to grow and hopefully these results will encourage others to pursue this highly technical but essential sport,” Mr Pidgeon concluded.

For full results and standings from the 2017 Australian Pool Rescue Championships please visit the Surf Life Saving Australia Event Page

Photographs - Scenes from the Championships. Courtesy of Tony O'Mara

Fri 11 Aug 2017