Local Success at State Champs

For the second year the Central Coast’s Umina and Ocean Beach SLSCs staged the NSW Open Surf Life Saving Championships proudly supported by ClubsNSW.

Around 2,500 athletes from around the state and their entourages travelled to the region for the three-day competition, one of four consecutive weekends making up this year’s state titles.

Avoca was the best placed Central Coast Club on the final pointscore, finishing eighth from 92 participating clubs.

Umina SLSC’s Rachel Wood was delighted with her Under 15 surf race gold medal. Her main goal for the weekend was defending last year’s result and a lucky wave on top of a strong swim cemented victory.

“This season I’ve been focusing on my pool training,” said Wood. “It’s great to go back-to-back in the surf race. It was a long sandbank but I was able to get out of the middle pack cleanly. I knew after that I had to kick as hard as I could.”

Wood also picked up silver medals in the swim team, Cameron relay and board relay events.

On competing at home she says it’s fantastic. “I love Umina beach. I’ve always been with the same club, everyone is so friendly.”

Now it’s back to school after the morning off swim training. For some athletes the season ends with the State Championships. Others will go onto the Aussies in Perth next month while Wood will be back in the pool this afternoon training for the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre national age swimming titles.

Riley Fitzsimmons was in charge of the prestigious Under 19 male ski commenting, “This is the perfect preparation for Aussies but in saying that winning the gold for Avoca at State is as good as it gets”.

On the beach Cade Mapu from Wamberal SLSC won the Under 17 flags with an injured shoulder. It was a brave effort given Mapu was in visible pain.

Avoca’s Jake O’Brien won the Under 19 beach sprints and took silver in the flags. He and Daniel McKellar from Helensburgh-Stanwell Park have over the years staged a running battle in sprints and flags.

In the sprint final McKellar was controversially disqualified, O’Brien having to steel himself after the upset. “I just had my head down and was thinking about what I had to do. It was a big distraction but you have to block it and the noise from the crowd out.”

Pending final Council approval the NSW titles will return to Umina and Ocean beaches in 2015. Final dates are yet to be determined.

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.

Mon 10 Mar 2014