Masters Competition Wraps Up

The older generation of Surf Life Saving Club competitors showed what they are made of at the 2013 Allphones NSW Masters Surf Life Saving Championships held at Ocean Beach-Umina from 6-7 March.

Up to 1,500 surf lifesavers aged 30 to 75 battled it out on the beach and in the water on the NSW Central Coast in ideal conditions, although the tiny shore break ruled out a lucky ride back to the sand in the water events.

Paul Lemmon from Terrigal SLSC was the star of the show securing gold in the 45-49 years surf race, rescue tube race, ironman, board race and 130 years taplin relay.

He dedicated his wins to friend Tim Francis from Newport SLSC, who was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident last week and would have been lining up with him in the surf race.

“It just really puts things in perspective,” he said.

The Illawarra was well represented with athlete Ross Taylor out-paddling the field in the 60-65 male board race, victory made sweeter by the fact he had been bed ridden with the flu for the weeks leading up to the state title.

Taylor joining Thirroul as a five year-old nipper and says surf lifesaving has been an extremely important part of his life. Just 12 months ago he had a diabetic hypo while out swimming and was rescued after very nearly drowning.

“My friend who I was swimming with knew I was a diabetic but somehow we got separated and I blacked out. I was incredibly lucky,” said Taylor.

Superstar Matthew Kent put Redhead SLSC on the map when he excelled in the water taking the gold in both the 35-39 Ironperson and board race.

Urunga SLSC from the North Coast fielded a small but strong team of five competitors who were up there with the best in the water events.

High school PE teacher Tim Rodgers got his Bronze Medallion at thirty years of age so he could get involved in school life by being fully qualified.

“Surf Life Saving is so important for anybody who lives along the coast. Surf safety and awareness is a must and it’s a great healthy lifestyle to be involved in.

My advice for anyone wanting to get involved is do it for the fun, fitness and camaraderie,” said Tim.

Jen Spencer from Warriewood SLSC did it for Sydney Northern Beaches when she dominated in the water securing gold in the 30-34 female board race, surf race and rescue tube race.

“The conditions were certainly in my favour today. The community feel of Surf Life Saving really makes a difference, it is better than just doing something for yourself as an individual,” said Jen.

Jen obtained her Bronze Medallion aged 32 and says the best thing about surf competition is the constantly changing conditions which keep her interested.

Scott Thomson from North Bondi SLSC secured a swag of medals in the water on day one, taking out second in the 45-49 years board and ironman and third in the surf race.

“Conditions are pretty still, there isn’t much happening out there. It’s very tactical racing,” he said.

Water results were all about sheer strength and tactics, the tiny shore break ruling out a lucky ride back to the sand for the swimmers and board riders and paddlers.

As a surf coach for the kids at North Bondi SLSC, Thomson says his fitness and training carry over.

“I tell all the kids you have to get out there in every condition, you can’t just get used to one. You need to be prepared for anything.”

One of his training secrets is one session a week in Sydney Harbour, particularly on the ski, to increase fitness over a long flat distance, “because you can’t always rely on a wave”.

Final Master Pointscore
1 Queenscliff Surf Life Saving Club 269.5
2 Avoca Beach SLSC 207
3 Byron Bay Surf Life Saving Club 178
4 Bondi Surf Bathers Life Saving 162
5 Manly Life Saving Club 152
6 Maroubra SLSC 139
7 Terrigal Surf Life Saving Club 138.5
8 Coogee Surf Lifesaving Club 136.5
9 Redhead Surf Life Saving Club 126
10 Collaroy SLSC 125.5

For full results from the Masters competition at the 2013 Allphones NSW Surf Life Saving Championships visit the event page.

Thu 7 Mar 2013