NSW Ironman and Ironwoman Crowned

The pinnacle of the Allphones NSW Surf Life Saving Championships is the Open Ironman and Ironwoman event and after a three-day fitness and endurance contest at Ocean Beach-Umina on the Central Coast, the new state champions have been crowned.

In front of thousands of competitors and spectators, Dane Farrell from Elouera and Manly’s Candice Falzon dug in for the race of a lifetime, egged on by the screaming crowd to be declared first time state champions in the blue ribbon event.

Falzon has finished runner-up in the Ironwoman to Naomi Flood twice and at 28 isn’t sure what her lifesaving future holds. “It was my time and I’m going to enjoy it,” said the former Kellogg’s Series Ironwoman, who admitted there was nothing left in the tank by the time she crossed the finish line just seconds ahead of Terrigal’s Rachelle King.

Bulli’s Hannah Minogue made Falzon work until the dying seconds when cruelly she fell off the back of a small shore wave and out of the top three.

“Hannah was on my tail the whole way, I could hear her board strokes then suddenly I looked around and there were two more on the same wave. I knew then I was going to have a sprint finish,” added Falzon.

“I’m so happy to be wearing the sky blue cap for Manly, I wanted to keep the ironwoman title in Manly and to win and have Naomi handle for me was very special.”

Jack Moyes from Terrigal was Chris Allum’s nemesis for all three legs of swim, ski and board, but it was Farrell who caught both frontrunners and exploded out of the water. Twenty-seven year-old Allum tried to find the horsepower to mow the younger ironman down, but had to settle for runner-up to the new 23-year old state champion.

“It was a tough race. I had a rough start, my race plan was to come out in the top two in the swim, which didn’t work, then I got a wave when I wanted it,” said Farrell.

“It was a flat out sprint finish, I felt really bad for Jack from Terrigal who really deserved it; it’s just one of those days, the same thing happened to me last year at state.”

Runner-up Chris Allum was philosophical, “It’s no excuse but I tore a groin muscle yesterday so I was racing strapped and without being able to wade with pace and flexibility. Dane got me on the turn, he had one of those golden days.”

These days Allum is coaching at Queenscliff SLSC, “I’m training superb young superstars who keep me on my toes,” said the two-time gold, silver and bronze medallist from this carnival.

Ocean Beach - Umina turned on another spectacular warm autumn day with the most assistance in the water events from the three-day carnival. For the past two days there were few lucky waves to break up the field, podium finishes coming from the strongest in the pack. For finals day the sets were rolling in with lulls in between making it a hard slog for exhausted competitors.

Close to 8,000 juniors, masters and open competitors representing more than 100 clubs stretching from Moruya and Broulee Surfers SLSC on the south coast to last year’s host club, Cudgen Headland SLSC to the far north of the state competed over the last 10 days.

Overall winner of the Open Championship was Manly, followed by Cronulla, Nth Cronulla and Wanda.

The 2014 NSW Surf Life Saving Championships will be held at Ocean Beach-Umina from the 28th of February to the 2nd of March for the Age Championships and the 7th to the 9th of March for the Open event. The Masters competitors will have their own dedicated event to be held on the 15th and 16th of March. Lifesaving events will be held on 22nd and 23rd of February.

Sun 10 Mar 2013