NSW Surf Life Saving Open Championships Begin

The state’s best lifesavers and surf sports athletes fought it out today for the first day of competition at the 2014 NSW Surf Life Saving Opens Championships at Ocean Beach/Umina.

In a sight to see, over 2500 athletes battled it out over more than 1km of beachfront in a number of events such as the swim, surf boat rowing, ski paddle, surfing (held at Avoca), board rescues and the historic belt race showcasing the competitors’ incredible array of skills in the water.

Conditions for day one couldn’t have been any further from the opening day of last week’s Age Championships with the freezing winds and rains a distant memory replaced by perfect sunshine, gentle breezes and beautiful warm water.

Today was generally the warm up day where the star players flexed their muscles and the rookies stepped up to the plate through a lot of tough heats and semi-finals and while the bulk of medals and finals races are set to run over the weekend there were still a bunch of events completed awarding some very deserving NSW Champions.

15 year old pair Rhianna Kevill and Lily Costello from Catherine Hill Bay SLSC were over the moon with their first ever NSW Gold medal. While the pair had got second at Aussies in 2013, the win today in the U15 Board Rescue is the best of their young careers.

“It was a really tough draw, we honestly did not go into the race expecting to win and with all our friends and family from the club here there was definitely a bit of extra pressure! But we’re so happy to win this and here’s hoping to a few more,” said an ecstatic Rhianna.

Local host club, Ocean Beach SLSC, had a strong representation in the Champion Lifesaver event with Aaron Camp taking the gold and Katie Dixon the silver in the male and female 30-39 Champion Lifesaver while Mark Davis also got a bronze in the over 40s.

Young Callum Lowe-Griffiths from Queenscliff SLSC was another stand out today netting himself two gold medals in the Board Rescue and Rescue Tube races.

Tomorrow a number of finals including all the beach sprints and relays as well as a number of water events will be run.

For all live results as they come online please visit the 2014 Opens Championships event page and add us on Facebook to be kept up to date with the latest timetable changes and announcements.

The 2014 NSW Surf Life Saving Championships supported by ClubsNSW is the biggest Surf Life Saving carnival in Australia running over four weekends from February 22-March 16.

Fri 7 Mar 2014