State Champs Sign Off With Super Sunday

There wasn’t a cloud in the dazzlingly blue sky as the final medals of the 2017 NSW Surf Life Saving Open Championships were decided at Blacksmiths Beach on Sunday.

A sea of colour was on display at the famous Lake Macquarie Beach as the first medals of the day were decided in the traditional March Past Competition.

Collaroy Ladies were declared the winner in the Mixed Open Division ahead of North Cronulla and the Collaroy Bears. North Bondi was judged the best in the U23s while Maroubra took out the U17s.

With the beach program done and dusted for another season it was time for the water athletes to shine and they didn’t disappoint with an exceptional display of racing in what ultimately turned out to be the tamest conditions of the championships.

Bella Williams (Cooks Hill) backed up her medal winning performance at last weekend’s age titles with gold in the U15 Surf Race with Riley Dixon (Wanda) another to repeat his success by taking out the U15 Ironman title to go with his U14 crown.

Manly’s Madison Ward took out the U15 Ironwoman, and Hayley Smith (Cudgen Headland) was crowned champion on the Board.

Zach Morris took out the U15 Male Surf Race while hosts Swansea Belmont enjoyed success in the Board Race thanks to Nicholas Stoddart’s gold medal and Kyle Lehmann’s silver.

Newport’s Olivia Heaton held out Keeley Booth (Avoca Beach) in the U17 Surf Race and also won the Single Ski Event. Naomi Scott (Manly) was too strong for Nicola Owen (Redhead) and Manly’s Emily Doyle in the U17 Ironwoman, while Umina’s Jazmyn Rodwell claimed the Board Race.

Medals were also shared around in the U17 Male Races with Chris King (Elouera – Board), Matthew Sperring (Warilla-Barrack Point – Ironman), Oscar Jones (Manly – Ski) and Jake Evans (Elouera - Surf) among the winners.

With a number of the U19s getting their first taste of the elite level this season the scene was set for a blockbuster competition, and the emerging stars lived up to that billing.

In a closely fought Ironwoman North Bondi’s Lizzie Welborn did enough to hold off Jemma Smith (Umina) and Redhead’s Lily Costello. Smith reversed the result in the Ski finishing ahead of Ella Beere (Avoca Beach) and Jayde Bagnall (Avoca Beach).

Jackson Borg (Newport) took out the U19 Ironman while club mate Charlie Brooks took out the Single Ski and also won the Jacob Lollback trophy for the second straight season when he won the Board Race. In the other memorial trophy event Shelly Beach’s James de Vries won the U19 Surf Race which honours champion Queenscliff competitor the late Saxon Bird.

In the Open Women’s Iron Georgia Miller (Newport) held off a strong field that included silver medallist Naomi Scott (Manly) and bronze medallist Jemma Smith (Umina). Miller backed up her win with gold in the Surf and Board Races.

In the Open Ironman Kendrick Louis (Manly) did enough to hold off club mate Jay Furniss and Redhead’s Daniel Collins. Competing for his new club Stewart McLachlan (Manly) found himself in familiar territory taking out the gold in the Board Race ahead of Scott McCartney (Cudgen Headland).

Avoca’s Lachlan Tame held off Kendrick Louis to win gold in the Open Ski Race to claim his first state title since 2013.

In the Open Taplin Relays Manly was too strong for Redhead and Newport in the Men’s division and Umina claimed gold in the women ahead of Newport and Manly.

After a great opening two days of competition, Newport was too strong for Branch rivals Manly, topping the overall point score for a fourth straight year.

The NSW Surf Life Saving Championships, proudly supported by Your local club will be returning to Blacksmiths Beach, Swansea in 2018.

Open Championships – Final Point Score

Newport SLSC 425
Manly LSC 343
Wanda SLSC 202
North Cronulla SLSC 174
Cronulla SLSC 144
Umina SLSC 128
Redhead SLSC 115
Avoca Beach SLSC 112
Freshwater SLSC 93
Elouera SLSC 89

Sun 12 Mar 2017