Sunny Start For Age Champs

Elouera SLSC holds a narrow 6-point lead at the top of the Club Championship after a pulsating day of action on the first day of the 2015 NSW Surf Life Saving Age Championships, proudly supported by Clubs NSW.

Far from the gusty winds of Thursday, dawn on the first day of the 2015 NSW Surf Life Saving Age Championships brought brilliant sunshine and a cloudless sky to Ocean Beach-Umina.

The competition was red-hot from the beginning, and due to the large start lists of the other events, the majority of medals handed out on the first day went to the Beach Flag athletes.

For the past five years, Manly have dominated the club point-score in the Age Championship, and 2015 got off to the best possible start for the Sydney Northern Beaches based club Georgia Morgan and Ashleigh Windsham going one-two in the U9 Female Flags.

South Maroubra’s Malikye Kessie powered home to win the U10 Male flags defending the title that he won last season in U9s. With the sprint and sprint relay to come, this youngster’s medal haul could yet grow. Avoca Beach’s Summer Tancred came out on top in the U10 Female Flags in extremely warm conditions.

In what became “the battle of Sutherland Shire”, Lucy Flanagan (North Cronulla) defeated her friend Tilly Handforth (Wanda) in the U11 Female Flags.

“I have been competing since the U8s, and I’m really happy as it’s my first state gold medal,” Flanagan said after the race.

“It was very hot out there and it was quite a hard race. Tilly was actually at my club last season so we race each other quite a bit.

“I definitely prefer the beach events over the water events,” she said.

The result was a reversal from the recent Sydney Branch carnival where Hanford downed Flanagan after she tripped in the early stages of the race. The stage is now set for more exciting challenges between the pair.

Lucy Flanagan wasn’t the only family member to enjoy success on the beach today with older brother Connor also taking gold in the U14s Beach Flags.

The U12s was a closely fought affair in both divisions with Owen Flaherty (Avoca Beach) finishing ahead of Jack Bridges (Helensburgh Stanwell Park) and Ryan Maitz (Copacabana). While in the girl’s Newport’s Olivia Alvarez claimed the gold medal ahead of April Druery and Nowra-Culburra’s Holly Abbey.

There was more joy for Sydney Northern Beaches when Macy Carrothers (Avalon Beach) took out the U13 Female Flags.

Surf Life Saving NSW Sports Manager Shane Knight said it was a very enjoyable first day of competition.

“While we had to relocate some of the water events this afternoon to the southern end of the beach due to the challenging conditions this was achieved with a minimum of fuss,” said Mr Knight.

“We’ve been really fortunate to see some high quality competition today and look forward to that continuing over the weekend.”

Top Ten Point-Score Day 1:

Elouera SLSC 39 South Maroubra SLSC 33
Manly LSC 30
Wanda SLSC Inc 28
North Cronulla SLSC 27
Avoca Beach SLSC 21
Bronte SLSC 16
Cronulla SLSC 16
Port Macquarie SLSC 14
Collaroy SLSC 13

Photo: Competitors take to the water on Day One of the NSW Surf Life Saving Age Championships. Credit: Suzanne Macphillamy / Surf Life Saving NSW

Fri 6 Mar 2015