Surf Athletes Hit the Pool for Rescue Championships

Surf athletes from across NSW will test their skills in flat water at the 2012 NSW Pool Rescue Championships this weekend, 28-29 July, at Peninsula Leisure Centre Woy Woy.

Competitors from 26 clubs will compete in events which include obstacle swims, manikin carries, line throws, medley relays and simulated emergency response competition.

Surf Sports Manager, Dan Pearce believes the events are great for honing the surf rescue skills of NSW top athletes, who are all volunteer surf lifesavers.

“These skills are not only important for saving lives in the surf but the competition is also great preparation for the Interstate Championships where each state vies for surf sports supremacy,” said Dan Pearce.

“Pool rescue is big on the international watersports stage and more of our home grown surf athletes are getting involved. It offers athletes more opportunities for national and international team selection, both in pool and surf events.”

Participation in pool rescue competition in NSW has increased during the last 12 months and pool rescue clinics have been popular among competitors wanting to improve specific skills.

In 2011 Central Coast clubs Terrigal and Umina were strong performers taking out first and fourth place, with Sydney clubs Wanda and Cronulla claiming second and third places overall. Bulli also fields a top team of pool competitors.

Terrigal will be hard to beat this year, fielding the largest team, featuring Tim Schofield (Open), Alicia Bain (U19), Paul Lemmon (Open), Zoe Hall (U15) and the Gasparatto sisters Alessandra (U15) and Elyssia (U17). Other Central Coast clubs competing include Umina, Wamberal, and Shelly Beach.

After solid performances last year, Far North Coast clubs are back to have another try. Lennox Head-Alstonville ended up in the top 10 and will be joined by competitors from Bryon Bay and Yamba. Youngsters including Josh Brown from Byron did well last year, winning several events.

Further south in the Hunter, Swansea Belmont was the best performing club in 2011 and is fielding a strong team which includes Sam Earp (U19), Luke Reinhard (U15), Hannah Trypas (U17) and Brittany Banks (U17). Redhead will also be looking for a top performance with the likes of Isaac Morgan (U19) and Jessica Collins (U19) to be a serious threat in the U19 age group.

Sydney clubs participating include Wanda, North Bondi, Elouera and Cronulla, whose main chances lie with Kyle O’Brien (U19) and Chris and Hayden Allum. Bridget Little (U19) also placed in many of the women’s events last year. Wanda competitors feeling the pressure to back up are Alex Clarke, Jay Furniss (U17) and Jessica Lauricella (U19).

Sydney Northern Beaches clubs will be looking to improve on their results this year, with a strong showing from the Newport Club whose main chances lie with 2011 NSW state team representative Max Brooks (U17), while Manly’s Trent Klouzal will be the main threat in the U19 male events.

Illawarra clubs competing on the weekend include Sandon Point and Towradgi, with Kyle Locke (U15) in with a chance.

The only South Coast club competing in the Championships is Warilla-Barrack Point who is fielding a team of six competitors including Bradley Dawson (U12), Montannah Murray (U15), Cassandra Smith (U13), Mathew Sperring (U13), Kalani Starling (U15) and Noah Starling (U13).

Thu 26 Jul 2012