Surf Athletes Vie for State Supremacy

The squeals and tears of more than 3000 nippers have faded and with the conclusion of masters events tomorrow, attention is turning to the big guns, with Opens competition starting Friday at the 2015 NSW Surf Life Saving Championships on the Central Coast, proudly supported by ClubsNSW.

Almost 2500 competitors from 90 clubs will descend on Ocean Beach-Umina for three days of individual and teams surf sport racing.

The absence of World Champion ski paddler and Olympic hopeful Lachlan Tame, who is competing at the National Sprint Kayak Championships, will leave the field wide open for other aspirants including Newport's Mitch Trim and veteran defending champ, Pete Scott from Redhead. Tame’s absence could also impact Avoca's chances in the premier teams event of the championships, the Taplin Relay on Sunday.

The Central Coast is looking to Terrigal’s Jack Moyes as its red-hot favourite this weekend, with many of the young Avoca competitors in with a chance including Kaitlyn Matuschka (U19), Corey Fletcher (U17) and Brad McGloghry. Local Umina hot-shot Jemma Smith will be competing in both Under 17s and Opens events.

Manly will be keen to try to win back the championship title after narrowly losing to Newport last year. Nathan Smith will lead the charge while the club’s female contingent is strong and backed up by the might of Olympic kayaker and Champion Ironwoman Naomi Flood, the girls in blue will be very hard to beat. Manly’s Open Women Surfboat crew, the Manly Malarki, are in great form after winning the recent Interstate Surfboat Challenge.

The rivalry between the traditionally dominant Manly club and newcomer Newport will be stronger than ever this weekend. Newport continues to build its arsenal of top athletes with many moving to the northern beaches club in the last two seasons, including Kendrick Louis, Georgia Miller, Mitch Trim and Tom Atkinson.

Hunter branch clubs will also be sporting some serious medal contenders including defending Board champion Stewart McLachlan, Mark Stowe, Pete Scott (Redhead) and Swansea-Belmont’s Greg Tobin. Within the younger age groups those to watch include U17s Justin McMorland (Redhead) and Sally Walters (Swansea-Belmont) and Lily Costello (Redhead) competing in her first year of U19s.

According to State Team Coach Jeff Mowbray, Swansea-Belmont’s Alex Marshall is a dark horse chance for the U19 Board title while Daniel and Jessica Collins (Redhead) should perform well – Jessica is up against Newport’s Georgia Miller in the open swim. Redhead will also be fielding a very strong male Taplin Relay team which could cause the big Sydney clubs a headache.

From the state’s south, all eyes will be on the team from Warilla-Barrack Point. Ben and Jack Carberry, the Rosskelly girls, Maddison Prior and Jordan White.

On the sand in sprints and flags, it will no doubt be the traditional rivalry between Helensburgh-Stanwell Park, Collaroy, and Newport.

The 2015 NSW Surf Life Saving Open Championships run from Friday 13 to Sunday 15 March at Ocean Beach-Umina, proudly supported by ClubsNSW.

Wed 11 Mar 2015