Sydney Clubs Reign at State Champs

Sydney clubs dominated on the sand and in the water at the 2013 Allphones NSW Opens Surf Life Saving Championships held at Ocean Beach-Umina from 8-10 March.

The event pinnacle, the NSW ironman title, went to Dane Farrell from Elouera SLSC among other top notch individual results, and Sydney clubs finished second, third and fourth on the pointscore from more than 100 competing clubs.

Farrell, a newcomer to Elouera SLSC after moving from Wanda, conquered the water events and secured gold in the lifesaver relay, open male surf team, board rescue and individual board race.

“That was a tough race, it’s been a long day and I definitely got the wave when I wanted it,” Farrell said after completing a nail-biting open ironman where he came from behind to topple the frontrunners, Chris Allum and Jack Moyes.

Farrell and clubmate Tom O’Keefe were reigning Aussie champions heading into the open board rescue and were quietly confident before they snatched gold. The boys paid credit to “one of the best swim coaches around,” Brian Wilkinson.

“It is pretty special to take home gold in a team event, and as you can see we have a lot of support here,” said O’Keefe, son of ABC cricket commentator Kerry O’Keefe who played for Australia.

Elouera competitor Alex Clarke took out the open surf race, capitalising on a strong start. “There were a lot of fast boys in that race who kept pushing me along,” he said.

Josh Cassidy is a name of the future if his beach results at the juniors and masters are anything to go by. Cassidy took out the under 14 sprint and beach flags last weekend then competed up in the under 15s and again scored the double, this time against an older and stronger field.

Cronulla’s heavyweights, brothers Hayden and Chris Allum, Cameron Pyatt, Mitchell Rofe, Anthony Schumacher and Nathan Smith, secured gold in the open taplin. At 27, Chris Allum says competing now is more about fun and putting back into the sport with a coaching role at Queenscliff. His competitive switch is still well and truly on despite his claim, a second in the ironman carrying a groin strain a momentous effort. He also collected gold in the belt and a third in the swim, which he believes is his 14th swim medal at state.

Wanda SLSC also had some great results with Jay Furniss taking out the U19 ironman after a rogue wave rolled a number of skis.

“Those conditions were tough, I was working the whole way but I am very happy to finish a carnival like that,” said Furniss.

Wanda’s under 17 women’s board relay finallists of Elyssa Pierce, Izel Tuncer and Danielle McMahon led Manly and Avoca from the outset, McMahon setting the team up. Tuncer went wide after she rounded the turning cans and started to head off course, “I couldn’t see where I was heading, I was just focusing on coming in and everything looked the same”. In the third leg Manly closed the gap on Pearce, the third paddler, but luckily for Wanda a Manly spill put them out of the running.

Wanda’s luck continued in the under 19 board rescue final, the team of Kelly Primmer and Lara Moses snatching a lucky break when the Cronulla team stumbled and fell in the final sprint, paving the way for a Wanda win for the second year in a row at state level.

“It was a tough race, we had the hard side of the course and had to swim while the others were still running,” said Primmer.

“Lara is a great board paddler, our aim was to be in the top three on the way in and our strongest leg is paddling together rather than individually. Whoever got that last wave had it.”

Will Budd from North Cronulla took out the U19 Board race and was awarded the Jacob Lollback Memorial Trophy.

The 2014 NSW Surf Life Saving Championships will be held back at Ocean Beach – Umina from the 28th of February to the 2nd of March for the Age Championships and the 7th to the 9th of March for the Open event. The Masters competitors will have their own dedicated event to be held on the 15th and 16th of March. Lifesaving events will be held on 22nd and 23rd of February.

Full results from the 2013 Allphones NSW Surf Life Saving Championships can be found on the event page.

Tue 12 Mar 2013