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To the casual observer Blacksmiths Beach resembled something of triage unit last Saturday, though fortunately it wasn’t real, rather the First Aid portion of the Lifesaving component of the 2018 NSW Surf Life Saving Championships proudly supported by Your local club.

The First Aid Competition tests the participant’s knowledge and skills of a variety of situations that they could conceivably encounter while on the beach.

Competitors work in pairs, and to score top points they need to be able to assess the condition of a patient and treat them in accordance with standard procedures while eagle eyed official scrutinise their every move.

It’s not only the pressure of being the last event of the Lifesaving Championships (also consisting of the Champion Lifesaver and Patrol Teams event), but also a heightened awareness that to even nominate for selection at The Aussies only the first three finishers are eligible.

In what proved to be a highly competitive day of competition there were numerous winners across the various categories.

In the Open Division Tahlia Deardern and Julia Baker (Freshwater SLSC) teamed up to score victory over Allen Lakeman and Emily Buckle (Dee Why) and club mates Cheryl White and Kelly Dobrow.

The Manly U19 duo of James Wacher and Christopher Curulli were too strong for Chloe Van Dam and Marvin Smith (Newport), while their club mates Elizabeth Gobee and Lauren Costello stood on the podium in third place.

Newport was able to taste that winning feeling in the U17s with Lily Tancred and Linda Leck taking out gold ahead of the Umina pair of Bronte Smith and Hannah Murphy. There was more joy for the Central Coast club who also took third in the event thanks to the efforts of Grace Talty and Lily Perry.

Head Coach of the Umina’s First Aid competition team Maddison McLeod said it was a fantastic competition that has the added benefit of upskilling its participants.

“It’s really exciting, it’s something different and it’s a facet of Surf Life Saving that a lot of people don’t know about but a lot of people should because it’s not only competitive but it is real life training.

“We look promising and are reigning under 15 champions so hopefully we can keep that going and with our wide bunch of numbers I hope to see plenty of Umina on the podium,” she said.

It proved to be a prescient statement for Blacksmiths is turning out to be a happy hunting ground for her club.

Umina also had two more medals to celebrate in the event’s youngest age group with Erin Scahill and Maia Darwin claiming U15 gold and teammates Emma Talty and Ayva Marshall finishing with bronze.

Splitting the two on the podium was Camilla Wacher and Jasmine Costello (Manly).

The Lifesaving component of 2018 NSW Surf Life Saving Championships proudly supported by your Local Club continues this weekend at Blacksmiths Beach, Swansea Belmont with the Open Championships.

2018 First Aid Competition Medallists

Open Division

Freshwater SLSC Team A

Dee Why SLSC

Freshwater SLSC White

U19 Division

Manly LSC Team A

Newport SLSC

Manly LSC Team B

U17 Division

Newport SLSC

Umina SLSC Team A

Umina SLSC Team B

U15 Division

Umina SLSC Team C

Manly LSC

Umina SLSC Team A


Thursday 8 March 2018