Almost 350 athletes competed for the 152 medals on offer throughout the two-day competition with plenty of skill on display in what is regarded as a highly technical sport.
In 2017 there has been an increased focus on encouraging clubs to consider entering the Pool Rescue Championships as a means to keep fit over the winter months, and this tactic has proved to be successful with a significant increase in competitors most notably in the team events.
The clubs lifted magnificently for the occasion and in a pleasing sign for the future of the sport there were three separate division winners in the overall point score. Terrigal dominated the Youth Division (U12 – U15 age group) finishing ahead of local rivals Umina and Bulli.
Bondi proved too strong for Terrigal and Umina in the Masters Division, while Redhead was a surprise winner in the Opens holding off the Bate Bay duo of Wanda and Elouera. “The weekend certainly exceeded all expectations and I’m just delighted with how well everyone performed,” said Redhead Team Manager Peter Watts.
“Prior to the weekend our best performance was a fifth a couple of years ago so realistically we were aiming for that top 5 spot maybe top 3 if we performed to our best. “We had 22 athletes come down from U12s through to Masters with some only competing in team events so there is a great spirit at the club, and all their hard work at training certainly paid off.”
Mr Watts also felt it was the start of a new era for a club not renowned for producing pool athletes.
“We just want to continue to keep building and encourage more of our members to get involved in the sport.”
There were a number of strong performances across the weekend with Daniel Collins (Redhead) earning 10 medals including 4 gold. Club mates Nicola Owen and Jacob Cerniauskas also had a productive meet.
Umina’s Rachel Wood buoyed by her recent form in Japan representing Australia at the Sanyo Bussan Cup finished with an impressive haul of seven medals including 4 gold.
Other athletes who finished the championships with plenty of bling included Anthea Warne (Cudgen Headland) eight medals (5 gold) across the U17 and Open Age Groups, and Bulli’s U15 stars Zarah Man and Kimana Fittock. Bondi’s Dori Miller impressed in the Masters while Terrigal’s Rachelle King had a productive weekend in the Opens with a seven medal haul including 5 gold.
NSW Surf Sports Event Coordinator Luke Stigter said it was an impressive weekend of racing.
“It was fantastic to see everyone from our youngest athletes right through to Masters getting in and having a go especially in the team events, and I think it’s safe to say the future of the sport is in good hands,” Mr Stigter said.
The State Championships were also the final chance for the athletes to fine-tune their racing technique ahead of the Australian Titles to be held in South Australia in early August.
2017 NSW Pool Rescue Championships Club Point Score – Top Five:
• Terrigal SLSC – 214
• Umina SLSC – 168
• Bulli SLSC – 154
• Wanda SLSC – 112
• Newport SLSC – 99
• Redhead SLSC – 185
• Wanda SLSC – 109
• Elouera SLSC – 102
• Umina SLSC – 99
• Cronulla SLSC – 88
• Bondi Surf Bathers LSC – 177
• Terrigal SLSC – 62
• Umina SLSC – 53
• Caves Beach SLSC – 45
• South Maroubra - 44
For information about the event including full results and point score, please visit the official Event Page
Monday 10 July 2017