The halcyon days on a summer beach will be a distant memory for the more than 400 talented surf lifesavers who this weekend will hit the pool in the quest for glory at the NSW Pool Rescue Championships on the state’s Central Coast.
Pool Rescue is a highly technical sport, and is an opportunity for both patrolling lifesavers, and those who are approaching their senior nipper years to hone their skills over the colder months.
One of the highlights of the program is the “200m Super Lifesaver” which is an event that consists of a 75m freestyle swim, to recover a submerged manikin followed by 50m freestyle to secure a manikin with a rescue tube to tow to the finish line.
Other events contested include a combination of individual events such as obstacle races, manikin carry and tow, brick carry races and team relay events such as the Line Throw, 4x50m Medley Relay and the 4x25m Manikin Relay.
Woy Woy’s Peninsula Leisure Centre will host the two-day championships for the first time since 2015 with NSW athletes keen for not only a big performance, but the chance to add the title of state champion to their resume.
Last season there were 3 separate champion clubs in the overall standings with Terrigal (Youth), Redhead (Open) and Bondi Surf Bathers (Masters) performing strongly in their respective divisions.
All three clubs will be confident of another dominant showing this time round, but traditional powerhouses Umina, Elouera, and Wanda will certainly lead the chasing pack.
There will be increased competition this season with a number of interstate clubs counted in the 33 who are named to take to the starting blocks.
Surf clubs from Victoria and Queensland will field competitors as part of a grand prix initiative trialled this season that encourages athletes to travel interstate for regular competition.
In addition to medals, there is plenty on the line for the competitors this weekend with a strong performance for those aged U18 likely to put them on the radar for a spot on the NSW Development Tour of New Zealand later this year, while their older counterparts will be battling for Interstate selection.
The competition also marks the last chance for the athletes to have a hit-out before next month’s Australian Titles to be held in South Australia.
NSW Surf Sports Officer Chiara Nowland is anticipating an exciting competition.
“It’s shaping up to be a wonderful weekend of Pool Rescue competition with a huge number of athletes signing on.
“We’ve made a change to the format this year with the introduction of U11s to the schedule, and it will be exciting to see how the youngsters go in their first Pool Competition,” said Ms Nowland.
“One of the great advantages of the sport is that all the competitors, officials and supporters will be under the one roof so that will certainly create a sensational atmosphere,” she said.
The 2018 NSW Pool Rescue Championships will be held on Saturday 14 – Sunday 15 January at Peninsular Centre Woy Woy. Competition gets underway at 8am AEST.
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Thursday 12 July 2018