Despite Newport SLSC narrowly missing out on the top spot at the 2019 NSW Age Surf Life Saving Championships by just three points, the Sydney Northern Beaches juniors enjoyed successes across the board at Swansea Belmont’s Blacksmiths Beach.
The Morris brothers, Mitch and Jake led the way, dominating in almost every race they contested. Along with teammates Bailey Clues and Lee Melbourn, they had the U14 water events covered. Wins were had in the Board Relay, Board Rescue, Mixed Cameron, U13 and14 Surf Teams and the top four places in the Ironman and Surf Races.
There were some great results for the girls too, including Kimberley Doyle taking gold in the U14 Surf Race, silver in the Board and Ironwoman and young Sadie Maggs won the U9 Surf Race, which was no mean feat in the challenging conditions.
Kimberley Doyle is one of six in her family - all highly competitive swimmers. In her last year as a junior, she had to use every surf skill she had to negotiate the tricky break and pushed hard to get across the line first.
“It was really rough at the start with all the water moving around. The sets were pretty heavy and going under them was a bit scary. Coming in from the can, the waves were really big so it could have been anyone’s race in these conditions. I was really glad not to see anyone in front of me. I could see a couple of people behind me so I sprinted as hard as I could out of the water,” said Doyle.
North Curl Curl was the next best performing Northern Beaches club, finishing in sixth position overall. Manly, Freshwater, Collaroy and Mona Vale SLSCs also finished in the top 20, demonstrating the depth of talent in the Branch.
Fielding a big team of competitors paid dividends for North Curly as they racked up the points in all divisions. Olivia Clues got golds in the U12 Board and Board Rescue with Dom Melbourn and the girls also went one, two in the Ironwoman. Wins were also recorded in the U13 Cameron Relay, U12 Female Surf Team and Zara Kasprowicz in the U11 Ironwoman and Kai Lilienthal in the U13 Surf Race.
A sensational effort by Tyler Brown, Mitchell Bradley and Danny King in the U10 Board Relay put a smile on everyone’s face, although the boys admitted they didn’t stick to their game plan for the race.
“We were meant to come in on the bank, but we didn’t. But there were a few good runners,” said Mitchell.
“We got second last year so it feels good to finally be on top,” said Tyler.
Mona Vale’s Will Collinson stuck to his race tactics in the U14 2km Beach Run. “It was a very hard race. I went out slowly then pulled it back in the end. It was a very tough two kilometres in the sand,” he said.
Manly’s chances lay with a mix of water and beach competitors. The U11 Mixed Beach Relay team of Montana Laime, Charlie Easton, Toby and Coco Marsters ran a flawless race, while Tia Emmott Bennett won the U13 Board Race. Solid efforts saw many Manly nippers in the first six across the line to bring them into 11th place overall.
The NSW Age Surf Life Saving Championships, proudly supported by Your local club, returns to Swansea Belmont SLSC and Lake Macquarie in March next year.
Tuesday 5 March 2019