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As the 2023 NSW Surf Life Saving Championships, proudly supported by Your local club, continues in earnest, NSW’s best Masters athletes have hit the beach and proven once more that experience is an invaluable asset when tackling the sand and the surf.

Hot off a big win in the overall point score at the Junior Championships last week, North Bondi SLSC dominated proceedings on the first day of the Masters Championships – 23 wins and a total of 58 podiums giving the Sydney club a healthy lead over their neighbours to the south, Bondi SBLSC and Manly LSC.

Competing just a couple hundred metres from their surf club at the other end of the beach, Manly, alongside both Bondi-based clubs, has benefitted greatly from strength in numbers. When they aren’t winning, they’re placing inside the points across a breadth of events to ensure they will feature at the pointy end of the competition.

For North Bondi, Andre Dalton in the 45-49 Male Board, Dean Scarff in the 35-39 Male Beach Flags, Ross Langbein in the 40-44 Male Sprint, and Jane Cinciero in the 65-69 Female Flags were among the many winners, while several smaller clubs saw athletes pull together some amazing performances.

Kim Winter from Pacific Palms SLSC grabbed silvers in the 60-64 Female Single Ski and Female Flags after six gold at the Country Championships earlier this year, while Fiona Rae of Palm Beach SLSC accounted for half of her club’s four gold medals on the day in the 55-59 Female Iron and Single Ski.

From the Illawarra, Coledale SLSC’s Davina Strauss picked up a pair of first place finishes in the 40-44 Female Flags and Sprint, Leanne Longford grabbed two medals for The Lakes SLSC in the 50-54 Female Board and Iron – both gold – and Julie Dawson pipped Wendy McNamara in an all-Toowoon Bay SLSC 70-74 Female Flags showdown.

Darren Drewson, the legendary beach competitor from the Far South Coast at Broulee Surfers SLSC, continued his reign over the Flags with a win in the 50-54 Male category. He was earlier upset by Bondi’s Jayson Lincoln in the Sprint.

Sydney clubs, namely North Bondi, dominated in the Male and Female Beach Relays, while further down the beach in the water area, Paul Lemmon added yet another Iron gold to his pool room (along with a Surf, Board and Ski gold earlier in the day).

Blair Day, brother to renowned Nutri Grain Ironman, Ali Day, took out the 35-39 Male Iron for his South Coast club, Warilla-Barrack Point, while Jordan White and Nicole Sims picked up where they left off at Country Champs for the eventual winners, adding several golds across a variety of beach and water events in the 30-34 and 35-39 categories, respectively.

For the hosts, Susie Southern picked up a Beach Flags and Sprint double in the 60-64 Female category, helping Queenscliff to finish the day just outside the top three.

The 2023 NSW Surf Life Saving Championships, proudly presented by Your local club, continues tomorrow with the final day of the Masters Championships before Open athletes and Surf Boats hit the beach from Friday 3 March.

Top 10 Clubs After Day One

1. North Bondi SLSC

2. Bondi SBLSC

3. Manly LSC

4. Queenscliff SLSC

5. Shelly Beach SLSC

6. Terrigal SLSC

7. Newport SLSC

8. Wanda SLSC

9. Palm Beach SLSC

10. Cronulla SLSC

Full results can be accessed here.

Wednesday 1 March 2023