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There wasn’t a wave in sight, but fast times were certainly on the menu as lifesavers battled it out at a tightly fought Pool Rescue Championships at the Ryde Aquatic and Leisure Centre last weekend.

Over 250 competitors representing 23 surf clubs from around NSW featured in this year’s competition where club championships were available in the Youth, Open and Masters age groups. Ultimately it was the clubs from the Central Coast who took home all three trophies.

Umina’s successful season continued with a first place finish in the Youth division, second place overall in Masters, and did just enough to claim top honours over a fast finishing Wanda on countback in the Opens.

“I’m very pleased with these results as it has been an absolutely fantastic year for the club,” a delighted Umina Beach President Paul Sharpe said.

“Three years ago we sat down and identified where we wanted to go in surf sports with Trevor Gee driving the program. It’s been a work in process but everyone from the seniors down has bought into it. The team ethos has been amazing with the seniors very keen to ensure that the juniors understand the values and what we stand for as a club.”

Mr Sharpe said one of the most pleasing aspects of the results was that everyone involved was a local junior.

“Shelly Smith, Kerry Armstrong-Smith and Skye Marshall deserve a lot of credit for all the hard work they’ve done with the team this season. We’ve also been fortunate enough to have a core group train at The Hills club under the guidance of Andrew Bowden so that allows them to further their skills.

“I hope that these results are just the beginning and we can carry on improving to bigger and better things,” he concluded.

There was a reversal of results in the Masters category with Terrigal doing enough to beat Umina in the overall points tally.

In an encouraging sign for the future of the sport, one of the most entertaining battles took place in the Youth division. Just two points separated third from fifth spot with Wanda awarded the bronze position on countback ahead of Shelly Beach and Elouera.

There were a number of strong individual performances throughout the weekend.

Ethan Garland (North Cronulla) won 6 medals including 4 gold, the highlight being arguably the U17 Super Lifesaver race where he did enough to beat home Callum Lowe-Griffiths (Queenscliff) and Matthew Sperring (Warilla Barrack-Point) all three medallists have enjoyed plenty of success at state level on the beach.

Britney Stoker (Wanda) dominated the U19s winning 8 medals including 7 gold during a busy program.

Umina’s Jemma Smith who has been making waves all season also enjoyed a productive weekend finishing with 12 medals.

NSW Surf Sports Coordinator Luke Stigter said it was a highly successful weekend of racing.

“By all reports the competitors were extremely happy to race in a fast pool and this was reflected in their results.

“I would like to congratulate Umina and Terrigal for winning their divisions, and to all the competitors and officials for the good sportsmanship shown this weekend. It’s always a difficult job when the results are so tight, and this year proved to be one of the closest competitions in recent memory,” Mr Stigter concluded.

Competitors will now resume training as their preparation for next month’s Australian Championships at Southport on Queensland’s Gold Coast kicks into high gear.

A NSW team to contest the 2016 Interstate Championships will also be announced shortly with performances from the weekend surely to be at the forefront of the selector’s minds.

2016 Overall Point Scores – Top 5

Youth Point Score:

• Umina SLSC 208

• Terrigal SLSC 144

• Wanda SLSC 113

• Shelly Beach SLSC 113

• Elouera SLSC 111

Masters Point Score:

• Terrigal SLSC 72

• Umina SLSC 55

• Wanda SLSC 49

• Forster SLSC 48

• South Maroubra 45

Open Point Score

• Umina SLSC 144

• Wanda SLSC 144

• Bulli SLSC 121

• Elouera SLSC 111

• Bronte SLSC 97


Monday 11 July 2016