While they didn’t knock the Newport juggernaut off its perch in the pointscore, Sydney surf athletes were all over finals day at the NSW Surf Life Saving Championships with Wanda and Elouera SLSCs claiming second and third on the podium.
And it wasn’t just Wanda and Elouera racking up the great results. Six of the top 10 clubs fell to Sydney Branch - Nth Bondi 5th, Nth Cronulla 7th, Cronulla 8th and Coogee 9th.
Emily Eaves and Rachel Sothern were way too excited about winning the U19 Board Relay, just loving competing together and with the larger team from Wanda over the weekend.
“We actually won last year and we had a bit of bad luck at Aussies, so we wanted to regain it again and it went so well, and we did it! The first time we raced was last year and we kind of just clicked, we just worked well together, we bounce off each other,” said Emily.
“The Wanda crew has gotten a lot bigger, we’re bonding a lot, it’s a good club culture we’ve got going and it’s getting bigger and bigger every year,” she said.
Hayden Allum and Nathan Smith showed they still have what it takes by winning the Open Board Rescue and the club’s female ski paddlers were on fire with firsts to Elyssa Pierce, Georgia Sinclair and Emily Eaves in the U19 and Open Double Ski races and Georgia also took out the U19 Single Ski. The U17 Male and Female Surf Team wins also went Wanda’s way.
The U19 Surf Team winners from Elouera put on another example of great teamwork in their race. Harry Came, Jake Evans, Chris King and Matt Sperring all across the line in the top nine.
“Me and Kings have been there since Nippers, Matt came across from Warilla three years ago and we just had Harry join us this year. It’s been really good joining this crew and it’s been really good seeing the juniors coming through in the 15s. A couple of the older guys are still running around, Tommy O’Keefe really stepping up to coach and show us all how it’s done,” said Jake Evans.
Matt Sperring was overwhelmed at winning the U19 Ironman title and credits his Nan with helping him win.
“I changed clubs last year, it was a hard year. I came back to Elouera this year and I’m living with my Nan, she's gotten me to where I am and I owe this win to her,” he said.
“This feels awesome. It's been a really tough couple of years with sickness. I had Glandular Fever and Pneumonia last year and to come back and do this, it's been a goal from the start of the season to have a good State Champs. I've raced a lot and made a lot of mistakes but this feels awesome,” said Matt.
On the sand the Elouera cap was everywhere too, with the club taking out heaps of the relay events including U19 Female and Mixed, the U17 Mixed, and the trifecta in the U15s with the Male, Female and Mixed races.
Nearby North Cronulla SLSC had some great results across many age divisions, including golds to Indi Bulian and Heidi Quintano in the U15 R&R and again in the 5 person R&R, right through to Will Budd in the Open Board race. Lucy Flanagan won the U15 Beach Flags and as usual, the Rampoldi sisters battled it out in the Flags and Sprints, with Alex victorious in the U19 and Open Beach Flags events and Leah second in both.
Tiahna Woodger won both the U17 and Open divisions in the 2km Beach Run and in the boats, the Nth Cronulla Funkys took out the U23 Female Surfboat final and the Funky Colts were second in the Open Male division.
Lucy Flanagan was elated to back up her previous four wins in the Flags.
“It’s pretty amazing especially being here, all the really tough competition we have in NSW. It’s a really big honour to be able to win,” she said.
“All the girls have been pushing each other hard, but we get the results so that’s great. All the friendships that you make, there is a big close bunch of girls in Under 15s. Big shout to my coaches!”
Top 10 Overall Pointscore
- Newport SLSC 525
- Wanda SLSC 359
- Elouera SLSC 246
- Manly LSC 245
- North Bondi SLSC 240
- Umina SLSC 168
- North Cronulla SLSC 166
- Cronulla SLSC 146
- Coogee SLSC 112
- Swansea Belmont SLSC 100
Tuesday 12 March 2019