Five-star effort at Manly
BUNDABERG Surf Life Saving Club’s five-person Under-15 Rescue and Resuscitation (R&R) team competed at Manly and Freshwater carnivals in Sydney over the weekend and the Australia Day holiday.
They finished a credible third on each occasion, missing out on second place on a countback to Maroochydore and only one point behind the winners from Tugun.
Nobody expected Queensland to clean sweep the podium at these carnivals and it was a big surprise.
Manly beach was jam-packed with people — up to 5000 competitors, heaps of boats, surf craft and spectators on the beach on a hot day.
It was a great learning experience for the girls and the coaches, who were looked after well by interstate judges and officials.
It was pleasing for the club to hear such positive comments from everyone on how professional the girls looked in team shirts, spectacular in their competition outfits, and how nice it was to see Bundaberg back in NSW.
It has been a long time since Bundaberg competed seriously interstate, and from some older people around, they remember the wonderful years of Bundaberg winning the national march past for many years in a row.
The Bundaberg march past team was inducted in the Surf Lifesaving Hall of Fame a few years ago.
Many people asked to get another team together and come back to compete.
The girls had a day out at Taronga Zoo and some did the Harbour Bridge Climb, while others visited Luna Park and Darling Harbour.
The team also travelled to Bondi for a tour of the clubhouse, meet with the lifesavers, watched an open men’s R&R team train and met some Bondi Rescue stars.
The team was present when they were filming Bondi Rescue and saw up close a rescue and treatment of a spinal injury patient — all very good for the girls as they are patrolling members of the Bundaberg surf club.
Bundaberg's team was made welcome by Bondi and could not have asked for a better reception by the lifeguards, who were friendly, charming and informative.
Individually, Bonnie Stehbens finished fourth in the under-14 surf swim and Emma Finnis came 11th out of a field of more than 40 swimmers in much colder waters than Bundaberg, even though it was a hot day.
It was a great learning experience and an exhausting time, but one that will be remembered favourably.