Life savers expected to succeed

A BIG contingent of locals are expected to perform well at the 2010 North Australian Surf Life Saving Championships at Mackay’s Harbour Beach this weekend.

This year’s event marks the 20th anniversary of the championships.

Around 1000 competitors from clubs between Hervey Bay and Port Douglas will compete across age groups from under-11 right through to Masters (50+years).

Competition will start on Friday with the Champion Lifesaver, First Aid and IRB events in the morning and the Pool Rescue in the afternoon and evening. Saturday will see the championships proper get under way with the traditional surf sports events conducted throughout both days, including beach events, surf/ocean events, march past, R&R and surf boats.

Last year’s Champion Club in the Senior Pointscore, Junior Pointscore and Overall Pointscore, Ellis Beach, will again be very hard to beat.

But they can expect strong competition from clubs such as Townsville-Picnic Bay, Cairns, Tannum Sands and even our local clubs.

In the Masters’ pointscore, last year’s Champion Club Cairns has had a mortgage on this trophy for the past few years and one would assume they should win it again, but they will also face stiff opposition from the above clubs.

To highlight the 20th anniversary of the championships, special presentations will be made, including Most Outstanding Overall Competitor (past 20 years), 20-Year Service plaques for officials, and Most Outstanding Competitors for the past 10 years in Junior, Senior, Masters and Overall.

But perhaps the most prestigious thing on offer this weekend, and something that will be a major goal for almost all competitors in the U-13, 14, 15 and 17 age groups, will be a spot in the 48-person Queensland Country Junior Representative Team to compete at the upcoming Queensland Interbranch Championships.

All three local surf life saving clubs will be represented this weekend – Elliott Heads, Bundaberg and Moore Park – with each club sending small but strong squads.

Last Sunday at Redcliffe, round one of the SLSQ Fastest Man on Sand Series was held, with some outstanding results by local competitors.

Leading the way was Elliott Heads’ Braydon Batt, who won the U-17 male beach sprint and was third in the beach flags.

Moore Park youngster Martin Powell was our only other victor at the carnival, winning the U-11 male flags and placing third in the sprint.

His older brother Christopher collected second place behind his training partner Batt in the U-17 male sprint and also claimed fifth in the flags.

Bundaberg newcomer Annelise Wesley also performed well, taking second in the U-15 female sprint and fourth place in the flags.

On a disappointing note, Elliott Heads beach sprinter and current Queensland champion Bianka Dexter was seriously injured while taking second in the U-15 female flags and was unable to take her place in the sprint.

We wish her a speedy recovery.

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