Riley McGregor was the 2009 State and National Champion.
Riley McGregor was the 2009 State and National Champion.

McGregor to step up at titles

LAST year, Riley McGregor could do no wrong in the ocean, breezing to victory at both the Queensland and Australian Surf Rescue Championships.

He was crowned the under-17 champion lifesaver, but his task will be tougher this year as he goes up an age division.

McGregor will head a strong contingent of local surf lifesavers at this weekend’s Queensland Surf Rescue Championships at Dicky Beach, Caloundra, but has said the success he had last year may be just out of reach this time around.

“The goal is to make nationals again. If I can do that I’ll be happy with my efforts,” McGregor said.

He will not be alone in his pursuit, and is joined by nine other Bundaberg SLSC competitors.

Kate Newton, Erin Gibson, Tenielle Dunkley and Jamie Findlay also stood out last year, all placing in their Queensland champion lifesaver campaigns before Tenielle (third) and Jamie (fourth) continued their run into the Australian titles.

These familiar faces, plus a few more, will hit the Sunshine Coast beach from today until Sunday.

Newton will contest the under-19 female champion lifesaver alongside Dunkley, while Gibson, Teisha Towner and Scott Mapson will represent Bundaberg in the under-15 division.

In the under-14s, Bonnie Stehbens, Hayley Bowman and Jack Lester will be the ones to watch.

Stehbens, Towner, Gibson and Cremer will team together for the under-15 patrol competition.

The top two finishers in each category will secure places in the Australian Surf Lifesaving Championships.

Sunshine Coast clubs are traditionally the ones to beat, with host Dicky Beach SLSC taking out the top position in 2009, followed closely by Noosa Heads and Alexandra Headland.

For a small club, however, Bundaberg did extremely well last year to finish in fifth spot overall.

Surf Life Saving Queensland surf sports manager Chris Harris said the skills performed at the championships, such as rescues and resuscitation, were important because they were “what we’re all about when we’re doing patrols”.

Beach action will run between 10am and noon, while water events start at 1.30pm Saturday.



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