Sensational Summer of Surf Sport

It’s been a sensational summer of surf lifesaving for the LSV aquatic sports team and all the competitors across junior, senior and masters carnivals, who showcased their sports skills while actively training for lifesaving duties.

“It’s been a stand-out year for aquatic sports drawing large numbers of competitors and their families to our beaches,” says Kirsty Clark, LSV Aquatic Sport Senior Coordinator. “Whether it was a nipper competing for the first time, a senior at the top of their game, or a master showing they still had what it takes to compete in aquatic sports, everyone gave it their all at each and every carnival.”

Highlights included Torquay’s Cosy Corner junior carnival where nippers from 27 lifesaving clubs competed, with around 1,600 competitors participating in a range of events, including girls and boys iron, board races, beach flags and wade relay.

“Competitors, families and spectators from Victoria and interstate were able to enjoy a friendly day of competition, while reinforcing the valuable surf lifesaving skills of our nippers,” says Kirsty.

For seniors, a highlight was the LSV senior carnival at Fairhaven, which included the Ocean6 event. Around 600 competitors, including 250 from Queensland and New South Wales, flocked to this iconic Great Ocean Road beach to compete.

“Having Californian lifeguards at this event as part of their Wieland Shield tour, as well as interstate athletes, at Fairhaven and Torquay events, meant the standard of competition this summer was very high,” says Daryl Moss, LSV’s volunteer and training officer, who has also been involved in the sports carnivals for many years with his children as members of Jan Juc SLSC.

“The appearance of some South Australian clubs over the summer has also been a positive reflection of the quality of competition in Victoria,” says Daryl. “We were also fortunate to have good weather, which helped to manage the events and keep spectators on the beach.”

For a change, the Nippers were on the other end of the finish line in Lorne at the Masters Championships, cheering on their mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles and grandparents. It was a chance for the older generation of lifesavers to show they still had what it takes to compete.

“We had six competitors aged 70-plus and over 350 athletes in total,” says Rachael Rylance, LSV’s Director of Aquatic Sports. “The Championships for over-30s revealed a broad cross-section of Victorian lifesaving talent, as well as being a great day at the beach for spectators and supporters.”

Masters athletes from 29 lifesaving clubs took part, with competitors participating in a range of events, including ironman and ironwoman, board and ski races, and beach events, such as sprints and flags.

There were also eight interstate competitors who travelled from Christie’s Beach, South Australia, to put their skills to the test against Victoria’s best. With large contingents from Mordialloc LSC, Williamstown S&LSC, Ocean Grove SLSC and Lorne SLSC, there was also plenty of friendly interclub rivalry.

“The Masters competition was also an opportunity to shine a light on some of the long-serving volunteers, who have contributed to Victorian lifesaving clubs over many years,” says Rachael, herself a volunteer. “Not only were masters representing their clubs as sportspeople, they also served as an example of how members can remain involved in lifesaving long after they’ve completed Nippers.”

And it’s not over yet! The excitement continues on the beach next month with the Junior State Championships in Warrnambool on 10th/11th March and Senior State Championships in Apollo Bay on 24th/25th March, thanks to the generous support of sponsors Engine, Westpac, DHL and Holden.

View the complete sports calendar and current results here.

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