Victorian lifesavers travel north to put skills to test against nation’s best

This month, hundreds of Victorian athletes joined more than 7,000 competitors from 314 lifesaving clubs at the Australian Surf Lifesaving Championships (The Aussies)– the largest event of its kind, comparable in size to the Commonwealth Games. 

Open women’s double ski Australian champions Sarah Bray and Madeline Hurst from Half Moon Bay SLSC.

Victoria brought home 11 gold, 11 silver and 12 bronze medals across water, beach, lifesaving and board riding disciplines, as well as making more than 70 finals at The Aussies. 

Half Moon Bay Surf Life Saving Club (SLSC) open women’s double ski team, comprising Sarah Bray and Madeleine Hurst, overcame a star-studded line-up to win the gold medal on finals day, dubbed “super Sunday”. 

Anglesea SLSC were a triple threat in the rescue and resuscitation (R&R) events, claiming gold in the open female five person, sharing the podium with South Melbourne Life Saving Club (LSC) in second, as well as taking out the open mixed five person and open mixed six person disciplines.

R&R triple threats Anglesea SLSC.

St Kilda LSC were strong in the surf boat arena, with the Angry Otters winning silver in the open men’s and the under 23 women’s events, both swept under the experienced eye of Matthew Culka. 

In the youth competition, Jemma Holt of Mordialloc LSC opened the podium for Victoria, winning bronze in the under 15 female surf race, while fellow Mordialloc competitor Samantha Barrow was a force to be reckoned with in the masters beach events, winning the 45-49 years female beach sprint and silver in the beach flags. 

Silver St Kilda in the open men’s surf boat event.

It wasn’t just the athletes who were successful, with eight Victorian officials receiving service awards for 20, 30, 40 and 50 years of service. 

Richard Mitchell from Venus Bay SLSC and Barbara Morgan OAM from South Melbourne LSC both received awards for 50-plus years of service, Rod Costa of Torquay SLSC was recognised for 40-plus years, Graham Rice from Lorne and Kurrawa SLSCs and Michael Vafiades of Warrnambool SLSC for 30-plus years and Brighton LSC’s Colin Ellicott, Half Moon Bay SLSC’s Harry Hannas and Torquay SLSC’s William Johnson all received awards for 20-plus years. 

Officials Barbara Morgan (South Melbourne LSC) and Richard Mitchell (Venus Bay SLSC) were recognised for 50+ years of service to Surf Life Saving Australia.

Life Saving Victoria manager aquatic sport Simon Butterly said he was thoroughly impressed with the efforts of all Victorian athletes, officials, coaches, team managers and the other volunteers and supporters who attended The Aussies. 

“As the biggest event on the lifesaving sport calendar, it takes an incredible amount of work from our volunteers to get to The Aussies,” Mr Butterly said. 

“From the athletes putting in months of training every year, to the officials spending long days on the beach, the coaches and team managers for their tireless work behind the scenes, and other volunteers who tow the trailers, travel with their families and provide support to our athletes, you are all a valued part of Victoria’s strong lifesaving contingent. 

“To see our Victorian athletes performing so well across water, beach, lifesaving and surf boat disciplines, balancing their chosen sport with volunteering to keep Victorians safe at our beaches, is incredibly impressive. 

Under 15 swimming sensation Jemma Holt of Mordialloc LSC won bronze in the surf race.

“Congratulations to everyone on a successful Aussies and season 2021-22. We can’t wait to see you back on the beach next season”, Mr Butterly said.  

Summer may be over but lifesaving sports are not, with the pool lifesaving season having commenced at Broadmeadows Aquatic and Leisure Centre on Sunday 27 March and the inflatable rescue boat (IRB) racing season kicking off at Mordialloc LSC on Sunday 24 April. 





Victoria’s 2022 Australian Surf Lifesaving Championships medallists: 

Open female double ski
1st: Half Moon Bay SLSC (Sarah Bray, Madeleine Hurst) 

Open mixed five person R&R
1st: Anglesea SLSC (Melissa Bird, Callum Brennan, Mikaela Dale, Alexandra Madeley, Lucas Waters) 

Open mixed six person R&R
1st: Anglesea SLSC (Melissa Bird, Callum Brennan, Mikaela Dale, Alexandra Madeley, Ryan Nolan, Lucas Waters) 

45-49 years female beach sprint
1st: Samantha Barrow, Mordialloc LSC 

60-64 years male ski race
1st: Anthony Orwin, Half Moon Bay SLSC 

170 years male ski relay
1st: Half Moon Bay SLSC (Cliff Goulding, Adam Morley, Anthony Orwin) 

Open male surf boat race
2nd: St Kilda Angry Otters (Matthew Baker, Tom Baker, Matthew Culka, Matthew Jeffrey, Tom Skidmore) 

Under 23 female surf boat race
2nd: St Kilda Salamanders (Cassie Carman, Lana Croker, Matthew Culka, Caledonia Ryan, Liv Walkinshaw) 

50-59 years female longboard surfing
2nd: Nicole Matthews, Torquay SLSC 

 60-64 years male double ski race
2nd: Half Moon Bay SLSC (Cliff Goulding, Anthony Orwin) 

Under 19 female 2km ocean swim
3rd: Reidel Smith, Half Moon Bay SLSC 

Under 17 male beach sprint
3rd: Arno D’Andrea, Fairhaven SLSC 

Under 15 female surf race
3rd: Jemma Holt, Mordialloc LSC 

35-39 years male ski race
3rd: Russel Fox, Half Moon Bay SLSC 

35-39 years male 2km ocean swim
3rd: Benjamin Lund, Jan Juc SLSC 

50-54 years male beach flags
3rd: Brett Croft, Portsea SLSC 

60-64 years male surf race
3rd: Frank Christian, Point Leo SLSC

Open female five person R&R
1st: Anglesea SLSC (Melissa Bird, Rhianna Burke, Mikaela Dale, Georgina Gore, Alexandra Madeley)
2nd: South Melbourne LSC (Daisy Graham, Sarah Robinson, Ava Robinson, Molly McPhee, MacKenzie Michael) 

Under 19 mixed five person R&R
1st: South Melbourne LSC (Daisy Graham, Sarah Robinson, Ava Robinson, Molly McPhee, Mackenzie Michael) 

45-49 years male 2km ocean swim
1st: Tristan Read, Lorne SLSC 

65-69 years female surf race
1st: Susan Crow, Portsea SLSC 

160 years female surf boat race
1st: Lorne Again (Georgina Box, Tegan Eldridge, Shea Grant, Geoffrey Matthews, Paula Matthews) 

Under 19 male 2km run
2nd: Nicholas Frisby, Williamstown S&LC 

45-49 years female beach flags
2nd: Samantha Barrow, Mordialloc LSC 

45-49 years male 2km run
2nd: Sam Hume, Anglesea SLSC 

 60-64 years female 1km run
2nd: Susan Howell, Ocean Grove SLSC 

 65-69 years female 2km ocean swim
2nd: Susan Crow, Portsea SLSC 

180 years male surf boat race
2nd: Jan Juc Rams (James Edmonds, Luke McKenna, Tony McKenna, Peter Saw, Brett Thompson) 

Under 17 male shortboard surfing
3rd: Jude Enticott, Lorne SLSC 

30-39 years female shortboard surfing
3rd: Phoebe Goulding, Half Moon Bay SLSC 

35-39 years male double ski
3rd: Half Moon Bay SLSC (Cary Fox, Russel Fox)

40-44 years male 2km ocean swim
3rd: Haydn Tierney, Point Leo SLSC 

50-54 years female ski race
3rd: Chloe Hardman, Portsea SLSC

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