After three days of fierce competition, Cairns has topped the leader board at Surf Life Saving Queensland’s 2014 North Australian Championships in Mackay, extending the club’s winning streak to five years in a row.
The team produced a number of strong performances across the three-day competition, recording a total of 1,239 points to hold off close rival Arcadian (1,026.5 points). Townsville Picnic Bay (816.5), Mackay (590) and Tannum Sands (580) rounded out the top five.
The annual championships saw more than 500 athletes from Port Douglas to Hervey Bay converge on Mackay to compete in the full suite of surf sports events including IRB racing, surf boats, the champion lifesaver events and the prestigious ironman and ironwoman.
Cairns held a slender lead heading into the weekend’s events thanks to a raft of strong performances in the pool rescue events, but an upset was on the cards when Arcadian topped the junior and senior point score.
However, a dominant performance in the masters category, where Cairns scored 479.50 points to Arcadian’s 157.50, proved the difference in the end and saw the club seal its fifth championship victory in a row.
Cairns team manager Belinda Marsh said the close score reflected the tough competition across the weekend.
“We’re very excited to win, because it was really close this year. We could see in all the areas that we were doing well, but there were a lot of other clubs also performing well.
“It was the best competition that we’ve had, across all areas, in a long time – it was great.
“In the end it was our masters athletes who got us there. We’re so strong in that age category which is fantastic to see … and it was those points that got us over the line,” she said.
Cairns club captain and surf sport coach James Marsh led from the front, winning three events including gold in the 45-49 years ironman, while finishing on the podium in a further four events.
There was plenty of joy for other clubs, with many athletes leaving their own individual marks on the 2014 championships.
Mackay’s Lucinda Remilton proved unstoppable in the local conditions, taking out nine events including the 30-34 years female beach flags, beach sprint, ironwoman, rescue tube race, surf board and surf rescue.
Bundaberg’s Emma Finnis showed why she is one to watch out for, taking out the Under-19 ironwoman, surf board and surf race before backing up to claim gold in the open ironwoman, surf board rescue, Taplin relay and Champion Lifesaver event. Josh Finnis made it a family affair, winning the Under-17 ironman and surf race.
Mackay’s Joel Haynes claimed gold in the open male beach flags while Jesse Witt (Etty Bay) took out the open male beach sprint. Witt also showed his endurance capacity, winning the open male 2km beach run.
Tannum Sands’ Hayden Lester claimed gold in the Open Ironman and will take that confidence to the Gold Coast next weekend, where he will line up to compete in his first Coolangatta Gold.
Townsville Picnic Bay’s Logan Murray proved her class on the sand, taking out the open female beach sprint and beach flags.
For full results, please click here: http://sportqld.srv01.carnival.sls.com.au/eventmgr/results/report/public/310/1
For the club point score, click here.