The 2015 North Australian Championships have wrapped up for another year in Mackay, with Cairns Surf Life Saving Club taking home the title and extending their winning streak at the event to six years in a row.
Cairns produced a number of strong performances across the three days of competition, to finish on 1,147 points and hold off rival Tannum Sands (1,106 points). Arcadian (832), Mackay (499 points) and Yeppoon (575.5 points) 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.
Host-club Mackay took the early advantage on Friday, making the most of the local conditions to claim top honours in the inflatable rescue boat competition.
However, Cairns bounced back in strong fashion to take out the pool rescue competition and, from there, a raft of strong performances in the final two days of competition was enough to secure the club its sixth consecutive title.
With the title on the line, Cairns’ senior athletes showed their class, with the club comfortably winning the masters competition by more than a hundred points.
Leading from the front was Cairns’ Emily Owen, who was a dominant force on the beach, taking out the 30-34 years ironwoman, rescue tube race, surf race and 2km beach run, before teaming up with club-mates to win gold in the 110 years Taplin relay, 110 years surf board relay, 140 years beach relay, surf board rescue and the open march past.
Veteran lifesaver James Marsh also claimed seven gold medals for Cairns, including the 50-54 years ironman, surf board and surf ski.
However, there was plenty of joy for other clubs, with Arcadian’s Cody Roth picking up a swag of top three finishes, including an impressive double – winning both the under-17 and open ironman finals.
Meanwhile, Bundaberg’s Emma Finnis capped off an impressive weekend, claiming gold medals in the open ironwoman, surf board, surf race, surf ski finals, and winning the prestigious Champion Lifesaver event.
Yeppoon’s Matthew Cumming showed his class, claiming a number of medals across the three days, including gold in the30-35 years ironman, surf board and surf race, and the 30-39 years surf board rescue.
Importantly, as with all surf sport carnivals, the competition is designed to reinforce the core surf lifesaving skills required to patrol Queensland beaches and save lives.
This was no more evident than during the under-11 board relay event on Saturday, when a female competitor was separated from, and then struck by, her board. Tannum Sands’ youngster Henry Dingle immediately aborted his race, swimming over the assist his rival competitor, and supporting her until the event’s water safety could arrive. His actions, quick response and selflessness epitomised the ideals of a true lifesaver.
To view the full results, click here.
To view the Club Point Score, please click here.
To view the Pool Rescue results, please click here.
To view a full list of Age Champions, please click here.