A record 470 surf lifesavers from across the state will dive into the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre this weekend for Surf Life Saving Queensland’s (SLSQ) 2017 State Pool Rescue Championships.
The two-day Championships will see qualified surf lifesavers from all corners of the state take their patrol and rescue skills from the beach to the pool as they battle it out across a range of events including manikin rescues, obstacle swims, and line throws.
SLSQ sport event coordinator Ryan Bennett said it was a great opportunity, and challenge, for lifesavers to transfer the skills they regularly use on surf patrols into the pool environment.
“The pool rescue competition is a really important opportunity for all lifesavers to work on their skills and hone their craft throughout the winter months,” he said.
“These types of pool rescue skills are fast becoming essential for all surf lifesavers. The events can be quite technical, and a lot of competitors will no doubt be looking to refine their techniques and improve on their skills heading into the warmer months,” he said.
A 35% jump in competitor numbers this year will see athletes line up from across the state, with Mr Bennett suggesting there could be a few upsets across the weekend.
“The pool is a great leveller in a lot of ways; it doesn’t matter if you come from the big surf of the Gold Coast or the calmer waters in the north, everyone’s on an equal footing when they dive in and it all comes down to who is the strongest swimmer and the best lifesaver,” he said.
“The likes of Currumbin, Northcliffe, and Kurrawa on the Gold Coast, and Maroochydore and Alex Heads on the Sunshine Coast, are always strong in this discipline and I’d expect them to all be pushing for the overall title come Sunday afternoon.”
The Queensland Pool Rescue Championships will be held at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre at Southport on the Gold Coast. The action kicks off at 8am on Saturday 22 July and wraps up Sunday afternoon.
Saturday will feature the sport’s top junior competitors, aged under 11 through to under 15, with Sunday to feature senior competitors aged from under-17 through to opens and masters.