Byron Bay SLSC’s dominant women’s team took advantage of the smooth conditions at Ocean Beach – Umina and walked away with a medal haul at the Allphones NSW Masters Surf Life Saving Championships, which wrapped up today.
Helen Murray, who is relatively new to the sport with three years’ competing under her swim cap, was the most successful member of the six woman team, cleaning up with individual gold in the 40–44 board, ironwoman and ski events on Wednesday and silver in the 2km beach run.
On the final day of Masters competition, Byron Bay collected team gold in multiple events including 130 years female board relay, 150 years male board relay, 45 years plus women’s double ski and the 50–55 female tube rescue. Outstanding gold medal winning performances also came from Gai Coleman in the 50–54 female single ski, Geoff Brodin in the 50–54 male board race and Fred Middleton in the 60–64 male single ski.
In the three leg 130 years combined board relay today, Murray was deliberately left to paddle last, teammates Gai Coleman and Helen Jarvis getting the team up into second but with a glaring 100 metre gap to the leading Coogee paddler. Murray dug deep to catch then pass the frontrunner, adding to her enviable medal tally from these state titles.
‘Some mums get together and go on cruises for their holidays. I’m not really the cruise type so I come to these events,’ said the super fit Murray. ‘My kids did nippers and I’ve always swum. I like to be active and in the ocean and in surf life saving; there’s a nice sense of community and belonging.’
‘Everyone in the team has their strengths,’ says team member Karin Irwin, whose husband Paul is the club coach for boards and skis and has been involved in surf life saving at Byron Bay for four decades.
This afternoon and tomorrow morning the second wave of Byron Bay competitors will arrive with the commencement of open competition tomorrow through to Sunday. Up to 2,500 Open competitors are due to arrive at the central coast for the sport’s pinnacle in this state.
Warm weather and mostly sunny conditions are likely right through to Sunday’s double header highlight, the contest for the 2013 NSW Ironman and Ironwoman.
Final Master Pointscore: 1 Queenscliff Surf Life Saving Club 257.5; 2 Avoca Beach SLSC 191; 3 Byron Bay Surf Life Saving Club 178; 4 Bondi Surf Bathers Life Saving 156; 5 Manly Life Saving Club 152; 6 Maroubra SLSC 138; 7 Coogee Surf Lifesaving Club 136.5; 8 Terrigal Surf Life Saving Club 135.5; 9 Redhead Surf Life Saving Club 126; 10 Collaroy SLSC 125.5.
(Board riding and some surfboat events have yet to be entered.)
For full results from the Masters competition at the 2013 Allphones NSW Surf Life Saving Championships go to: http://www.surflifesaving.com.au/event/statechamps/results