Monday, April 13, 2009

Aussie National Surf Lifesaving Champs

The weekend after we got back from New Zealand Scarborough Beach was the home of the Australian Surf Life Saving Championships ("The Aussies"), bringing together more than 6,000 competitors and officials from all over the country.

The Aussies marks the climax of a busy season for surf lifesavers. Clubs and individuals pit themselves against the elements and their peers to prove they are the best rescue and resuscitation outfits, ironmen, swimmers, boat crews, march past teams, ski paddlers, board riders and runners.

A number of the NZ team heading to the Aussies were on our flight back from NZ so Jason and I decided to pop down to the Beach and see the action. The great thing was there was a free shuttle bus service set up from from the car park (about 2km from the main beach). So many people were trying to find the closest park to the beach and not utilising the services on offer. We were parked and shuttled to the beach while other drivers were still circling as close to the beach as they could get.

There was so much going on at the beach, sprints, flags, paddling, rowing, swimming and more... how they keep track I don't know!

We watched the beach sprints for a while, they can run sooooooo fast on the soft sand. I was tired just walking in the sand. It was amusing to watch the younger competitors and their reactions when they muck up and drop the baton... its hard to work all season and then one tiny mistake means that a title is out of your grasp. At least with triathlon if you make a mistake early on in a race you can get your way back into contention... not so in a beach sprint relay!! We spent a bit of time trying to work out who would be the best sprinters...

Here's a ship way out to sea... but worth a shot.

Next on the spectating were the boats...The row boats always provide lots of photographic opportunities, especially as they try to get in through the surf.... great to watch all the action.Here they come...
They ended up crashing into each other!
I got heaps of great shots, it was hard to choose which ones to publish...
After the boats we caught the mixed double ski paddlers.... it was about now that Jason thought he might do surf again next year.
We had a great view of the men's belt race... and I don't mean the bum shot I have here :-)
What I meant was we were right by the mighty Zane Holmes... a legend in surf circles... and we got to see him first hand in action... he mowed the field down in the race... here he is on his way in. Yeah, he looks like he is in shape :-)
All in all good day at the beach.

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