THE Tea Gardens Hawks Nest Surf Lifesaving Club created history last week when it’s Open Reserve Men’s Boat Crew was crowned World Champions at the International Life Saving World Championships in Adelaide.
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“Wow! What an achievement,” Lifesaving Club Peter Rogers told News of the Area.
“The first ever surfboat crew to represent Tea Gardens Hawks Nest Surf Lifesaving Club at a World Surf Life Saving Championship and they came away with the Gold medal, World Champions.”
Chris Sando, James Fitzpatrick, Callan Sheldon, Mitch Baker, coached and swept by Greg Ross, travelled to Glenelg Beach in South Australia to race against the best surfboat crews both nationally and internationally.
“High winds and rough conditions saw the first event of the day cancelled,” Peter said.
But the tough conditions didn’t hamper our local crew.
“Tea Gardens Hawks Nest (TGHN) were able to cut through the choppy conditions and the competition, coming away with two convincing first places and a close second to qualify for the semi-final on the following day,” Peter said.
Day Two saw TGHN dominate the semi-final to make it through to the World Championship Final.
Then came the big test, but they didn’t falter.
“In calmer conditions, our local crew led from start to finish, a blistering start off the beach and great rowing in much calmer conditions had them row away from challenges made by the Yamba, Lorne and Queenscliff crews to cross the line in the Gold Medal position.”
“An amazing and committed effort and a testament to the crew’s improvement over the past season,” Peter said.
“For a Club the size of Tea Gardens/Hawks Nest to compete on that level plus have terrific life saving skills, shows tremendous dedication.”
“From being the first SLS Club nationally to be awarded Gold Club status two years ago, to now having a World Champion Surfboat crew, it speaks enormously for the dedications and efforts put in by all its members.”
Also competing in the Masters World Surf Life Saving Championships was club member Sharon Taylor.
In the NSW State Championships held in March at Swansea Belmont, Sharon gained two 2nds and a 3rd in beach and surf competition.
“Competing against the best, Sharon came away with a 4th place in the 2km Beach run event, a great achievement,” Peter said.
Our new local World Champions now head off next weekend, joined by the Clubs Under 19’s and Masters Crews, to compete in rounds 3 and 4 of the State Streets Surf Boat series to be held at Macksville and Scotts Head.
By: Margie TIERNEY