THE senior statesmen and women of lifesaving showed their steel on Saturday, as they braved wild conditions in Lorne for the 2020 Masters State Championships.
About 400 Masters from across Victoria competed on the day, despite conditions eventually getting so rough that the full carnival to be held at Lorne the next day was called off.
Six-time Pier to Pub winner Naantali Marshall from Anglesea SLSC was one of the standout athletes on the day.
In the 40-44 female division, she won the surf, tube, board, ski and iron events.
Marshall said it was a fantastic event, voicing her appreciation to those who contributed to it.
“I want to say thank you to the incredible water safety volunteers – we were very lucky to have them out with us in the water today.
“I’m really proud of all the women who raced in such tricky conditions. Some were doing their first-ever state carnivals in their forties and fifties.”
One of the more senior competitors was 74-year-old Michael Wilson from Portsea. Wilson competed in the state championships at Lorne in 1969, where he won the board event.
More than 50 years later, he showed himself to still be a formidable athlete, coming second in the over 70 male beach sprints.
The treacherous conditions especially wreaked chaos in the surf boat races, with many crews ending up in the water.
Life Saving Victoria’s Nick Metcalfe said the event saw the best of competitors both in and out of the surf.
“Their skills really shone, and a great day was had by all, with a real family feel to the event.
“Children competed with and against parents, water safety crews had children of competitors out on the water with their parents and there were plenty of kids cheering on their parents from the beach.”