Ocean Grove dominates Endurance Champs, Surf Coast women dominate at VSRL Lorne meet

November 18, 2021 BY

Junior competitors lining up for the board race at Saturday's Endurance Championships at Cosy Corner. Photo: SONIA JENKINS

THE Surf Coast saw it all as Life Saving Victoria (LSV) competition returned for the summer in beach, board, ski and surf boat disciplines.

Last weekend saw the competitive sport back in action for the first time since COVID-19 paused operations across the state.

On Saturday, more than 200 board, ski and distance running athletes hit Cosy Corner in Torquay for the 2021 Endurance Championships, which saw athletes contest uniquely longer course events in board, ski, running and swimming.

“We were thrilled to host over 200 athletes across four disciplines in our first weekend back of aquatic sports, after a long winter break in and out of lockdowns,” Life Saving Victoria manager for aquatic sport Simon Butterly said.

“It was fantastic to see athletes from the under 12 division all the way up to masters at our endurance championships, as LSV is working to actively promote aquatic sports as a great form of active training across all demographics.”

Plenty of Surf Coast representatives were successful in the endurance events with Tristan Read (Lorne SLSC) and Sophie Thomas (Torquay SLSC) getting things started in the open 2km swim with wins.

Iestyn Knapp was able to secure the Under 19s 2km swim, 4km board and 4km run races for Ocean Grove SLSC, a dominant showing from the Maurie Rayner Scholarship recipient.

Meanwhile William Newton (Under 14 – Lorne SLSC), Summer Morgan (Under 12 – Anglesea SLSC) and Billy Read (Under 12 – Lorne SLSC) took out their respective swimming events.

Amenah McDonald kicked off the Bellarine’s success in the 6km ski race with fellow club member Taia Young cruising her way to the 10km ski event in the Under 19 division. Ocean Grove’s Darcy Freeman was also victorious in the 10km ski.

The board races took on all comers, but juniors Billy Read (Lorne SLSC) and Summer Morgan (Anglesea SLSC) continued their good form on the day. Hudson Pearce (Ocean Grove SLSC) and Aidan McGee (Ocean Grove SLSC) won their board in addition.

Sophie Thomas continued her dominance in the Open division taking out the 4km board event, whereas Ben Harris (Torquay SLSC) found his only success on the day in the same division.

Ivor Morgan (Anglesea SLSC) and Bethan Knapp (Ocean Grove SLSC) represented the Masters division well in the 4km board race too both earning wins.

Juniors from all over the Surf Coast ran their hearts out in the concluding event of the day – the run.

The Surf Coast and Bellarine winners list on Saturday in the 2km and 4km runs were: Taj Purcell (Under 13 – Torquay SLSC), Cadel Cross (Under 12 – Lorne SLSC), Sebastian Asher (Open – Ocean Grove SLSC), Alice Moon (Open – Ocean Grove SLSC), Pippi McIntyre (Ocean Grove SLSC – Under 17), Iestyn Knapp (Under 19 – Ocean Grove SLSC), Jamie Flanagan (Jan Juc SLSC – Under 14), Xavier McGowan (Torquay SLSC – Under 17), Hugo Walsh (Ocean Grove SLSC – Under 14) and Phillip Galea (Ocean Grove SLSC – Masters).

Ocean Grove SLSC (274 points) were simply in a class of their own taking out the overall club points on the day by more than 150 points in front of Mentone LSC, who placed second with 109 points. Torquay placed third with 107 points.

Lorne rowers battling the sets on their home beach last Sunday.

It was the Victorian Surf Rowers League (VSRL) competitors’ time to shine on Sunday, when the sport returned to the surf at Lorne Surf Life Saving Club in their first outing for the season.

Across six sets of races, only the Surf Coast’s women were able to attain success on the day.

The Anglesea Lightning won out in the Women’s A final, Lorne Funbags emerged with the Women’s B final, Lorne Cupines secured the Under 23s division and Lorne Badgers the Under 19s division.

“We are proud of our athletes for their resilience to continue actively training wherever possible throughout this period and for staying engaged with aquatic sports,” Butterly said.

“With a fully vaccinated workforce and volunteer force for those aged 16-plus, I look forward to safely hosting our aquatic sports carnivals for the summer season, after a successful opening weekend.”

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