BOTH Torquay’s and Lorne’s lifesaving clubs have taken home gold after scoring big at the Lifesaving World Championships in Adelaide this week.
Torquay Surf Life Saving Club’s (SLSC) under-19 surfboat team The Buoyos placed first in their category, paddling their way to victory in tough conditions.
William Popovic, Riley Bell, Louis Martinez, Josh Whitty and Jackson Costa, who faced the waves head on as a united front, haven’t been rowing together long.
Torquay SLSC president Tiffany Quinlan said although the boys are fresh out of high school, their commitment to training sessions leading up to the international competition got them over the line.
“The conditions were pretty rough… terrible weather and sizeable surf, but the team navigated their way through brilliantly.”
A relatively new side to come out of the SLSC, the five boys combined their individual river backgrounds to deliver a strong performance in Adelaide’s Glenelg.
“Their knowledge of the surfboats in Torquay as well as their high school rowing experience gelled together to bring home the win,” Ms Quinlan said.
“It was a lovely surprise and if I’m being honest, it was quite unexpected.”
The Buoyos win wasn’t the only medal for Torquay, with the SLSC’s under-23 men’s team – The Torquay Pirates, featuring Davis Kontelj, Manning Gatwick, Jacob Morgan, Stephen Christopi and Scott Tannahill (sweep) – placing third and scoring bronze in their category.
Further down the coast, Lorne Surf Club’s Lorne Edge team consisting of Chantal Guziak, Megan Grierson, Peta Glaister and Michelle Yann won gold in the open women’s surfboats.
The club also won gold in the masters section with their Lorne Again team – which is also swept by Geoff Matthews – winning the Masters 160 class.
Lorne Growlers Brad Kerr, Andrew Duffield, John Halloran, Jarred McCombe swept by Alistair McCombe also had some success, while Lorne’s A-grade men’s team was pipped on the line placing fourth in the finals.
With two more athletes from Torquay – Archie Vernon and Jaime Patterson – waiting to compete in the championship’s individual categories, the winning streak may have only just begun for the Surf Coast’s lifesaving clubs.
Ms Quinlan said she was excited to see how the rest of the biennial event played out.
“The wins are a real testament to the club and proves if you work hard, train hard and have a goal, anything can happen,” she said.
“We’re all extremely proud.”