By RON LANE
IT CERTAINLY was a big weekend for our lifesavers all along the Queensland coast with big seas keeping patrols on their toes. Happy to note no major problems reported. At Sunshine Beach, club President Craig Law said, ‘’We had good crowds but the big surf made the crowds cautious; the people stayed close to the water’s edge.’’
Noosa, being a protected beach, had good conditions with just a metre wave, which made conditions ideal for the families.
For the Noosa club, Sunday was one of the most eagerly awaited days of the season, for at 9am the gun was fired to start the Annual Shirley Strachan Memorial Swim.
This swim, now in its thirteenth year, was perhaps the biggest with 94 members; starting at 13 years. In the words of Surf Sports Director Peter French: “This would have to be perhaps the best ever with over 90 entrants and great conditions, plus perfect weather, we couldn’t ask for more. As usual it was run and organised by Bruce and Sandy Warren and we all agree they did a tremendous job.”
The swim, which is over a distance of 1.5km, starts in Little Cove, turns left across the bay, then back to the beach and up to the finishing line to the left of the Noosa clubhouse. In keeping with his form for the season first home was Cooper Williams, second Jasper Outram and third Bailey Williams.
In the ladies division Lana Rogers was first, Electra Outram second and Courtney Bryant finished in third place. Water safety officer Joe Cirello, who for several years has driven one of the IRB patrol boats covering the swimmers said: “From our position it was a great swim and the overall performance was really good, definitely one of the best.”
This event which is under the major sponsorship of John McDermott-McDermott Aviation has done wonders to lift and maintain the standard of swimming within the club. The two major factors that have made this event a success are the continued major sponsorship of McDermott Aviation and the loyalty and dedication of organisers Bruce and Sandy Warren. With so much of the patrol work now being vehicle driven, to still maintain a high standard of swimming and fitness is of the utmost importance. Bruce, a former endurance swimmer, and since 1969 a qualified swim coach, joined Noosa in 1998. With his background and experience and ably supported by wife Sandy, he is the ideal man to control and supervise this event; to both these people, and John McDermott many, thanks.
Also thanks to other sponsors USMs Brian Clancy, Noosa Trophy and Engraving, Supporter Club and Restaurant and Golden Breed; without these people this important event wouldn’t be possible.
On the weekend Sunshine Beach and Noosa travelled to Mermaid Beach on the Gold Coast to contest the Queensland Championships in Champion Life Saver, Patrol Competition and First Aid. These events are the backbone of basic lifesaving so it is very important for the youth to be involved; the age groups consisted of Under 14, 15 and 17.
For Sunshine in the Champion Life Saver they won gold in Under 15 and 19, plus two silver and a bronze; in the Under 15 patrol competition they won gold. Noosa was also amongst the medals with gold in Under 14 champion lifesaver and silver in Under 15 patrol competition. In First Aid Noosa won silver in Under 15 and a bronze in Under 17. Well done to our youth.
In the boat section of the Interstate Series at Shellharbour, Noosa, representing Queensland, finished third overall. For a relatively new crew up against the more experienced southerners, this was a good effort.