Golden time in the surf for Valley life savers
SURF LIFESAVING: Led by an individual assault from 2017 Jetts Fitness Clarence Valley Junior Sportsperson of the Year Kalani Ives, Yamba Surf Life Saving Club completed its best result at the NSW Surf Life Saving Country Championships this decade.
Ives finished the two-day event at South West Rocks with four gold medals as Yamba finished eighth overall out of more than 40 clubs.
It was a top performance from Ives, who finished with the trifecta of Under-13 ocean events - board race, surf race and ironwoman - before going on to also win gold in the Under-13 1km run on the second day.
"I am feeling pretty good about it all,” Ives said. "I have won the ironwoman and board race in the past couple of years but this time I made it my mission to get the swim race as well.
"There is one girl, Elizabeth, from Cudgen, who wins it each year, so I knew if I could stay up there with her I was a good chance. I was just lucky to get her halfway up the beach.”
Ives, who trains nearly all 12 months of the year, said she took a week off before the competition to settle her nerves and build excitement.
"When it comes to the big events I always train really hard right up to the week before,” she said. "I get full of energy, and it just builds a lot when I rest so I can explode into the carnival.”
Ives was not the only Yamba competitor to haul in multiple gold. Surf boat captain Rod McSkimming had the biggest haul after his male reserve, female reserve, masters male and master female crews all won gold.
He also collected a silver medal with his Under-19 female boat crew, with those girls then turning around and winning their own gold in the Under-17 beach relay.
In masters, Bobbie Winger finished with three gold, a silver and a bronze. Jane Lawrence also collected two gold.
Club surf sports director Jim Dougherty said it was a proud moment for Yamba.
"The results we have achieved is fantastic, we are among the top 10 clubs,” he said. "Everyone has trained hard and has earned the results they have achieved.” \
#TeamMinnie impresses in more ways than one
MINNIE Water-Wooli Surf Life Saving Club sent its best contingent to a Country Championships ever and they did not disappoint with many competitors making the finals of their events.
The Minnie Water boat crews led by captain Matt Mclennan led from the front for the club with the Under-23 girls claiming a silver medal, while the Under-19 men had to settle for the bronze in a thrilling final at South West Rocks.
Eliza Berrick was the shining star of the club's nippers contingent. She finished the weekend with a haul of two silver medals in the beach flags and sprint.
But it was the club's efforts out of the competition that impressed just as much with Minnie Water finishing a tight fourth place in the march past - missing out on bronze by one point.
The club also earned a $500 prize from Envirobank Recycling for collecting the most rubbish from the beach, ensuring a clean and safe competition environment.