Ryan Bennett, Kobi Holden and Max O’Brien from Elliott Heads club did brilliantly to claim age titles at last week’s 2020 Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) Northern Australian Life Saving Championships at Mackay.
Ryan is the SLSQ Sport Event Coordinator and has always maintained membership and competed for his childhood club despite living down south.
Ryan dominated in the Masters Male 30-39 year division, finishing with a tournament high 66 points.
Max and Kobi, whose father Craig has also carved out a magnificent career as the SLSQ Wide Bay Capricorn Regional Operations Manager for the past 28 years, were victorious in the Under-13 and 14 Male categories, respectively.
Max and Kobi were also rewarded with selection in the 2020 Queensland Country Under-13-17 Representative Team to contest the Queensland Interbranch Championships on the Gold Coast on November 27-28, along with eight other District young guns.
Another club-mate Casey Giles (U13), Bundaberg SLSC’s Ariana Ulbl (U15), and Kasey Krueger, Xavier Ulbl and Lana Grant (U13), and Agnes Water’s Jakob Wardlaw (U17), and Jack Conway and Marc Lumbaghas-Smith (U14) were also selected.
Lucas Powell of Elliott Heads and two more Bundaberg club representatives, Tommy Zunker and Mimi Woods, were each named as country team reserves for U13.
Ryan entered a whopping 27 events across the three days and he achieved a clean sweep of the 11 30-39 years male individual events – 2km Beach Run, Beach Flags, Beach Sprint, Ironman, Rescue Tube Race, Surf Board, Surf Race, Surf Ski, 100m Manikin Tow With Fins, 100m Obstacles and 50m Manikin Carry.
Ryan also teamed with Stuart Hogben to take out the open and 30-39 years Male Surfboard Rescues, and Stuart and Craig to add the Open Male Taplin 3-person.
Kobi triumphed in the U14 Ironman, Surf Race, 100m Manikin Tow With Fins, 100m Obstacles, 50m Manikin Carry and Surfboard Race, and joined forces with Isaac Barrett, Laswari Iboro and Lucas Powell to beat all comers in the U14 Beach Relay
Max had one solo win in the U13 Male 100m Obstacles, but also recorded many minor placings and claimed gold with Jack Gaston in the U13 Male 100m Patient Tow With Fins.
Partnered with Jack, Cohen and Lucas to become runners-up to Bundaberg’s Lana Grant, Xavier Ulbl, Liam Vaughan and Tommy Zunker in a famous rum city quinella in the U13 Beach Relay.
Kasey clinched the U13 Female Surf Race 100m Obstacles double, while Xavier was crowned the U13 Male Beach Sprint champion and added a gold with U13 Male 50m Brick Carry victor Tommy in the U13 Male Surf Board Rescue.
Lana led the field home in the U13 Female Beach Sprint and also picked up U13 cameron relay gold with Gabrielle Vaggs and Mimi.
Gabrielle and Mimi also stood tall in the U13 Female 100m Patient Tow With Fins.
Craig Holden also snared a solo double in the Open Male Surf Board and Surf Ski, and many other placings in Masters’ teams events. Casey Giles’ mother Kylie achieved a hat-trick of wins, in the 40-49 years Female Beach Flags, Beach Sprint and Surf Board.
Stuart Hogben also posted one individual first in the 40-49 years Male Ironman, while Elliott Heads picked up a further two golds with Aidan Berthelsen and Aarj Day combining well in the U11 Male Surf Board Rescue, and Caiden Everingham showing his speed and endurance in the U15 Male 2km Beach Run.
Elliott Heads also placed a very creditable fifth of the 24 competing clubs in the overall championship point score, amassing 347 to finish behind only run-away winners Cairns (1204), Tannum Sands, Arcadian, and Yeppoon. Bundaberg wound up an also commendable 10th on 172.
Elliott Heads and Bundaberg also finished 7th and 10th with 77 and 34 respectively in the pool rescue pointscore behind Cairns.
In the handicap Northern Australian Life Saving Championship, Elliott Heads climbed to a close third on 1356 points behind Arcadian (1464) and Yeppoon (1367), while Bundaberg took sixth on 1232.
This weekend's beach report: Choppy beach conditions this weekend