Inspired by Ryan Bennett and the Holden family, Elliott Heads claimed a historic clean sweep of trophies at the Wide Bay Capricorn Branch Pool Rescue and Senior Championships on the weekend.
Surf Life Saving Queensland Sport Event Coordinator Ryan and the Holden family of Craig, his wife Kristine, his children Baylee and Kobi, and brother Brett, led from the front in a superb team performance at Nielson Park Beach, Bargara.
The program started with the Pool Rescue at Norville on Friday night, and Elliott Heads picked up the Gillian Harvey Championship Shield with 764 points, well in advance of Hervey Bay 224, Tannum Sands 222, Yeppoon 167, Emu Park 88, and Bundaberg 42.
They added the William Cumming Handicap Championships Shield with 938.75, winning from Hervey Bay 775.5, Yeppoon 675.8, Bundaberg 646.8, Emu Park 603.8, and Tannum 222.
They were just as dominant in the surf and the beach at the Branch Senior and Masters’ titles at Nielson Park the next two days, repeating their maiden Branch Junior Overall Pointscore triumph a week earlier by also securing the Warren Massey Championship Shield for the first time, chalking up 507.16 points to defeat hosts Bundaberg 382.91, Emu Park 348.66, Tannum 178.62, Hervey Bay 46.23, Moore Park 41.33, Agnes Water 33, and Yeppoon.
Elliott Heads also gained possession of the Alan Nixon Senior Handicap Champion Shield with 731.34, with Bundaberg again second with 675.49, followed by Agnes Water 524.92, Emu Park 515.84, Moore Park 511.93, Yeppoon 502.83, Hervey Bay 495.65, and Tannum 178.62.
The Heads also flexed their life saving competition muscle in Masters to be awarded the Ron Harding Championship Shield with 474 points, clear of Emu Park 218.5, Bundaberg 187.5, Hervey Bay 174, Yeppoon 139, and Moore Park 42.5.
To make it a perfect weekend, the Elliott army also picked up the John Faircloth Masters Handicap Champion Shield with 474, edging out Emu Park 471.5, Bundaberg 435.5, Yeppoon 326, Moore Park 300.5, and Hervey Bay 267.
Ryan Bennett racked up 11 victories in individual events, the 30-39 years 100m Obstacle Swim, 50m Manikin Carry, 100m Manikin Carry with Fins, 100m Manikin Tow with Fins in the Pool; the 30-34 years Male Beach Flags and Sprint, Ironman, Rescue Tube Race, Surfboard and Surf Race; and the 30-39 Male 2km Beach Run.
He also featured in 11 teams wins, with Sam Bull, Kiah Everingham and Aedan Leslie in the Open Male/Mixed 4x50m Obstacle Relay, and 4x50m Medley Relay; Aedan in the Open Male Line Throw; and Lachlan Barrett, Caiden Everingham, Kristine Holden, Aedan, Emma and Sarah Nash, and Tyla Royan in the 8x50m Swim with Fins Relay.
On the sand, he joined forces for gold with Lachlan Barrett, Brian Carroll, and Laurie Stephenson in the Open Male Beach Relay; and Brian, Laurie, and Brenton Wilson in the 140 years minimum Beach Relay.
Finally, in the water, Ryan achieved a hat-trick of gold with Scott Collins and Craig Holden in the 130 years minimum Board Relay, Male/Mixed Ski Relay, and Taplin 3 Person; and he also partnered with Scott to beat all comers in the 30-34 Board rescue; and Brett Holden in the 30-34 Double Ski.
Craig Holden powered to victory in seven solo events, the 40+ Male 100m Obstacle Swim, 50m Manikin Carry, 100m Manikin Carry with Fins, and 100m Manikin Tow with Fins; and the 45-49 Male Ironman, Rescue Tube Race, and Surfboard.
The icon of the sport was also an integral part of a further seven teams’ triumphs, with Scott Collins in the Masters’ Male 30 Years Line Throw and 45-49 Double Ski; Sam Bull and Scott in the Open Male Surfboard Relay, Taplin 3 Person and Surf Ski Relay; Scott, Aaron Day, and his brother Brett in the 170 years minimum Beach Relay; and Brian Carroll in the 45-49 Board Rescue.
Kristine Holden showed her winning style in the 45-49 Female rescue Tube and Surf Races; and in three teams’ events, with Kylie Giles and Katie Stephenson in the 110+ Years Female Surfboard Relay and Taplin 3 Person; and Kylie Carroll, Kylie-Maree Collins, and Kylie Giles in the 140+ Years Female Beach Relay.
Baylee was part of the successful Open Female 4x50m Obstacle Relay and 4x50m Medley Relay outfits with Rachel McDonald, Sarah Nash, and Sally Watson.
Kobi, a star at the Branch Juniors the previous weekend, stepped up to seniors to savour five teams wins, with Isaac Barrett in the U15 Male 12m Line Throw and Surfboard Rescue; Isaac, Caiden Everingham and Rohan McDonald in the U15 Male Surf Team and Male/Mixed Beach Relay; and Caiden and Rohan in the U15 Male/Mixed Surfboard Relay.
Brett Holden notched the 40-44 Male Rescue Tube and Surf Races double, and also won the 110 years minimum Taplin 3 Person with Laurie Stephenson and Brenton Wilson; and the 130 years minimum Surf Team with Scott Collins and Aaron Day.
Rohan McDonald also recorded six individual golds, in U15 Male 100m Obstacle Swim, 50m Manikin Carry, 100m Manikin Carry with Fins, 100m Manikin Tow with Fins, Beach Flags and Surfboard, and was a member of two other teams’ titles, with Lachlan Barrett, Gabrielle Bonanno, and Caiden in the U15-17 Male/Mixed Obstacle and 4x50m Medley Relays; and Lachlan, Sam Bull, and 50-54 Male Beach Flags and Sprint champion Brian Carroll in the All Age Relay (U15, 17, 19/Open, Master).
Caiden also racked up four solo gold, in the U15 Male 2km Beach Run, Ironman, Rescue Tube Race, and Surf Race.
Olivia Warmington was Elliott Heads’ most successful life saving junior girl, notching seven solo wins, in the U15 Female 100m Obstacle Swim, 100m Manikin Tow with Fins, 2km Beach Run, Beach Flags and Sprint, Ironwoman, and Rescue Tube Race.
She was also a major player in an additional four teams’ golds, with Sophie Bond, Emma Nash, and Tyla Royan in the U15-17 Female 4x50m Obstacle and 4x50m Medley Relays; Gabrielle Bonanno, Tyla, and Georgie Stephenson in the U15 Female Beach Relay; and Georgie in the U15 Female Surfboard Rescue.
Individually, Tyla also led the fields home in the U15 Female 50m Manikin Carry and 100m Manikin Carry with Fins.
Partners Sally Watson and Sam Bull also helped carry the club to the fore with six and five solo golds respectively, in addition to their many teams’ titles.
Sally upstaged her rivals in the Open Female 200m Obstacle Swim, 100m Manikin Carry with Fins, 200m Super Lifesaver, Manikin Tow with Fins, 2km Beach Run and Surf Ski, while Sam flexed his muscle in Open Male 200m Obstacle Swim, 100m Manikin Tow with Fins, 2km Beach Run, Surfboard, and Surf Ski, and together they took out the Open Mixed Double Ski.
Another husband and wife Laurie and Katie Stephenson also did the club proud with Laurie grabbing a trio of solo gold, in the 40-44 Male Beach Flags and Sprint, and Surfboard, and Katie completing the 30-39 Female 50m Manikin Carry-35-39 years Female Rescue Tube Race double.
Laurie also stood tall in the 35-39 Board Rescue with Brenton Wilson, while Katie, together with Anita Day and Kylie Giles, made a one-act affair of the 110+ Years Female Surf Team.
Continuing the family theme, Scott Collins’ wife Kylie-Maree also shared in the spoils with one other team victory, with Anita Day in the Open Female Line Throw.
Kylie Giles and Anita also took out three individual races each, with the former lighting up the 40-44 Female Beach Flags and Sprint, and Surfboard, and the latter reigning supreme in the 30-39 Female 100m Obstacle Swim, and 30-34 years Female Beach Flags and Sprint, while together they made the 30-39 Female Surfboard Rescue their own.
Anita’s husband Aaron also snared the Beach Flags-Sprint double in the 35-39 years Male life saving category.
Aedan Leslie put his stamp on four Pool Open Male events, the 100m Rescue Medley, 50m Manikin Carry, 100m Manikin Carry with Fins, and 200m Super Lifesaver, while Lachlan Barrett gained the U17 Male 100m Obstacle Swim-50m Manikin Carry double before his teams wins over the weekend, both for Elliott Heads, and with 2 Emu Park competitors and one Agnes Water representative in the U17 Male/Mixed Beach Relay.
Sarah Nash also enjoyed dual success in the Pool, in the Open Female 100m Rescue Medley and 50m Manikin Carry, and Brenton Wilson turned back the clock with his golden three-peat in the 35-39 years Male Rescue Tube Race, Surfboard and Surf Race.
Ky Woods was outstanding for the Bundaberg club with 11 gold, in the Open Male Beach Flags and Sprint, and U19 Beach Flags and Sprint, Ironman, Surfboard, Surf Race and Surf Ski; and in teams, with Thomas Pascoe in the U19 Male Surfboard rescue; Thomas and Jasmyn Theuerkauf in the U19 Taplin 3 Person; and that trio with also Agnes Water competitor Jakob Wardlaw in the U19 Beach Relay.
On her own, Jasmyn Theuerkauf grabbed the Open and U19 Female Beach Flags double.
Former multiple Australian junior champion Riley McGregor also shone for Bundaberg, returning to his glory days in the Open Male Ironman and Surf Race, and Restricted Surf Race, and in tandem with Michael Harris and Chris Steffan in the Open Male Surf and 110 years minimum Surf Teams.
Michael Harris also mastered his rivals in the 55-59 Male Rescue Tube Race, Surfboard, and Surf Race, while his daughter Annie clinched dual gold with Kendall Ace, Amelia Walsh and Ky’s sister Summer Woods in the U15 Female Cameron Relay and Surf Teams; and Kendall, Amelia and Summer also prevailed in the U15 Female Surfboard Relay.
Kathryn McKenzie was Bundaberg’s other stand-out with six wins, in the 30-34 years Female Ironwoman, Rescue Tube Race, Surfboard, Surf Race, and Surf Ski; and teaming with Jennifer Swan and Marleen Van Oostwaard in the 110 years minimum Surfboard Relay.
Marleen also swept all before her in three individual life saving events, the 45-49 Female Beach Flags and Sprint, and Surfboard; and one other in the teams’ category, the 40-44 Board Rescue along-side Jennifer.
Robin Kerby took out the 40+ Male 2km Beach Run-45-49 Male Beach Sprint double for Bundaberg, while they also picked up the 40+ Female 2km Beach Run, courtesy of Renee Artup, and younger clubmate Hamish Nelson also made his way on to the life saving honours’ list in the U15 Male Beach Sprint.
No-one was successful from the small Moore Park life saving team, but Reid Tucker grabbed silver in the 55-59 years Male Beach Sprint, and club president Leigh Schuch and fellow stalwart John Davis both also gave their all in their Masters’ events.
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