HomeSportLocal surf life savers take out gold in championships

Local surf life savers take out gold in championships

surf lifesaving
Australian Under-19 Champion Lifesaver Ky Woods (centre) with fellow medallists in the event at the Australian Championships

Bundaberg Surf Life Saving Club members claimed three gold medals at the 2021 Australian SLS Championships at Maroochydore, with Ky Woods completing back-to-back national Under-19 Champion Life Saver titles; Matt Fasso, Ryan McGregor, Mick Parsons, Kurt Wessel, and Brendan Woods (sweep) triumphing in the 140+ years Surf Boat Race; and Mick Harris beating all comers in the 55-59 years Male 2km Beach Run.

Ky, 18, achieved a score of 92.5 out of a maximum of 120 over the three aspects of the competition, Physical (Beach Sprint, Surf Swim, Surfboard and Rescue Tube), Rescue and Live Patient Assessment, and Manual (Multiple-Choice Questions) to win by a mere 1.5 points.

He thanked his coaches Craig Holden (Board), Jocelyn Bowman and Janet Lindsay (Life Saving), and his father Nick, who was a former multiple national Sprint and Flags medallist as a junior and has been his mentor in those two events.

surf lifesaving
Bundaberg crew of Kurt Wessel, Matt Fasso, Brendan Woods, Mick Parsons and Ryan McGregor with their 140+ years Surf Boat Race gold medals at the Nationals

Ky also achieved fourth in the Beach Flags and eighth in the Beach Sprint, but Champion Lifesaver is his major focus, and he will be hoping to notch a hat-trick of national titles in it next year.

Ryan, Kurt, and Ky’s uncle Brendan Woods were part of the club crew which won their first and only previous national title in 2005, with Matt and Mick Parsons since coming into the boat replacing Nathan Jensen and Shaun Powell.

Surf Boat captain Kurt said they were “stoked” to grab the gold in advance of Mollymook and Tweed Heads/Coolangatta, winning all three rounds of the event in their first Australian champions since 2013.

He said they had trained hard since September and they hope to defend the title in 2022.

Meanwhile national gold continued a remarkable success story for Mick Harris.

surf lifesaving
Mick Harris heads for gold in the 55-59 years Male 2km Beach Run at the Australian Surf Life Saving Championships at Maroochydore

“I moved to Bundaberg in 2013 – Ironically, I got involved with Surf Life Saving via Nippers and doing water safety for Nipper Sundays and Carnivals. Now the kids are older, it is time to compete again – I continue to do patrols as a patrol captain and also work as a council lifeguard during the school holidays – it is all part of keeping active and doing something worthwhile,” Mick said.

“I only did my first surf carnival at Branch in February this year, then State in March and then Aussies in April, so I’m a late starter in this sport.”

A real quiet achiever, it is the fourth sport that the Shalom College School Teacher has won a national title in.

“In Water Polo, I won Gold at the Australian Schoolboys in Perth in 1981, and Australian Universities Games in Armidale in 1984, while in Cross Country, I won Australian Schoolboys Team Gold in La Trobe Valley in 1981 and came 10th individually; and in Aquathlon, I won at the Australian Championships in my Age Group four years in a row from 1998-2001 at various locations from Noosa to Coff’s Harbour,” he said.

“But I had a break and our 3 children have been my number one priority for the last 20 years, but I plan to keep competing in Surf Life Saving now.”

Mick also took eighth place in the 2km Ocean Swim and 13th in the Surf Race.

Kathryn McKenzie also came to the fore for the Bundaberg club, placing fourths in both the 30-34yrs Female Swim and Ironwomen, sixth in Board and eighth in Single Ski, while first-season competitor Rob Kerby took out a very commendable fifth of 14 in the 45-49yrs Male 2km Beach Run.

Brian Carroll combined with Craig Holden, Ryan Bennett, and Stuart Hogben for Elliott Heads in the 170yrs Male Beach Relay.

In total, Elliott Heads competitors qualified for 20 finals, just missing medals in three events, with fourth placings taken out by Craig Holden in the 45-49yrs Male Single Ski, Brian Carroll in the 50-54yrs Male Beach Sprint, and Kylie Giles in the 40-44yrs Female Beach Flags.

Craig’s son Kobi also did brilliantly to qualify for the Under-14 Ironman final at his first nationals.

Husband and wife John and Julie Davis flew the flag for the Moore Park club, with both having best results of fifth placings, John in the 65-69yrs Male 1km Beach Run, and Julie in the 55-60yrs Female 2km Beach Run.

Rugby League

Bundaberg Bears will be hoping to break an eight-year drought at the 50th anniversary 47th Battalion Carnival when the QRL Central Region showpiece event returns to Salter Oval this weekend.

The Bears have lost one of their best in reigning BRL A Grade Player of the Year Matt Craven to a back injury, while they will also be without three of their vastly experienced gun forwards in Dan Tanner, Steve Dwyer, and Dion Bunyan.

But they still have one of the real survivors in the team, 35-year-old lock Josh Tanner, who has been in career best form for his club Wests Panthers, and was an integral part of the side which won the title in 2011 under veteran master coach Dave Pearce, who has returned to the helm for the first time since 2017.

Tanner will play along-side his 18-year-old nephew Marcus Tanner, who has also been in outstanding form for the Panthers.

Another former Queensland Rangers representative second rower Kevin Sherriff will again captain a “very young” side which includes a string of debutants including two other Wests young guns in powerhouse forward Lachlan Patterson, who has returned home after a stint with Redcliffe Dolphins in under-20’s, and prolific try scoring centre Jensen Deamer.

There are also two former CQ Capras stars in Panthers five-eighth Caleb Tull and rampaging front rower Shaun Ezzy, East Magpies’ Gladstone Valleys star recruits second rower Caleb Van Lawick and reserve five-eighth Andreas Nona, and Hervey Bay Seagulls excitement machine centre Jeremiah Pati.

Pearce said they rounded off their preparation with a “real good team run” last night, and he remains quietly confident of regaining the silverware despite the quality of the personnel they will be without.

The Bears’ first game is against South West Country at 11am tomorrow, and Pearce admits “they won’t be easy”.

“But we hope to get away to a flying start and go all the way – Toowoomba and Sunny Coast are probably the teams to beat – Sunny Coast have a lot of Melbourne Storm Reserve Grade players, but we have got a lot of great players as well – the thing I like is their versatility – they can all interchange just about anywhere, and I ask the people of Bundaberg to come along and get behind their team,” Pearce said.

Three locals who play for the red-hot South Kolan Sharks in the neighbouring Northern Districts Rugby League, will also play at the carnival, as members of the Wide Bay Rangers side, Darren Broome, Jackson Brown, and Jamie Morey.

Bundaberg: 1 Zak Bainbridge, 2 Chris Robinson, 3 Jeremiah Pati, 4 Layton Chambers, 5 Matthew Ross, 6 Caleb Tull, 7 Logona Vetemotu, 8 Shaun Ezzy, 9 Bailey Robertson, 10 Brendan Stewart, 11 Caleb Van Lawick, 12 Kevin Sherriff ©, 13 Josh Tanner, 14 Jesse Robertson, 15 Royce Blair, 16 Lachlan Patterson, 17 Andreas Nona, 18 Marcus Tanner, 19 Jensen Deamer.

Wide Bay Rangers: Joey Alberts (Murgon), Paddy Alberts (Murgon), Mitch Ballin (Gayndah), Karl Berlin (Murgon), Darren Broome (South Kolan), Jackson Brown (South Kolan), Zac Dann (Gayndah), Mark Fisher (Mundubbera), Mauri Fisher (Murgon), Mick Giles (Murgon), Tom Jameson (Gayndah), Bailey Kimber (Mundubbera), Fono Lemalu (Kingaroy), Morgan Lohia (Mundubbera), Jamie Morey (South Kolan), Kedron Pointon (Kingaroy), Buddy Stanley (Murgon), Kaia Williams (Nanango), Norman Wragge (Cherbourg).


There will be just one game in the Wide Bay Premier and North senior divisions this weekend, but there will be a full round of matches across the junior age groups at Martens Oval tomorrow.

But there will be a full program of Cup grand finals on Monday afternoon, with Across The Waves booking a place in the Bundaberg Broadcasters 1st Division Men’s Cup decider at 6.30pm against Bingera with a tough 2-1 semi-final victory over United Park Eagles (UPE) on Tuesday night, with Bryce Hibberd breaking the deadlock with the winner against 10 men late in the match.

Waves also met Bingera in the 1st Division Men’s Cup final when it was last played two years ago, with the Superstripes prevailing 4-3 in a penalty shoot-out after scores were still locked together at 3-all, even after 30 minutes of extra-time.

Waves will also contest three of the other four Cup finals, 2nd Division Men at 4.30pm against Bargara, 3rd Division Men against Brothers-Aston Villa at 2.30pm, and 1st Division Women against UPE at 4pm, with the 2nd Division Women’s play-off to feature UPE against SC Corinthians at 3pm.

Results: 1st Division Men’s Cup semi-final: ATW 2 (Cory Leggett, Bryce Hibberd) d UPE 1 (Josh Adcock).

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Cory Leggett and Bryce Hibberd scored the goals for Across The Waves to clinch victory in the Bundaberg 1st Division Men’s Cup semi-final against United Park Eagles

Despite winning all of their eight round games in the Wide Bay Takalvan’s Women’s Premiership, Across The Waves Eagles have to travel for their 1v4 semi-final this Sunday at 5pm, with their opponents Gympie Cats the hosts.

Earlier, the two Hervey Bay sides Bombers and Power, will meet in the 2v3 semi.

In the Marquis Macadamias Seniors Premiership, there is just one game this weekend at 7pm tonight with Bay Power having to regroup after leading all game until going down to the Bombers who kicked a last-second goal to snatch a three-point victory from the jaws of defeat on Anzac Day.

They will host the Eagles, meeting for the first time since a heart-breaking loss to them in the grand final in September.


There will be just one Division 1 Men’s match at Hinkler Park again tomorrow due to another forfeit, with Arrows/Athletics to take on Waves Cities at 5.50pm.

But Raiders/Rovers will clash with All Blacks, with the men’s game at 3.10pm and the women’s to follow at 4.30pm.


It will be a battle royale when the two unbeaten teams in the Warren Family Homes Division 1 Premiership clash at the Super Park tomorrow, with reigning champions Waves Gold to take on Fusion Solomons at 5pm.

At 6.30pm, it will be an all-Blue showdown between Waves and Alloway’s teams of that colour, and Natives Magpies up against Brothers Hurricanes.

Horse Racing

Bundaberg champion King Klaus posted his eighth win in 14 starts for trainer Gay Clem, leading all the way in the 1000m Open Handicap at Toowoomba on Wednesday.

Starting favourite, paying $3.70 in the field of 10, the gelding led all the way before holding off Spinning Spirit to win by .3 lengths.

Gary said he would now go for a well-earned spell and he will not devise a program for him until he is back in work.


Yengarie owner/trainer Peter Hare claimed a winning double at this week’s Bundaberg meeting, taking out the Anzac Day Cup Final with Inquisitive Me, which completed four straight wins on the track, and the 550m 5th Grade with Black Armour.

Just three locals were successful on the program, Tracy Trigg with Louie Luxe in the Maiden, John White with Bro’s Girl in the Novice Non-Penalty, and Bundaberg Greyhound Racing Club president Ricky Hassall with Burrum Boy, which recorded his 11th win in 107 starts, in the Masters 5th Grade.

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