Bundaberg's own Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist Isaac Cooper will be a star attraction at the 48th annual City of Charm Carnival hosted by the Bundaberg Swim Team at Norville Park Pool from tonight through to Sunday afternoon.
Fellow Olympians David Morgan, Alexander Graham, and Thomas Neill, and Paralympian Liam Schluter, are also among the 412 competitors from 32 clubs who will compete across a total of 138 events on a bumper program.
Isaac will compete for his Rackley Centenary team which has a star-studded group of 10 swimmers who will light up the pool.
The 17-year-old turned it on in his home-town at the carnival last year, breaking three records in his 10 victories in taking out the open men’s division age championship, at a time when even competing at the 2021 Olympics were nothing more than a dream.
The hosts will be represented by 42 swimmers, the second largest team, behind only Gladstone South with 45, while the Biggenden and Kolan clubs will also fly the District flag with two and one competitor respectively.
BST produced just one age champion last year, Ethan Giles, who took out the boys 9 years crown with wins in 50m freestyle, 50m butterfly, 200m freestyle, 100m freestyle and 200m IM, and he looks set to be favourite for the boys 10 years title after a series of sensational performances at the recent Surf Life Saving Queensland North Australian Championships in Mackay.
Action gets under way at 5.30pm today with six distance events, before the Official Opening Ceremony will be held at 7.45am tomorrow, leading into a full day’s racing, then it resumes at 8.30am Sunday, running through to early afternoon. Spectators are very welcome.
The second of the two-day rounds in the Bundaberg Rum City Foods Division 1 Premiership will start at Salter Oval today, with East Bundy Magpies up against Norths, and Brothers to suit up against Waves.
Norths went down to Waves on the first innings after being bowled out for just 31 on the first day of first two-day round a fortnight ago, before Waves were dismissed for 125, then the second day’s play was washed out.
The Magpies were kept in the field for the full 85 overs by Brothers, who amassed 9-290, before East reached 0-13 after five overs in replying, with that match declared as a rain-draw.
Both teams will be without their South Queensland Country stars next week, when they play against North Queensland, with Norths having two representatives in master batsman Brendan Handley and pace spearhead Nathan Van Eekeren, while Magpies have one in Queensland Country incumbent Arden Lankowski.
Waves will be keen for back-to-back wins, and the challenge for Brothers will be putting two robust batting performances together against a quality attack.
Tonight, at 6.30pm, Betta Heat will be hungry for victory against Takalvan’s Taipans in their Aussie Bundy Big Bash showdown at Salter Oval.
This Sunday, Bundaberg will start their defence of the Goodchild Shield.
Their team comprises: Michael Loader, Lennon Childs, Brendan Handley, Ryan Norton, Josh Winen, Arden Lankowski, Chris Napper, Tom Kidd, Mitch Waters, Nathan Van Eekeren, Chris Duff, Dean Krebs.
Good luck to all teams competing in the Bundaberg Touch 2021 Season 2 Grand Finals at Greg Duncan Fields tomorrow.
At 5.30pm, Ankle Bullies will take on QNZLDer Div 1 in Mixed Division 1, with NADS up against Spartans in Masters Division 1, and Hot Crab taking on Gummies in Masters Division 2.
At 6.30pm, Weekes Property and All Stars will go head-to-head for the Women’s crown, with Grasshoppers and Guns & Posers the combatants in Mixed Division 2, and Ankle Bullies B and BBC Mixed in Mixed Division 3.
Ankle Bullies will line up against QNZLDer in an epic Men’s shoot-out at 7.30pm.
Two-times defending champions Fraser Coast Mariners can wrap up another Rugby Bundaberg Elders Insurance Spring Cup minor premiership if they are able to beat West Barbarians in the penultimate round at 6.30pm tomorrow at Waves Sports Complex.
Mariners prevailed just 15-7 when they last met on 16th October and they were ruthless in defeating Waves Falcons 65-11 last Saturday, when Barbarians put a 14-man East Bundaberg Pythons to the sword 82-10.
Earlier at 4.30pm, Turtles Brothers will be expected to go on their winning ways against the winless Pythons, who only lost to them 33-26 last time but have really struggled since, while the Turtles have gone from strength to strength.
After back-to-back wins over Terrors, Bargara Bullets will face a much tougher test when they take on two-times defending champions Brothers United Firesticks in the Coral Coast/Hervey Bay Associations A Grade Ladies League at Brothers Sports Complex at 2.20pm tomorrow.
Meanwhile, Waves Tsunamis, who are coming off a 14-0 defeat at the hands of Firesticks, before last week’s washout, get the perfect chance to bounce back when they travel to Hervey Bay to do battle with Terrors.
In the A Grade Men’s Division, the win-less United Heat need to beat second placed Maryborough/West at 12.30pm at Brothers to kick-start their season, while the unbeaten Waves Schooners will face Terrors at the Bay.
Saturday’s scheduled annual Mt Perry Race Day was postponed to Sunday after heavy rain fell at the track on Friday afternoon, but fans still turned out in their droves for the “Phantom Meeting”, with all other festivities held.
Then when the horses arrived for the bumper Sunday meeting, it was Country racing at its best, with Mackay trainer Olivia Cairns taking out the rich Country Cups Challenge Qualifier/Evolution Mining Mt Perry Cup Open Handicap with Ammoudi Bay, ridden by Adam Sewell, beating Rockhampton raider Hi Harry.
Dalby trainer David Reynolds continued his run of success at Mt Perry over the past four years, taking out a double with Rapid Eagle, ridden by lightweight apprentice Lilli Barr in the Benchmark 45 Handicap, and Gaius Julius, with another apprentice Corinne Miles in the saddle in the Burnett to the Beach Benchmark 55.
Nanango husband and wife team of Glenn (trainer) and Hannah (jockey) took out the Burnett Livestock & Realty QTIS Maiden Plate with superbly bred mare Ayepeetee at just her fifth start, while flashy grey Brutus, which was previously trained by Glenn but was making his debut for Oakey trainer Pat Sexton, got the money in the Rum City Foods Benchmark 55, prevailing in a photo finish, hard ridden by Hannah Phillips.
Trainers David Plummer, of Takura, Bundaberg’s Paul Burgess, and Wayne Watts, of Elliott, shared the honours at this week’s Bundaberg meeting, each claiming winning doubles.
David grabbed the quinella in the TAB Maiden with litter siblings Kotiro Koura and Jericho, and also saluted the judge with Fogelberg, which made it back-to-back wins in successive weeks in the Best 8.
Paul got the cash with Wildash Avatar, which snapped a 14-race losing streak in the Bargara Bakery 5th Grade, and the ultra-consistent Zuleika in the Chip Tyre Recyclers Free For All.
Wayne claimed the last two races on the program, with Editor, which recorded his third victory from his past four runs at the Park in the Uncle Rusty’s Photos 4th Grade, and Dancing Ebby, which ended a 28-race drought dating back to 6th April last year, in the Sky Racing Masters 5th Grade.
There was just one other locally trained winner on the program, Koolboo Supreme for Brian Terry in the Endeavour Foundation Restricted Win event.