The effect of Cyclone Debbie on the east coast of Australia has been nothing short of devastating and the flow on effect enormous.
With the 2017 Aussies Open carnival scheduled to run at Kirra, Queensland – directly in the path of the storm – it unfortunately meant suspension, and ultimately the cancellation, of a number of water-based events.
“Unfortunately these Championships have been marred by extreme weather conditions including high winds and polluted waterways, however our aim has always been to run as many events as possible,” said Surf Life Saving Australia CEO Melissa King.
We successfully conducted two days of Youth Competition, two days of Masters Competition and sixty percent of the Open schedule.
Fortunately, a change of location to Coolangatta and re-scheduling meant the full program of beach events were able to be staged over the weekend, giving many of our WA athletes the opportunity to contest their events.
Open sprint favourite and WA state champion Jackson Symonds (Sorrento SLSC) overcame injury to make his third Aussies Open sprint title win all the more sweeter.
In a post-race interview with Surf Life Saving Australia, Symonds opened up about how he overcame a four-month battle with plantar fascilitis and a classy field to take the win ahead of former champions Currumbin’s Jordan Caldow and North Cottesloe’s Tom Nolan.
“It’s pretty special, I think most people just want to win one, that’s always the dream, so to be lucky enough to go back to back and to win my third title in the space of four years is pretty incredible and something I never thought I’d get a chance to do,” said Symonds.
I had to do seven weeks of water running because I wasn’t allowed to run, so I just had to try to keep fit and keep the legs ticking over as well as I could.
“I’ve had a lot of drama in the last three weeks so just to be able to race today is pretty good, and to be able to win is even better,” he said.
The Sorrento ‘beachies’ came home with more gold, thanks to Charlie Rigby winning the U19 Sprint, holding his form from last year’s Aussies gold in the U17 Sprint while defeating club-mate Caleb Paulus who came through for silver.
WA athletes continued Aussies success in the 2km Beach run with North Cottesloe’s Emily Wray winning the U19 gold to add to her state title.
Out on the water, the surf board riding competition got in early before bad weather with Cottesloe’s Jarrad Davies taking out gold in the Open Lond Board event after being placed second last year. This is Davies third Aussies gold having taken out short board titles in previous years.
Congratulations to all athletes who travelled to the Gold Coast, many of who missed out on competing altogether due to the extreme weather conditions.
We can’t wait to see you all at next year’s 2018 Aussies to be held here at our very own Scarborough Beach!
Details of all WA Open athlete medallists are below – Full results available here.
Jackson Symonds – Sorrento – Open Male Beach Sprint
Charlie Rigby – Sorrento – U19 Male Beach Sprint
Emily Wray – North Cottesloe – U19 2km Beach Run
Jarrad Davies – Cottesloe – Open Male Malibu Long Board
Max Anderson Loake – City of Perth U19 Male Champion Lifesaver
Caleb Paulus – Sorrento – U19 Male Beach Sprint
Tom Nolan – North Cottesloe – Open Male Beach Flags
Talia Jakubans – City of Perth – U19 Female Champion Lifesaver
Tom Nolan – North Cottesloe – Open Male Beach Sprint
Charlie Rigby – Sorrento – U19 Male Beach Flags
City of Perth – Open Female Beach Relay
North Cottesloe – U23 Mixed March Past
Credit to Surf Life Saving Australia for image
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