WA Surf League made its much awaited return at North Cottesloe beach on Sunday, as Round 1 kicked off with 16 teams from 11 clubs, including a combined south-west team, taking to the competition arena.
The event opened in spectacular fashion with a new event, the 1km Team Beach Run. While Ben Waterman ran strongly to be first across the line, it was the Swanbourne-Nedlands “Rampant Swans”, spearheaded by Bernadette Williams, who took out the opening event win.
Moving into the water and ski events Asa Nowell (North Cottesloe A) lead for most of the race but was unable to shake a determined Kiera Albertsen (City Black) who, upon hitting the beach, took off to claim victory in the run to the finish line. In the men’s ski, Dan Humble (Trigg Island Red) looked strong, leading from start to finish and easily taking the win while Joshua Maurice (Secrets) managed to hold off a persistent Kristopher Taylor (North Cottesloe B) for 2nd and 3rd respectively.
Trigg Island young gun Nikita Fredonnet (Trigg Island Red) continued her domination on the board with a strong win in the open event while Kalani Scott (City Red) took second and, despite a strong start in the men’s board, Matthew Colliss (City Black) was unable to fight off a late challenge to be pipped at the line by Kelton Mulvay (Trigg Island Red).
Sophie Lloyd (City Red) took out the female surf race from Macarah Mallis (Trigg Island Red) with Soraya Lee rounding out the top three while Jake Smith (Trigg Island Red), fresh from his victory with the Australian Life Saving Team in Adelaide at the recent World Championships, showed his class with a dominate swim performance, leading home the reigning Australian Youth Ironman champion Will Savage.
Upset of the day saw Courtney Franz (Cottesloe Pylon) taking to the sand for the first time in seven years to claim the Open Sprint from Sydney Rafferty and North Cott duo of Julia Phillips and Tegan Maffescioni, the latter of who quickly made up for missing the podium in the sprint, grabbing the final flag ahead of rival Sydney Rafferty in the flags.
In the men’s arena, fresh from his recent third beach sprint world title, Jackson Symonds didn’t show any signs of slowing down as he continued his winning form with a solid victory over Edward Host (Trigg Island Red) in the sprint, before facing off against familiar rival Tom Nolan in the flags. Jacko, proving too good this time, claimed the win in an extremely tight run off.
With the ski leg first in the Open Mixed Taplin, Trigg Island Red had the race set up with another dominant paddle from Dan Humble, with Jake Smith (swim) and Nikita Fredonnet (board) tying up an easy win.
With the new youth category introduced this year, the City Black Cameron Relay team, spearheaded by Alexandra Slocombe, took first place in a race that ultimately had a significant bearing on the final point score. Expected to be a battle between City Black and Trigg Island Red, Mullaloo B and Trigg Island Green came to the party, claiming the next two positions on the podium and relegating Trigg Island Red to a surprise fourth place finish.
There were however no surprises in the surf boats arena as North Cottesloe continued their dominance claiming first and second spots in the males, and three of the top four positions in the female surf boat, only to be denied the clean sweep by City Black taking a second.
The Youth Ironman has been added for the first time this year and what a show they put on, with Alexandra Slocombe and Phoebe Ashworth locking horns horns and battling it out to the very end, Slocombe getting the better of her rival in the final run up the beach, while Kate Lockley, as a member of the debuting south west team, finished in an impressive third.
In what was bound to be a cracker race, the youth men’s field saw the top six competitors all within striking distance, but it was ultimately Secret Harbour’s Oliver Brehaut who held his nerve in the final board leg to claim the victory, while Declan Cook (Sorrento A) powered home in the final run up the beach to overtake Kai Marchetto just before the finish line.
In the final event of the day, the all comers Ironman, Ben Jones, who has been focusing on open water swimming, showed he is still one of the state’s premier Ironman competitors as he pushed to the front in the swim leg, holding on to take home the win, while Sophie Lloyd continued her earlier strong form, crossing the line first in the female field.
In what was an extremely tight finish City Black, scoring points in 16 of the 17 events, claimed the victory over Trigg Island Red, with only one point separating them.
Round 2 will be held at on Saturday 12 January at Scarborough Beach. To watch the full livestream from the event, visit mybeach.com.au/surfleague
|Trigg Island Red
|North Cott A Team
|Trigg Island Green
|North Cott B Team
|North Cott C Team
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