Masters of the surf on show on day one at State Championships

March 15, 2024

Day one of the 2024 Queensland Surf Life Saving Championships is in the books with Masters water events and a number of Senior Championships podiums decided.

Friday is always a marathon day for the Masters competitors who fought wind, sun and rain as well as the Kirra break.

North Burleigh trio Adam Jeffrey, Thomas Trembath and Joshua Meyer had an incredible day, taking home a host of medals. In the 35-39 men’s events, Jeffrey beat home Trembath in the Surf Race and Board, while Trembath turned the tables in the Ski and Ironman. The pair combined to win gold in the board rescue then teamed with Meyer to win the 110 years Board Relay and Surf Teams. Meyer added the two team gold to his Ironman, Ski and Board victories to also take home five gold medals.

After his Ironman victory, Meyer said that in the challenging conditions, playing to his strength in the craft legs was a big advantage.

“It was very smooth sailing until my last leg [swim], which is my weakest leg – I just suffered a bit more than the other two legs,” said Meyer. “Craft is more my thing here. The way the surf is here today, you have those nice long craft legs and that helped to build an early lead and that really helped going into the last leg.

“Pumped to bring it home for North Burleigh!

The 55-59 years men’s age group saw Kurrawa’s Bryden Halliday win the Ironman and Surf Race while Martin Kenny (Alexandra Headland) took the Ski and Double Ski double.

In the 50-54 years, Kurrawa’s David Bear won the Ski and Ironman and also collected second in the Board.

Elliott Heads were one of the best performed regional clubs throughout the day, with Kyle Ferguson, Scott Collins, Craig Holden and Stuart Hogben picking up medals in individual and team events.

“We just love doing the teams races and the relays,” said Collins. “It’s about getting out and having fun with your mates. We’re a small club but we like to punch above our weight!”

In the women’s masters events, some standout athletes took out a fistful of medals today.

Mermaid Beach’s Penny-Anne Burgess could not be beaten in the 45-49 years, taking out all four individual water events.

In the 60-64 age group Alison Pegg (Noosa Heads) won the Iron, Surf and Board, while in the 65-69 years clubmate Julie Fidler took out the Ironwoman and finished second in the surf race.

There was a titanic head-to-head battle in the 35-39s with Bundaberg’s Kathryn McKenzie winning the Surf Race and Board while Yukiko Nambu (Burleigh Heads Mowbray Park) won the Ironwoman and Ski. They each picked up silvers when they weren’t atop the podium.

In the 30-34s, Haruka Nakamura (Kurrawa) won the Ironwoman, Board and Ski.

Northcliffe kicked off the senior events in emphatic fashion with an Open Board Rescue double, Naomi Scott and Harriet Brown winning the female event while Wes Gould and Kai Harland won the male.

The powerhouse club also took out the U19 Female Board Rescue, while one of the feel-good moments of day one came when Britt Ackerley and Jay O’Pray claimed the U17 Female Board Rescue gold medal after years of teaming up but never coming out victorious.

“We have been doing this for six years since Under 11s but this was the first time we have had a win – so good,” said Acklerley. “There is a massive sweep out there, you have to run down so far at the start, and I am definitely not a runner!

“Once you’re out there the waves are breaking on your head, so it was great that we got a good wave out there from the can.

“It is so hard to see the cans, they just disappear behind the ‘shorey’ so you just have to back yourself that you saw it right and go for it and hope for some good waves coming back in.”

After Kurrawa’s William Mullen and Ben Cervenak were victorious in the Men’s U17 Board Rescue, their clubmates in the older age group were keen to do the same and also came out on top.

“We were definitely feeling the pressure – Can’t let the U17s get the State title and not the U19s,” said Jackson Bond who took gold with Taj Sloane. “The conditions are perfect for us, we love the big stuff. We would have liked it bigger even as we’re used to Kurrawa.

“There’s a real sweep going on so our plan was to run down a bit and let the current take us out and it led us straight to the can so it was great.

“I was geeing up Taj and telling him we better nail this finish. We don’t know how to do it really. This was a two-day thing but I’m guessing that [coach] Guy Andrews will tell us we’re a pair now.”

The 2024 Queensland Surf Life Saving Championships continue tomorrow with water events at North Kirra and sprint, flags and beach relays at Kurrawa.

Click here for results via live heats.