Wanda SLSC Tradies One Club Surf Carnival

In testing surf conditions, over 1,200 competitors hit the beach on Saturday for the annual Wanda SLSC Tradies One Club Surf Carnival.

Now in its eighth year, leading athletes, masters, and nippers came from across greater NSW, with visiting competitors also from Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania, and Western Australia.

The Carnival also hosted the 5,000 Summer of Surf event for 2023/2024 and a special Ocean M event for the open ironman/woman competitors, the carnival provided an important hit out for elite athletes in the lead up to the Nutrigrain Trials in coming weeks.

Fiona Sutton, Wanda SLSC President said that “the Tradies One Club surf carnival is now arguably one of the largest traditional surf club carnivals across NSW, and has firmly established itself as a leading event on the Surf Life Saving NSW calendar.”

The big surf conditions saw the relocation of the younger competitors to Cronulla Beach, while the older athletes tested themselves in the waves at Wanda.

Mrs. Sutton was delighted with the day and said, “our big local carnival bought together surf lifesaving members of all ages across all disciplines of surf sports to demonstrate their skill, fitness and bravery.”

The first event of the day was the Open 2km beach run. Wanda showed their domination in the event with Kyle Mason taking the open division line hours in the early morning cool conditions. The 2km ski paddles, now a traditional event to commence the carnival’s water programme were won by Wanda’s Britney Pierce and Manly’s Kendrick Louis. Newport SLSC showed their strength in the open women’s arena with Piper Harrison taking out the Open Ironwoman race and Sarah Locke displaying strong surf skills to win the Open Surf Race event. Eliza Johnson, from Swansea Belmont, navigated the difficult surf breaks to win the Open Ski race. Georgia Singleton, from Manly, took out the Open Board race title for the second year in a row.

In the men’s open water events, it was the Nutrigrain athletes who flourished in the conditions. Newport’s Conner Maggs displayed the form that gained him 8 Australian titles earlier this year to win the Open Swim and Board events. Manly’s Kendrick Louis won the Open Ski and Queensland’s Burleigh Heads Mowbray Park fan favourite Ben Carberry took line honours in the Ironman. Wanda stars, Nich Middleton and Noah Steiner, lead comfortably for the first two legs of the Ironman, before being swamped by the eventual winners catching waves from behind.

Proud host club Wanda used their home beach advantage to claim first place in the Open Mixed 6-person Taplin event.

In beach events, it was Mollymook’s Australian Representative, Sam Zustovich, who edged out his teammate, Jack Bridges, to win the Brooks Marc Leabeater Memorial Trophy for the Open Men’s Sprint, the trophy presented by Marc’s parents, Larry and Tania. Poppy Doran, from Swansea Belmont, won the Open Women’s Sprint, with Payton Williams, from Mollymook placing second. Mollymook continued their dominance in the beach events, with Sam and Payton also taking out the Open Beach Flags events.

The feature events of the U14 age category were the U14 Ironman and Ironwoman sponsored by Voodoo Dri/Real Play which were won by Henry Whitehead of Manly and Lisa Derz of Newport.

At Cronulla Beach, around 600 U8-U13 aged nippers and inclusive competitors took part in their relocated water and beach events. Competition was fierce amongst the Bate Bay clubs, but also from North Bondi, Maroubra, North Curl Curl and further afield from Cooks Hill, Redhead, Gerringong, and Warilla Barrack Point.

Mrs. Sutton expressed her pride and thanks to all involved explaining that “Carnivals of this magnitude and complexity cannot happen without lots of support. Particular thanks are directed to Sutherland Shire Council and their Lifeguard team for all their support and assistance, as well as Cronulla SLSC for their significant assistance with the relocation of the younger age groups to their beach. Wanda also acknowledges the generous ongoing support from our key sponsor, Tradies, and the contribution of the hundreds of volunteers who made the day possible”.

In true ‘One Club’ spirit, we now look ahead to the Tradies Wanda Boat Carnival for more spectacular racing to conclude the new 2-part format, introduced for the first time this season”.

The pointscore finished with Wanda SLSC in first place on 661 points, followed by South Maroubra on 386 points and Cronulla third on 297. Elouera finished fourth and North Cronulla equal fifth with Newport. The scores include the surf boat carnival and inclusive events.

Photo Credit: Jason Sutcliffe
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