The 2023 Australian Surf Life Saving Championships were held in Perth, Western Australia at
Scarborough SLSC and Trigg Island SLSC from 25 March to 2 April 2023.
The Aussies is an annual event where members from Australia’s 314 volunteer Surf Clubs
come together to compete in more than 480 beach and ocean events. It is the largest event
of its kind, only comparing with the likes of the Commonwealth Games.
The first weekend of the Championships on March 25-26 saw three of Albany SLSC’s up
and coming youth team compete over a number of events including board races, ironman,
flags, 2km beach runs and the 1km relay. Congratulations to Oliver Pass, Tyla Anderson and
Julia Liitiaeinen for making their first nationals a memorable one! Impressively Tyla
managed to survive all heats in an extremely competitive U15 flags field and make the finals
in front of a packed arena.
Angus Bowles was to lead all Albany competitors out of the water in the 2km ocean swim on
Sunday 26, with next best Phoebe Thornton followed closely by Beth Hearle, Sally Moir and
Next up were the Masters Championships which yielded some amazing success stories, with
Beth Hearle, Sally Moir and Rachel Bresanello taking out 1st place in the female 150 yr +
Board Relay category, 2nd place in the Taplin team event (ski, swim & board), and 4th place
in the surf race (swim) relay, each coming off competitive outings in the individual board,
single ski and swim races, and for Beth and Sally a fourth place in the all-important board
rescue. The Albany support team was extremely happy to see their fellow competitors mix it
with the best in the country and ultimately find a way to come out on top! Masters Jason
Bresanello and Nick Walker found the competition tough going over in the male arena but
managed to hold their own and compete admirably in the single ski, double ski, board race,
ironman and 2km run disciplines.
Two popular stalwarts of the Albany SLSC surf boat community also achieved some long
sought after podium success with the Fat Gannets and Albany Wedgetails both bringing
home bronze medals in the 180+ yr and 200+ yr female surf boat divisions respectively. A
huge result for both teams and the product of many years of early mornings on the water!
Congratulations to the Gannets Dani Lynch, Trish Hines, Christine Ficko and Phoebe
Thornton (swept by Byron Bird/Lawrence Cuthbert), and to the Wedgetails Jillian Cartmell,
Helena Stoakley, Rachael Duffield, and Jillian Siegert (swept by Jeff Medcalf). Albany SLSC
received a further nod as life member Barry Oakley was invited to carry out Official duties for
the boat events.
Finally, representing Albany in the U17 and U19 divisions of the Open Championships 2km
beach run were William Liitiaeinen, Hamish Bowles and Angus Bowles, with Hamish and
Angus going on to compete in the surf race, board race, single ski, ironman, and finishing off
on a high note by picking up fourth place in the 2x 1km beach run relay. These brothers are
a force to be reckoned with!
Overall the Aussies championships represent a unique opportunity for WA clubs to test
themselves against the breadth and strength of the national surf lifesaving movement, and
Albany should be proud to have acquitted itself as a club so well over the week.
Enormous thanks to support crew, coaches, captains and team managers in supporting our athletes on the big stage, in particular a very big shout out to Nick Walker our Surf Sport Team Leader who supported the whole team for the entire event. An absolute massive effort and commitment to the club and the team. Thank you Nick!
Thanks also to BB Minicrete and Firewood Supplies, our Senior Competition sponsors for your ongoing support!
Go Albany! See you on the Sunshine Coast next April!