Club Champs 2019

For the second year in a row the mid-January Club Champs proved to be a winning formula with record numbers turning up to compete, cheer and patrol on the day.  Fresh back from their success at the Anglesea Carnival our Competition Youth Team was out in force and it was fabulous to see our U17 cohort of both males and females making up the largest group on the day.  There were more names than spaces on the recording sheets!!

As we waited for the tide to cover the rocks the day started with the beach events, the long run, the sprint and the beach flags.  It was great to see the Nipper Competition Team members joining in with all the beach and wade events even though they were ineligible to earn points.  Their day will come!

Victorian State Medallists Chloe Hoover (U17) and Nick Tissot (Open) dominated in their flag events, along with Oscar Hunter, who made a clean winning sweep of the U17 men’s beach events. Annabelle Paynter (U15), long hair streaking behind her, and Mila Richardson (U14) flew across the sand to stamp their mark on the junior women’s beach events. The long run saw our three Masters women Lyndall, Bev and Cath fight it out, and Dwight our sole Masters male, show they still have fitness on their side.

As we moved onto the ocean events our watermen and women had a chance to show their skills in the challenging surf of the Portsea Back Beach.  The Surf Race was the first event and the junior girls certainly showed their enthusiasm as twelve of our best young lifesavers rushed to the line to head out first – out numbering the junior boys who followed behind.  True to expectations our U15 state team members Steph Hunter and Tom Regan took out their U15 swims. Chloe Dowling and Griff Mitchell showed their training had paid off with wins in the U17 section. The U14 ocean events were a battle between Emile Stigter and Tom Wilson, with Emile coming through as the winner on the day. The Open Men’s events turned into a three way battle between Club Captain Matt Perrot, Comp Manager Nick Tissot and Olympian snowboarder Cam Bolton. The senior women need to do a bit of recruiting as Domi Hart competed unchallenged in her events.

The Yencken Cup is the much anticipated event of the day, an open swim event, traditionally around a can in Bass Straight and back. A field of twenty nine men, women and youth lined up for the tussle for the title.  Our Portsea Intagram Story gives all the predictions for the winner: Dwight Harrison to win his 4th title, dark horse Cameron Hunter, old bull Mark Groobes, young gun Domi Hart, and new favourite Harry Molnar. Only the young U15 girls were on the money – they had faith in their team mate and he didn’t disappoint. First off the line, Tom Regan lead the main group into the surf as a rogue break away of four headed off towards Huey’s.  As they made their way back in Harry Molnar was leading the field until 15 year old Tom surfed to the lead and ran up the beach a convincing winner and ‘youngest ever Yencken Cup title holder’ – in living memory anyway. The record will need verification from our club historians.

The day finished off with the board and iron races.  As the surf rose and conditions deteriorated the Competition Committee debated cancelling the junior iron events – but the competitors wouldn’t have a bar of it. A field of seven fought out the U14-17 men’s iron which just left the last race of the day, the junior girls iron.  The girls refused to be cancelled, even if it meant a couple of them using Nipper foamies in the board leg to minimise risk of injury. In a gutsy display all four girls, Steph, Sophie, Georgie and Chloe, finished the course and did themselves proud.

At the carnival finish points were tallied up and club champions crowned, with competitors who entered both water and beach events coming out winners at the end of the day.

Congratulations to the age winners:

  • U14 men: Emile Stigter
  • U14 women: Mila Richardson
  • U15 men: Tom Regan
  • U15 women: Steph Hunter
  • U17 men: Griffin Mitchell
  • U17 women: Chloe Dowling
  • Open men: Nick Tissot
  • Open women: Domi Hart
  • Masters men: Dwight Harrison
  • Masters women: Lyndall Willis

Quotes from the day:

“Greatest day for everyone and the kids shined” – Dwight

“Great being married to Mrs Masters Champ” – Dwight again

“I’ve never been so scared out the back on a board” – Steph Hunter

“He had the best day of his life” – Griff’s Mum

Thanks to all those that competed, to Nick Tissot and Nat Hood for running the day, and to the Masochists and Cruisers patrols (especially Spot and Crofty in the duck) for providing water safety for the event.