Ocean Grove Carnival Report

The first of the regular carnivals for the season was a double header at Ocean Grove on Dec 7/8.  Portsea had 12 juniors competing on the Saturday and another 12 youth/seniors on the Sunday.

First up on Saturday was the juniors.  Conditions were challenging – just how many of our Portsea juniors like it. Some fields only had half the usual numbers lining up to go into the water.  A number of our age groups formed composite teams, in many cases bringing huge smiles to the faces of children who would otherwise have been left standing and watching on the sand.

The junior team would like to welcome new U13 members Catie Boyle and Logan Brandi, both of whom went home after amazing displays of athleticism.  Catie was asked to join the Ocean Grove ‘B swim team’ in a composite and then proceeded to turn all heads on the finish line as she burst out of the water in first place. Logan made his mark too as he teamed up with his Portsea buddies, Xavier, Archer, Campbell and Jack to take out the U13 boys swim teams.  Katie Kerr made the most of the surf conditions she loves, placing second in the iron.

Down in U10 and U11, Jack Egan having loved the competition sleepover on Cup weekend, joined the team and competed at his first carnival. Patrick, Charlie, Ruby, Freya and Amber, buddied up with club composite teams, some enjoying the big surf, others the wide expanse of beach that dried at low tide for the sprints. Harley Lancaster pulled out injured prior to comp day but came on crutches to cheer his team mates.

Thanks to Amanda and Matt, for making this one of our biggest yet pre-Christmas junior teams.

The Sunday carnival formed part two of the LSV Victorian State Team selection trials.  Although the Portsea team was far from the largest on the beach, those there packed punch.  The youth team was by far our strongest contingent with seven U14/15 competitors arriving to race.  We welcomed two new competitors racing for the first time, and one returning competitor.  Twin brothers Noah and Oscar Menzies arrived full of enthusiasm, lining up for multiple events including the long run, sprints, flags, beach relays, cameron relay, board relay and swim.  James Cameron, a finalist from Aussies flags in years gone by, was there to race himself, and to coach the new beach team.

Gabby Simmons and Arabella Mitchell competed in beach events also, with their best results in the U14 beach flags, 4th and 6th respectively.

Down on the water front, we saw Xavier Purcell looking to secure his spot in the state team, winning the U14 surf race and placing third in the iron.  The surprise ‘improver over winter’ was without a doubt Mackie Hunter who followed up her endurance champs performance with a smashing win in the U14 girls surf race and second in the iron.  Definitely one to watch over summer, Mackie, in hindsight, should have nominated for the state team, with her swimming showing she would have been a true contender for selection. Miles Regan enjoyed his first summer races, including racing the team events with full Portsea boys youth teams.

Moving to the men’s and women’s areas Tom Regan was in his usual form, dominating with a pennant in the U17 iron; Griff Mitchell decided to race up in Open rather than U19, and came home with a pennant in the 2km long run. Sophie Courtney and Steph Hunter enjoyed the camaraderie in the women’s arena, with Steph racing U19 and Open events rather than her U17, hoping to impress selectors for the U19 State team.  Surf ski races are still a new challenge but Steph has a few more races under her belt, and Sophie is a definite natural, first time on a ski and didn’t fall off!! Watch out for our new women’s double ski team!!

Thankyou to our officials on the day, Ben Mitchell in marshalling and Nat Hood as competitor liaison and state team selector, Anthony Purcell and Andrew Regan as age managers, and to Georgia Simmons for helping with packup.