Wow! What a way to kick-start the lifesaving competition season, pulling on the red and white caps to race in the warm waters of the Sunshine Coast. Our Portsea Youth Competitors Ned Betts, Harvey Larke and Xavier Purcell, were joined by Katie Kerr (U13) from the Junior Team and a support crew of madly cheering parents.

Mooloolaba turned on the most perfect and beautiful day for the Kozii 3 Series Iron Challenge, with 2-3 foot waves and a very tricky shore break.

The three boys were competing as a group, with all the U14, U15 and U17s hitting the water together.  In the first iron race Ned and Xav were the standouts for Portsea, both with top ten finishes. Harvey, not to be out done by his team mates, decided it was time to show the Queenslanders that he wasn’t here to make up the numbers.  With a super come back in the two remaining iron races he rocketed into the points, with a very impressive 4th, then 3rd, finishing the day with a total score that placed him in 4th place overall in the U15 category!!

Time in the surf at the Portsea Back Beach teaches you a skill or two and it was time to put the work ethic to the test.  Katie started her last year in Junior competition with style, showing off her fantastic surfing skills in all three U13 iron races, managing to catch waves on each occasion to finish just outside the points.

There were many highlights, from how well we competed to the terrific carnival atmosphere, with pumping music and dance offs, added in with the unusual warnings all day that the carnival was ahead of schedule! For me, to watch 300 nippers and youth line up on the beach for the dash for cash, and race for pink table tennis balls marked with prizes that were dropped in the ocean was something very special.

This was a great opportunity to race and be part of the lifesaving culture we all love.  Thank you to the Youth Admin Team and the Portsea Club for their support in making this fantastic event a possibility!

Anthony Purcell