Quintet ready for Swanbourne test
Five keen surf lifesavers will face the ultimate test on Saturday as they head to Perth for the 2018 Champion Lifesaver competition in Swanbourne.
Under-15s girls Georgia Surtees and Kya Rowcroft and open men’s and women’s competitors Callum Ilich and Caitlin Walker will represent Geraldton Surf Life-Saving Club at this year’s event.
Joining them from Dongara Denison Surf Life Saving Club is under-15s competitor Jessie Burke.
Coach Pete Saunders said the group — preparing themselves physically and mentally since last year — were ready for the challenge.
“There’s a lot of pressure but if they can put it together, they’ll be extremely competitive this year,” he said. “It’s all very technical but they’re all intelligent and dedicated people, so I’m proud to have our cap represented at a State competition.” Competitors will be judged on every aspect of being a surf lifesaver.
Using a points-based system, they will be judged on physical activities including a beach sprint, a swim race, a board race and a tube rescue, and more importantly, a theory test and resuscitation scenarios.
Third-time competitor Ilich knows all too well the technicalities of the competition after placing third in his first year and second in his second year.
“You can do all the training in the world and be the fittest there but if you aren’t prepared enough for the theory test, you could lose 40 points,” he said.
Feeling confident, Ilich is hoping to make it third time lucky at this year’s competition and take out first place. “To win would be a huge personal achievement for me and a real honour,” he said.
“It’s a very prestigious event; it’s not just about racing, it’s about saving lives.”
First-time competitor Walker said they had a strong group competing this year.
“We have a great crew going down to Perth this year, so I think we’ll come away with a few wins,” she said.
With a string of winning titles up her sleeve, including an iron woman title, Walker said she was feeling confident about her own performance.
“I think I’ll go all right, especially in the physical activities,” she said.
“The theory is all new to me but the coach said I’m doing well.”
Geraldton Surf Life Saving Club coach Pete Saunders and Georgia Surtees, Callum Ilich, Kya Rowcroft and Caitlin Walker will compete at the 2018 Champion Lifesaver competition next weekend.