Quin­tet ready for Swan­bourne test

Geraldton Guardian - - Sport - Zoe Keenan

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.”

Pic­ture: Zoe Keenan

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.

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