Team and solo achievements make year a blockbuster
The Pilbara News looks back at the trials and tribulations on the region’s sporting field in 2015.
Swimmers from across the Pilbara took the long journey to Perth for the SunSmart Country Championships at HBF Stadium.
Karratha Swimming Club had five children swimming over a total of 11 events, all of whom achieved at least one personal best.
West Pilbara and Fortescue cricket teams also returned from a successful trip to Perth to compete in WA country week.
West Pilbara Cricket Association 1 won four of their five matches in division gold.
WPCA 2 and Fortescue Cricket Association also lost just one match in their division.
The Karratha Virtual Rottnest Channel Swim record was won by local residents after an impressive five-hour effort from the AM Struggle Street team beat the previous best by more than two minutes.
Jayde Mottram, Tristan Lynn, Janyce Crawford and Aaron Bowkett ended the travesty of Port Hedland holding the record from last year, completing the race in a time of 5hr 9min. 28sec.
Sixteen-year-old Karratha student Tahlia Briggs was awarded a bronze medal at the Australian senior selections event for the Taekwondo World Championships at the AIS combat centre in Canberra.
Karratha Water Polo Association’s season came to an exciting close, with the Pirates and Barracudas finishing with a win in their respective men’s and women’s grand finals.
Karratha’s Cyclones took three teams down to country week in Perth at the start of the month and topped the women’s division 3 league.
Motocross was back in the Pilbara as more than 30 riders kicked up the dirt on the revamped Karratha motocross track at the weekend.
Daniel Harding won the inaugural City of Karratha Sprintcar Stampede in a race in which a field of 12 was whittled down to three by the final lap, much to the entertainment of more than 3000 spectators.
The Pegs Creek Crabs went from last season’s bottom-feeders to dual premiers in the West Pilbara Cricket Association’s Twenty20 and 40-over formats.
Karratha’s Northwest Open swimming championships attracted 189 swimmers from 10 clubs at the Leisureplex.
Aspiring Wickham boxer Daniel Stuart, 17, hit another major milestone on his quest to being crowned Commonwealth champion by becoming the Australian youth 81kg champion.
Junior soccer kicked off in Karratha, with hundreds of six to 17year-olds playing across six teamsfrom Dampier, Karratha and Wickham.
■ The Roebourne racetrack sprang back to life, with more than 300 locals flocking to the Nor West Jockey Club for the opening race on Culture and Tourism Day.
The feature race was taken out this year by Flirtatious, ridden by jockey Kate Fitzgerald. ■ Burrup Mountain Bike Club hosted the gruelling Doctor Baynton’s Six-Hour Remedy Mountain Bike Race at the Karratha BMX track.
A field of 126 riders took to the course, which consisted of a 10.5km loop through a mix of single track and four-wheel-drive trails in the Baynton Hills.
South Hedland Swans won an emotion-charged match against the Wickham Wolves by 33 points in Wickham at the weekend. Both teams played with heavy hearts after a member of the Alec family died playing football in Roebourne the previous weekend.
■ The first of 22 rounds of the Karratha Basketball Association’s new season began.
The Beavers started their 2015-16 campaign with a 24-14 win against the Goat Trouts. ■ North Pilbara Football League premiers of 2014 the Karratha Kats bowed out in their must-win last game of the regular season against the South Hedland Swans.
The success-starved South Hedland Swans claimed a hardfought 25-point grand final win over the Dampier Sharks to end one of North Pilbara Football League’s longest premiership droughts.
Karratha student Tahlia Briggs, 17, returned from Jakarta with some extra bling to add to her trophy cabinet after her bronze medal-effort at the G1 Taekwondo Indonesian Open.
■ Karratha speedster Nick Rowe, 17, claimed his maiden speedcar podium with a win at Sydney’s Valvoline Raceway on October 3.
Matt Herbert claimed the Brett Johnson Memorial Trophy for the second year in a row at the Nickol Bay Speedway. ■ Paraburdoo Motorcycle Association called on the community to donate to their online campaign to erect a fence around the motocross track.
■ Anglers hit creeks around Nickol Bay targeting highly prized barramundi for the final major fishing competition of the year.
Josh Stanley and Team Fos won King Bay Game Fishing Club’s catch-and-release estuary challenge competition.
A pair of girls showed up the adults with a string of record catches off the Karratha coast.
Eleven-year-old Ella Day and 15year-old Mikayla Lannary gained national catch records with a 4.42kg whaler shark and 379.75kg tiger shark. ■ Three Karratha-based women finished in the top 10 of their categories at the Cape to Cape MTB challenge.
Amanda Ewin led the Pilbara contingent and was second in the women’s 40-49-year-old category in a time of 11hr 0min. 34sec.
Janyce Crawford was sixth in the women’s 50 to 59-year-old group and Tracey Chapman was seventh in the open women’s section.
■ A three-point dagger in the last 20 seconds of play put the Cardinals up by a point to deal the Thunder the first loss of their season in the men’s B-grade basketball competition. ■ In Paraburdoo, footballer Adam Gillespie and softballer Petrina Inje were named sportsman and woman of the year, while Melissa Sciafe was named top coach for her work in teeball.
Tom Price’s winners included water polo player Mason Watts for the sportsman title, netballer LizaJane Softley for the sportswoman title and Sally King for the coach title.
Cardinals’ Kael Wayne Neill and Heats’ Nathan Baker have their eyes on the ball as they jostle to catch a shot.
Matthew Peaker and Colin Stannard at the Nickol Bay Speedway.
Drivers were figuratively, and at times literally, on fire.
Members of the Karratha Water Polo Association.
South Hedland Swans’ Jesse Simpson embraces Anthony Kyanga as the side celebrate securing a home grand final.
Shasher Singh blasts a ball to the boundary for the Baynton Lions.
Matt, 11, Ben and Sam Arnold show off some of their haul from the King Brey Open.