Surf skills on show

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - SPORT - AN­GELIQUE PAT­TER­SON

IT IS time for Port Dou­glas Surf Lifesaving Club mem­bers to put their train­ing to the test and show off their skills in this week­end’s North Queens­land branch cham­pi­onships.

From Un­der-8s to Masters, clubs from Port Dou­glas, Cairns, El­lis Beach and Mis­sion Beach will be head­ing to Etty Bay’s home surf on Satur­day to prove they are the Far North’s top life­savers.

Nip­pers pres­i­dent Brian Markham said the lo­cal team has been get­ting se­ri­ous in train­ing with the com­ple­tion of other sport­ing com­mit­ments.

“Train­ing has in­creased in the swim­ming now foot­ball, net­ball and all the other sports are fin­ished, so they can con­cen­trate solely on their swim­ming,” he said.

“It’s a bit hard get­ting them fully fit, we have got long sea­sons be­cause we do win­ter club lifesaving and the south­ern­ers do sum­mer.

“We have to train for around 10 months a year, so it’s a bit of a chal­lenge but they do pretty well.

“We nor­mally fin­ish about third out of the five clubs, usu­ally El­lis Beach or Cairns takes the hon­ours be­cause they have lots more kids.

“The events are a straight swim, board pad­dling, then we have an iron per­son event which is both board and swim.

“Then they do beach events, sprint races and what we call flags, where they lay on the ground, get up quick and turn across sand and dive on a piece of hose, which is the flag.”

Af­ter this branch com­pe­ti­tion, the Port Dou­glas Surf Lifesaving Club is off to the North Aussies cham­pi­onships at the end of the month be­fore train­ing be­gins for the state cham­pi­onships in March.

“The cham­pi­onships have evolved be­cause the events are all the skills they need to be a life­saver,” Brian said. “Get up quick, get on the board and pad­dle quick - it’s all evolved around lifesaving tech­niques.”

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