The legends were out on day three of the 2019 Australian Surf Life Saving Championships at Broadbeach on the Gold Coast.
After the weekend of youth competition at North Burleigh, 1700 Masters competitors, aged 30 to 80+, came to test their skills at Broadbeach.
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Some competitors have been racing and volunteering at their clubs for decades, some started the sport later years in life. And household names from television personalities to AFL stars to surf legends were in action.
Ironman legend Grant Kenny showed that he still has the fitness and skills when he won the 55-59 Ironman for Alexandra Headlands. It is almost 40 years since he won the Youth and Open Ironman titles back in 1980.
“It’s only my second carnival this year as I’ve spent a lot of time away, so I haven’t been training too much,” Kenny said. “But it’s good fun to get back and see the boys.”
“Conditions were tricky to get your line right to the finish, so you had to give up a few waves but I got off at the right time and it went alright.
“It’s nice to have some fun conditions and decent length race and a bit of wind and swell.
Grant’s brother Martin won the 50-54 Surf Ski, and son Jett will race later in the week in between filming for Dancing With The Stars.
1993 Australian Ironman champion Guy Andrews was another legend defying their age and had a busy day representing Tallebudgera SLSC. He won the 45-49 Ironman as well as silver in the Ski, fifth in the Board Race and eighth in the Swim.
The Ironman and Triathlon champion, who is now coaching, will be looking for more medals with his club in the team events on Tuesday.
It wasn’t just a Queensland affair, with Victoria’s Naantali Marshall cleaning up at the Australian Surf Life Saving Championships.
The former Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain and Uncle Toby’s Ironwoman competitor from Anglesea won the 40-44 Board, Swim and Ironwoman.
People who watched her claim bronze in the Coolangatta Gold in 2014, following a nine-year-hiatus from the sport, will not be surprised by her results.
“So, I guess it’s almost 13 years now since I was in the Opens but I still take nippers training and it’s enough to keep me in touch on the Board. I trained for the Coolangatta Gold to get fit again after having two children.”
This is only her third Masters carnival, having competed in Open events until she was 31 before starting a family.
“It was kind of funny having Penny Taylor in the race because we used to race against each other in the Kelloggs and Uncle Tobys. And there were a few other girls as well from the professional series, so its nice to see all the girls still going.”
The former nipper before becoming a pool swimming champion, and then returning to surf racing, is loving being back involved with the Anglesea Surf Life Saving Club.
“I take nippers training and just love hanging out in the surf with my daughter.”
Over her career she has won several Australian and World medals throughout the years. She is still the only Victorian woman to compete in the professional Ironwoman series while living and working in Victoria.
Tippett loving being back in the surf
Recently retired AFL star Kurt Tippett finished fifth in the Board Rescue with Christopher Wight for Bondi SLSC as well as contesting the individual Board and Surf Races.
“It feels like a long time ago now that I was running around North Burleigh with a big smile on my face as a kid,” Tippett said, who was a nipper at North Burleigh.
“It was a shock to the system to be honest. That was a tough swim race.
“I was pretty sore after playing a few years of football so to jump back in the ocean and the pool has been great for me. I feel great physically just racing these fit blokes is a tough ask.”
Tippett said the windy and tricky conditions had kept him on his toes. He’ll now get ready for the team events tomorrow.
“I’m looking forward to teaming up with some of the guys from Bondi to do the swim team, board relay and Taplin.”
Tippett played 178 games in the AFL for the Crows and then the Swans. He played in two grand finals for the red and white in 2014 and 2016.
Bondi Rescue star claims proud win for Bronte
A well-known face having starred in the hit show ‘Bondi Rescue’, Anthony ‘Harries’ Carroll put his day job to the test going up against the best surf lifesavers around the country.
A member of Bronte Surf Life Saving Club and a proud ‘clubby’ through and through, Harries couldn’t wipe the smile from his face as he crossed the line to take gold in the 40-44 year old board race.
“It was a little bit like a Bradbury moment out there, to just come through the pack and take the win,” Carroll beamed.
“To be here competing at the Surf Lifesaving Championships and win the Board for me is quite prestigious, and I’m really proud.
“That element of the ocean can give you that lady luck and it just opened up.”
The Masters action continues on Tuesday at Broadbeach with the team events and the big Surf Boat action continues.
Full results from Monday at the 2019 Australian Surf Life Saving Championships are available here>>> https://aussies2019results.sls.com.au