May 03, 2016
Sunday afternoon marked the conclusion of 101 years of Australian Titles. Aussies 2016 by most accounts was one of the best on memory with awesome atmosphere, terrific weather, great team spirit… a flash back to the 80’s where many of us first got the bug.
Super Saturday and Super Sunday were days to be remembered. With upwards of 10,000 spectators lining the beach front, the main arena was in full throttle as the Blue and White contesting a couple of big events.
As happened 101 years ago, Bondi came away from the Open Championships with a Rescue and Resuscitation Gold Medal. The Under 19 Team of Rhianna and Kirra Bourke, Ella Marshall, Georgia Ashton-Davies, and Luke Ryan with coach Andrew McEncroe were a standout in the R&R arena.
Not only did the kids have golden success in the under 19 event, they were unfortunate not to have won double gold in the under 17 event. They were terribly unlucky being relegated to the silver medal after scores were tied, only to be determined by a count back, similar to our under 15 team who suffered the same fate a week earlier.
The team continues a long R&R tradition within our club, not to be missed also is the fact that Luke Ryan joins his father Scott, Grandfather Terry and Uncle Jim as Australian Junior R&R Champions, a tradition which started on Maroochydore beach in 1958. Young Logan Ryan was unfortunate not to join the gold rush after finishing with a silver medal in the under 15 team coached by father Scott.
Our Boat crews rowed well and in most cases progressed without reaching the business end of the championships, a rebuilding phase of the section is clearly in place. Life Member and spiritual leader of the section, Harvey Barret, will no doubt see the fruits of his commitment to youth development in years to come.
On many occasions over Open, Masters and Age Championships the luck never fell our way. As a club our overall medal haul over all three Championships, Age, Masters and Open was 3 Gold, 4 Silver, and 8 Bronze.
Congratulations to everyone who represented our great club over the duration of the Titles. Some walked away with medals, all walk away as representatives of Surf Life Saving’s number one club, Bondi.
I want to extend a big thanks to all who have contributed logistically to get team Bondi to the line. Thanks to all who have engaged and supported what we are trying to make better.
On Facebook is a small gallery of photos and results. Here is a final word from Life Member Cyril Baldock, who recently offered an opinion of this year’s Titles:
“I’ve been to approximately 50 Australian titles, and this one has been up there with the best. The performances, team work & comrade were second to none. Even though results were affected by above average bad luck, no one complained. They just got on with it. And at last we have a group of great young members, some of who competed before us & others there now giving their best. As they say in the classics “Can’t wait till summer.”
Game over, 2016. See you next year. Bring a friend.