Umina, Ocean Beach enjoy State success

Darren Peters taking to the lead in the 200 year team relay.


The 2021 NSW Surf Life Saving Championships moved on to the Masters Beach & Water events as well as the Masters and Opens Lifesaving Champs, hosted by Swansea Belmont SLSC from March 12-14, with both Ocean Beach and Umina SLSC finding more podium placements.

For Ocean Beach, the success came in the Masters Beach events with Darren Peters earning two gold medals.

Peters came first in the Beach sprint in a race that culminated in a very close finish.

“Darren ran well in the heats but the final was a tight race and he had to work hard to win it,” said team mate Matthew Smithers.

“He was very happy with his win although he wasn’t sure at first if he’d won because it was a close finish.

Later in the day, Peters and Smithers, along with Andrew Fortis and Scott Connors, made up the Ocean Beach 200 year minimum (combined) relay team that went on to win the beach relay.

“That race was tight all the way as well,” said Smithers.

“Scott started us off with an even start, then Darren ran second and got us ahead a little bit.

“I ran third and had the Queenscliff Surf Club runner right next to me in the lead, a team we have always battled against.

“However, due to the pressure we put on them to keep up, they ‘broke’ in their relay baton interchange between their third and fourth runners and were disqualified.

“Our fourth runner was Andrew and he finished it off for us.

“Queenscliff have beaten us a number of times in the past – we were hopeful that we would come out with a medal if we ran at our best so to pick up the gold in the end was exciting.”

For Umina Beach Surf Club, three big wins in the Masters went to Steve De Vivo in the Beach Flags, Rosy Pragono and Shelley Smith in the Double Ski race, and Katrina West in the Beach Flags.

More success came to Umina in the Lifesaving Championships from the Under 15 age group up to the Masters.

In the Champion Lifesaver event that involves theory, resuscitation and water to beach racing, gold medals were won by Davara Marshall in the Under 15’s, Bethwyn Caller in the Under 17’s, Lachlan  Braddish in the Under 19’s and Kerry Armstrong-Smith in the 40yrs over.

Overall, it was a very successful weekend for the Central Coast clubs, with even more podium placements coming from our region’s other clubs, such as Shelly Beach, North Entrance, The Lakes, Terrigal, Avoca and North Avoca.

With the Boat racing events in the State Championships being cancelled over the weekend from March 19 – 21, the competition has come to a conclusion.

Many of the competitors at the State Champs over the past few weekends, from junior nippers up to Masters, will now look forward to the State Interbranch Competition to be hosted at Shelly Beach on this coming Saturday to Sunday, March 27 – 28, and then onwards to the Australian Surf Life Saving Championships on the Sunshine Coast from April 16 – 24.

Live Results, generated Mar 15
Surf Life Saving NSW.
Interviews with Dan Kingsley & Ken Lupton, Mar 15
Shelly Beach and North Entrance SLSCs.