Emu Park sends top athletes

EMU Park's Surf Life Saving Club will send more than 50 of their best competitors to the North Australian Lifesaving Championships in Mackay this weekend.

More than 700 athletes from centres stretching from Harvey Bay to Port Douglas will hit the Harbour Beach from ages 11 to Masters for the first major championships for the season.

Emu Park club captain Russel Blanchard said Coolangatta Gold medallist and local champion Chris Blanchard was the “main hope” for the Under 19s events.

“Chris will do well in the individual Ironman event, but also Jake Simpson and Simon Steinhofer should make their finals in the ski event,” he said.

The local junior and senior competitors will throw their talents on the variety of surf sports events including beach flags and sprints, belt rescue, ski, surf, and ironman and ironwoman events.

The competition also features team events that include a surfboat event, Champion Lifesaver and a pool rescue race.

Blanchard said the club did not have a big team this year, which won't be in their favour for the team events.

“It will be difficult with our low numbers.”

The event is hosted by Surf Life Saving Queensland who promises the Friday events will test the theory and practical skills of a patrolling lifesaver in the Champion Lifesaver competition.

On Saturday the heat competition will continue on the sand and in the water with the board and ski events for Junior and Open competitors and beach and board relays for Masters' athletes.

Sunday will feature the strongest competitors with the conclusion of the championships.

Wide Bay Capricorn regional manager Craig Holden said the event provided a great opportunity for athletes to get together and compete.

“The Under 19s and Opens will be two particularly strong categories but we are expecting tough competition across all age groups and events,” he said.

Holden said the event would serve as selections for the Queensland Country representative team which would compete in the state's Interbranch Championships.



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