Pool Rescue Clinic at Bulli this Sunday 22 April

In consultation with our Head Surf/Craft/Pool Rescue Coach (Downie Langthorne) this Sunday 22 April starting at 10am Bulli Beach the club will be holding a Club Pool Rescue Clinic for U12’s right through to Masters.

U12-U14 are now included in the Pool Rescue Program of events at State & Nationals. So if we have any younger members that swim train or are keen to try some different events in a pool environment with manikins, swim fins & rescue tubes.....then this is for are more than welcome! For our Masters athletes, you no longer have events at State & Nationals in the pool but there are some events at Rescue 2012.

Can U12-U15 members please bring rubber fins, the surf club will also supply rescue tubes, manikins & pool rescue fins to the senior members at the session.

With the NSW (Peninsula Leisure Centre Woy Woy 28 & 29 July) & Australian Championships (South Australia Aquatic & Leisure Centre 17-19 August) coming up it is a good opportunity to refresh our memories with the events that occur and do this in a firstly, relaxed atmosphere down at the beach, with further sessions at later dates in a pool environment.

A DVD will be shown highlighting events & various techniques at 10am and then hit the pool after that for some training under the watchful eyes of some of our talented senior squad members. At our club we have Australian Reps in Downie Langthorne, Mitchell Fagerstrom & Sean White plus along with former Australian & World Champions in Matthew Freeman, Ben Denner, Greg Miller, Brittany Sharkey & Drew Cairncross who have indicated  that they will assist with our program & training sessions.


Keith Caldwell

Surf Sports Manager


Great results at Aussies -medals won by U23 Female Boat & Lachlan O'Grady

A wrap up of the clubs results at Aussies, well it wasn’t the best year for medals, but there were a lot of promising signs from all aspects of our surf sports areas. New boat crews doing well, younger surf/craft athletes making finals. Unfortunately we had a few injuries with Michael Harris, onen of our Masters guys with the most serious (Torn Achilles right ankle 4-6 months of rehabilitation), Bridgette Lockhart with a torn calf muscle & Lincoln Costello with a sprained ankle (Sunday night accident!)   

Firstly, as a club we must thank the following people for helping out with duties associated with surf sports during the year, but most importantly at the State & National Championships.  If any names are missing from the below thankyou’s please accept the clubs apologies. As always we have a great bunch of people who continually put their hand up to assist the club with surf sports duties during the season. From all athletes & parents concerned it is greatly appreciated. 

Thanks must go to our hard working officials namely Dennis Allen, Kevin Starling, John Meehan, Dave Greene, Peter Hammersley, Al Green & Leanne Taylor  who between them worked at Junior State, Senior State & Aussies. Well done to our competition secretary’s Maria Caldwell (Senior’s) & Leanne Taylor (Juniors) for the hours in submitting entries.

 Special mention to big Al Green who toiled for 6 days at Aussies from 5am-5pm each day in the IRB area.......big effort & noted by all surf sports athletes.....if we didn’t have Al there as our IRB representative the club would not have started in events!

Massive thanks to Lincoln Costello, Paul Jones, Ben Lowe, Russell Brinkworth, Keith Caldwell, Brett Wheeler, Dave O’Grady & Sean Taylor for the towing of craft & boat trailers to State/Aussies.

To our members who acted as Area Managers at both championships making sure athletes knew when events were on & marked off, a big thank-you to Keith Caldwell, Robyn Fagerstrom, Kris Crilley, Sean Minogue, Lisa O’Grady, Sandra Brinkworth, Peter Lord, Stu Brown, Debbie Brown, Paul Jones, Lincoln Costello & Leanne Taylor.

 Approximately 80 people attended our post Aussies dinner at Broadbeach Bowling Club and a great night was had by everyone that attended. It was great to see our family atmosphere to the fore with athletes & parents mixing from both the surf/craft & boat sections. Big thank-you to Colleen Gilbert from Broadbeach Bowling Club for assisting on the night.

Congratulations to our 2 Australian medallists, huge efforts & richly deserved;

3rd U23 Female Boat Crew (Shane Geloven, Olivia Krowka, Sheree Gallagher, Melanie Ireland & Elizabeth Walker).....first year of rowing with Olivia, Sheree & Melanie gaining their bronze medallion only this year!

3rd U17 Male Belt (Lachlan O’Grady & belt team Dave O’Grady, Oscar Bradley, Emma Lockhart & Jake Hogarth)

Outstanding achievements by the following members to make an Australian Final;

110yrs Male Ski Relay – Michael Locke/Peter Lord/Ian Timbrell

40-44yrs Female Ski – Kimberley Fleming

40-44yrs Female Board – Kimberley Fleming

40-44yrs Female Surf – Kimberley Fleming

40-44yrs Iron-woman – Kimberley Fleming

45-49yrs Male 2km Beach Run – Peter Richards

40-44yrs Male Double Ski – Michael Locke/Ian Timbrell

130yrs Male Taplin Relay – Peter Lord/Brett Wheeler/Michael Locke

Open Surf – Mitchell Fagerstrom

Open Iron-woman – Hannah Minogue

Open Female Ski – Hannah Minogue

Open Male Surf Teams – Mitchell Fagerstrom/Beau Wheeler/Sean White/Matthew Crilley

Open Male Ski – Downie Langthorne

Open Lifesaver Relay – Paul Jones/Ben Lowe/Heath Mercer/Daniel Porra/Dean Roberts (A Boat Crew), Downie Langthorne (Open Ski), Beau Wheeler (U19 Board), Lachlan O’Grady (U17 Surf) & Hannah Minogue (Female Sprint)

Open Male Boat – Paul Jones/Ben Lowe/Heath Mercer/Daniel Porra/Dean Roberts

U19 Iron-man – Beau Wheeler

U19 Male Surf – Beau Wheeler

U17 Male Surf – Lachlan O’Grady

U17 Female Surf – Jamie Brinkworth

U17 Iron-man – Lachlan O’Grady

U17 Male Taplin Relay – Lachlan O’Grady/Dale Dawson/Calvin Richards

U15 Female Surf Teams – Abbey Dawson/Kiah Taylor/Emma Brown/Bridgette Lockhart

U15 Female Surf – Abbey Dawson

U15 Female Rescue Tube – Kiah Taylor

U15 Female Board Relay – Kiah Taylor/Emma Brown/Abbey Dawson * Bridgette Lockhart injured & replaced by Abbey in final.


Tragedy at Aussies - R.I.P Matthew Barclay

As President & Surf Sports Manager of Bulli Surf Life Saving Club each year I give a summary of the Australian Surf Life Saving Championships and how our athletes go in their events. Only 2 years ago Saxon Bird from Queenscliff SLSC lost his life whilst competing in the Kurrawa surf, a tragedy that affected everybody concerned, including some of our members who were very close to Saxon. Now it seems quite sombre to experience another drowning at a major surf sports event. As most would already know young Matthew Barclay from Maroochydore SLSC lost his life whilst competing in an U15 male board event.

A majority of our members were on the beach on the Wednesday when the alarm was raised that an U15 competitor was missing. We had U15 male & female competitors in the area when the incident occurred & the search took place. Hundreds searched for the rest of the day without result. Our management team made sure that everybody was trying to cope with the sad news of Matthew Barclay, firstly missing and then located when his body was pulled from the water the following morning. He had suffered major trauma to his head, most likely hit by his own board, or that of another competitor. Tears were shed on the sand by young competitors, mums, dads, officials and emergency personnel over the days of the championships.

The greater lifesaving family helped each other through this sad ordeal, with professional counselling offered by SLSA over the course of the championships which after much discussion re-commenced at North Kirra on the Friday. To our members please let it be known that counselling is still available from our State Centre Surf Life Saving New South Wales. This has been a very stressful time for all concerned, please look out for your friends & fellow club members for signs of post traumatic stress and don’t hesitate to contact myself or my wife Maria if you need help and we can point you in the right direction. We need to ensure our surf lifesaving family assists each other at this difficult time.

A lot has been said about the incident & I am sure most would have read newspapers or listened to television stories about surf life saving in general. Some of the information reported has personally disgusted me concerning the continued bagging of a great organization. Surf Life Saving is the Australian way of life, getting our kids to grow up wanting to do patrols and maybe race in surf sports events, it’s about mate-ship that lasts a life time. It's a tragedy and surf lifesavers are grieving as one alongside the family of young Matthew. There is no denying the surf movement has battled in dealing with the aftermath of Saxon's death - its previously untarnished reputation has taken a battering. I personally would like to see the championships moved away from Kurrawa Beach, but that is my thoughts as an individual. I also spoke with members of the Organising Committee & Competition Committee including Surf Sports General Manager (Dave Thompson) & Surf Life Saving President (Graham Ford) plus Surf Life Saving’s Legal Counsel about issues leading up to the incident. The decision was made by the Competition Committee to keep the carnival running, a decision not made lightly and made by people with hundreds of years experience in the movement. I personally made sure it was known to each of our area managers & competitors that if they wished not to compete on any given day due to the surf conditions, it was not a problem, the club would stand by their decision.

We say it each year, “what is Kurrawa going to throw at us?” But teams travel there with members from U15 (including U13-U14’s with awards) through to Masters keen to challenge themselves in the testing conditions, including parents as coaches, managers & even as masters athletes.

Conditions were rough, especially on the low tide, with the competition committee meeting every hour to discuss what events could go ahead. Big sets of waves were rolling through every few minutes, some breaking hundreds of metres out. But that's normal at a big, open beach like Kurrawa, where 15 of the past 19 national titles have been held. Conditions were variable across the many competition areas stretching almost a kilometre along the beach, depending on the position of sandbanks and wave zones. Surf boat races had been suspended a few hundred metres up the beach after a spate of injuries amid the dumping waves and heavy, cumbersome boats. Similarly, the two-person women's double ski event had been postponed due to the size of the craft and the tidal conditions. But for smaller, individual craft like skis and boards, it was business as usual. Surf conditions on Tuesday were not as big or as bad as those terrible, cyclone-driven days. Challenging, yes, but many on the beach saw it as nothing more than another testing day at the "Aussies", the sport's highest arena of competition.

Just to let people know that after Saxon Bird’s death in 2010 & subsequent Coroners Inquiry, what cannot be questioned is that there was a very definite response to the recommendations following his death in 2010. Apart from inflatable life vests, of which 16 versions are being considered and tested, every recommendation made by the coroner had been implemented. 3 tragedies have occurred in an ocean environment (all at Kurrawa....Robert Gatenby 1996 - boat, Saxon Bird 2010 - ski & Matthew Barclay 2012 - board) that can be as unforgiving as it is awe-inspiring. Sadly, none of that good work will bring back Matthew, Saxon or Robert. It's perhaps worth remembering that the very reason lifesavers exist is to protect swimmers from the extreme dangers of the surf and as it has been mentioned sometimes, tragically, the surf is too strong for even lifesavers.

The actions of Matthew's parents (Stephen & Donna) in encouraging his Maroochydore club mates to stay and compete in the 14-year-old's honour at the remainder of the national titles is a moving tribute to their young son. Some competed...some didn’t. For most of us it would be hard to understand the incredible loss and grief suffered by all those close to Matthew. The strength of Matthew’s family especially his mother & father had to be seen to be believed. They were on the beach at North Kirra on the Friday dealing with their grief in their own way, many a tears flowed when the U15 Maroochydore girls won gold in 2 team events. Some of our members attended the Memorial Service at Kurrawa Beach on the Sunday morning prior to competition starting with Matthew’s dad (Steve) speaking to everybody that attended the service hard it was.....a very important part of the grieving process!  

I hope that we don’t lose any of our current or future members from our great movement, volunteers who keep our beach safe, but I can understand if it does happen. We do this because we love teaching our younger members how to handle the surf. As everybody knows volunteers are already stretched protecting our beaches, catering to the expectation of Australians that the red-and-yellow flags are there and we will look out for everybody whilst at the beach.

So in closing I will send through another email after the Easter Break with our club results.

I am sure everybody would join with me & offer our condolences, thoughts & prayers to the Barclay family. Matthew was laid to rest last Thursday in a very moving ceremony on the Sunshine Coast.

Life can be short, make sure you enjoy life to the fullest!

Rest in Peace Matthew Barclay....a champion young kid gone too early in life! 

Yours In Surfing

Keith Caldwell




























Good Luck at Aussies to our athletes

The Australian Surf Life Saving Championships commence next Monday 26 March at Kurrawa Beach in Queensland with our Masters guys/girls going around over 2 days. Then our U15-U17-U19-Open athletes in boat/surf/craft events get to do their stuff from Wednesday through to the following Sunday.

After some great results from the NSW Championships and the hard training continuing, the club is hopefully of some podium finishes. But as we all know the Kurrawa break can be so cruel & unkind.

To keep up to date with how our athletes are going check out our Surf Club Face-Book page Bullislsc


Nipper Presentation Day this Sunday 25 March 9am Start

Come along and enjoy the last day of Nippers with our Junior Presentation to be held this Sunday 25 March 9am at Bulli Surf Club. Heaps of fun to be had by the kids, plus also presentation of various award winners from the seasons results incuding Club Champions & Club Person of the Year.

BBQ & drink supplied with a $2 donation towards our Dulux Raffle Promotion where somebody could win a 9ft 'Raw' Malibu Surfboard as 1st prize, other great prizes also available. If you could also take a book of tickets it would be greatly appreciated as all funds go into our Building Fund for our proposed extensions. Please see Julie Heycott if you can assist.

The Junior Activities AGM will then be held directly after the Presentation, so if you are keen to stand for a position please let Peter Lord or Leanne Lunney know prior or on the day.

Massive thanks to all of our sponsors who have supported the Junior Activities Section thropughout the year, it was greatly appreciated.