Club President tours Japan as Manager of AUS LIFESAVING TEAM
Australia’s 3-Nil Whitewash over Kiwis in Surf Tests
Led by Ironman king and captain Shannon Eckstein, his fellow Northcliffe Ironwoman champion Kristyl Smith and surf-ski paddling duo Naomi Flood and Lachlan Tame, the Australian Life Saving Team completely dominated the three Test Series.
It was the first major step towards redemption for the new-look Australian team who started with a commanding 17 point win in the 1st Test, then followed it up with another 15-point win in the 2nd Test and completed the whitewash with a 16 point win in the final test.
Kristyl just a week after winning the Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain Trial at Salt, Kingscliff made it three from three in her specialist Ironwoman event before winning the board and playing her part in the winning board rescue (with Rachelle King) the Tube Rescue and the first two Ocean Woman and Beach Relays.
Manly’s Gold Coast-based Olympic kayaker Naomi Flood confirmed her status as the world’s finest woman surf ski paddler with another faultless display as did her fellow paddler, future Olympian and three-time National ski champion Lachlan Tame.
The pair were unbeaten throughout the three Tests in their respective single ski events, the Mixed Ski Relay and the Ocean Woman and Ocean Man Relays.
Both paddlers also played crucial roles in the Australian Beach Relays with Australia winning five of the six relays with Tame anchoring the men.
Flood (the K1 500, K2 500 and K4 500) and Tame (K1 200 and K2 200) will now continue to chased places in the Australian Olympic Team for Rio in 2016 and have declared their availability for next year’s World Championships in France.
Kurrawa’s beach flags queen Melissa Howard hardly missed a beat winning five of the six flags/beach sprint events and two of the three relays. Jake Lynch (world beach sprint & flags champion) remained undefeated during the tour.
Australia’s depth was highlighted in the final water events of the Test which saw the Open Teams (Women: Naomi Flood, Rachelle King and Miranda Bell) and (Men: Dev Lahey, Kendrick Louis and Lachlan Tame) win their Ocean Man Relays (a single man Taplin) with victories over the Australian Youth Teams who beat the other six Open teams.
And the Australians cut themselves some slack, resting Kristyl Smith and Shannon Eckstein from both these events.
National Team Head Coach Danny Short now has 12 months to mould his team to make an all out-assault on the Kiwis in a bid to wrest back the Allan Whelpton World Championship trophy at Rescue 2014.
Team Manager Keith Caldwell said, "It was a highly polished and impressive performance by all of the team over 3 gruelling days, with hot weather and testing surf conditions making it interesting racing. I think we might have surprised the Kiwi's with our hard line aproach to this event and the complete dominance came as a surprise to them. "