Masterful display on day one of State Champs

Some of surf lifesaving’s most experienced competitors wound back the clock as they kicked off the action on day one of the 2018 Queensland Surf Life Saving Championships on the Sunshine Coast.

The first day of racing saw competition shifted to Mooloolaba after several days of big swell and dangerous conditions.

Sunshine Coasters made the most of the local conditions, with Alexandra Headland, Mooloolaba, Maroochydore and Noosa, amongst others, all winning their share of medals across the day.

Mooloolaba’s Rodney Taylor proved near unstoppable on his way to an incredible seven gold medals across the day, including the 65-69 years ironman, rescue tube, surf ski, surf board, and a number of team events. Club-mate Robert Stewart also had a golden day, winning the 70+ male surf ski and double ski.

However there was also plenty of joy for other clubs across the state.

North Burleigh veteran Neville DeMestre won gold in the 70+ ironman, surf board, and surf race and a silver medal in the 70+ surf board rescue.

Meanwhile, club-mate Elin Ashfield Hedstrom won gold in the 45-49 ironwoman, surf board, and surf ski, and a silver medal in the 30-44 female double ski.

Northcliffe pair Lee Vrolyks and Tiarne Smith finished one-two in the 35-39 years ironwoman, before pairing up to take out the surf board rescue.

In addition to the masters competition, there were a number of open and senior events held across the day.

Alexandra Headland reigned supreme in the open double skis, with Kristy Ellis and Lucinda Kelly winning the female final and Jett Kenny and James Porter taking out the men’s.

Noosa’s Lana Rogers backed up her recent round win in the Nutri-Grain IronWoman Series to take out the open female surf belt.

Meanwhile, Shannon Eckstein kicked off Northcliffe’s title defence in the senior competition, combining with Stefaan Demopoulos, Callum Breetzke and Kevin Morrison to win one of the first gold medals of the day in the open rescue tube final.

The action will continue tomorrow, with more than 1,600 lifesavers set to dive into the competition over the three days of action.

Meanwhile, Surf Life Saving Queensland has announced that all water events, including the ironman and ironwoman, will return to Maroochydore from Saturday onwards, following an extensive review of conditions by officials.

SLSQ sports coordinator Ryan Bennett said that beach sprinting and surf boats would be held at Mooloolaba following significant sand erosion at Maroochydore in recent days.

“We’ve been keeping a close eye on the surf conditions at Maroochydore over the past few days, and that process included an extensive on-site review this morning,” he said.

“Conditions have subsided significantly over the past 24 to 48 hours and the water competition will resume at Maroochydore on Saturday morning.”

To view full masters results, click here.

To view full seniors results, click here.

To view imagery from the day's action, visit SLSQ's Facebook page.