Medal hopes shattered
BYRON Bay clubmates Tom Byrnes and Torri Callan were so close to a podium finish in the open men's single ski final they could almost taste the champagne but a nasty collision thwarted their trip to the presentation stage at the Allphones NSW State Open Surf Lifesaving Championships at Kingscliff yesterday.
Byrnes and Callan made a great start and looked on track for podium finishes only to be involved in a collision in the wave zone, a clash that allowed Byrnes' twin brother Alex to power through the carnage to secure third place and a bronze medal for the tri-colours.
But the medal was the furthest thing from Alex's mind when he looked seaward immediately after finishing to see his sibling being assisted by the jet-ski crew.
The force of the collision left Tom Byrnes with a dislocated left shoulder but he was quickly returned to shore, allowing Alex Byrnes to celebrate his bronze.
"Tom got hit by the next batch (of paddlers), they slewed and hit him and he's popped a shoulder," Alex Byrnes said.
"It was tough out there and he'll probably have to go to hospital to get it put back in. It's pretty unlucky when you are in front.
"I'm happy to come from behind, it was tough out there. I got a solid start and on the way in if you get it wrong you (can) get cleaned up."
Host club Cudgen Headland came close to claiming a medal in the open arena yesterday when Scott McCartney powered off the beach to lead the men's board race final but had already one in the bag from Saturday when McCartney and Jarad Cain had teamed for gold in the open board rescue.
In the race to the beach, in the board final, McCartney trailed Avoca's Daniel Shade but took the lead as they approached the wave zone.
McCartney seemed destined for victory when a wave stood up behind him but he was unable to get onto it allowing Shade to claim victory. McCartney was relegated to fourth after two back markers slipped past him.
"It was one of those races I guess, a good race that I led out and then got hit by a wave," McCartney said.
"On the way in I didn't see that wave coming, got on top of one wave ... it got away from me and then there was nothing.
"That's what happens, you paddle hoping for some waves and it didn't happen this time."
McCartney's teammate Cain had earlier contested the open ironman final but was no match for the Allum brothers - Hayden and Chris - who finished first and third with Warilla-Barrack Point's Hayden White second.
"I fell off my board at the start and thought I was out of it," Hayden Allum said.
"Chris is a champion swimmer and dragged me around in that leg then we both picked up a wave.
Northcliffe's Kristyl Smith dominated the open ironwoman final, beating home Terrigal duo Joanna Baxter and Amy Nurthen.