Smiles, tears at surf meet
DAY one of the Allphones State Age Surf Life Saving Championships at Kingscliff yesterday was staged in stifling heat, small surf and kilometres from the hub but competitors and supporters alike were all smiles.
Some had shed tears at being eliminated, some shrugged it off and others just smiled and left the beach determined to have a better day today.
Two teenagers from the Lennox Heads club - Hannah Sculley and India Brown - had every right to be down in the mouth after their quarter-final of the 13s girls board rescue.
Sculley, up against some top swimmers, was in the hunt heading to the buoys - fourth would ensure a place in the semi-finals - but her teammate Brown is low to the ground and wasn't quite sure Sculley had signalled for the changeover.
Brown had taken off, realised her teammate might not have touched so she went back across the line just to make sure. In the wash-up, the Lennox crew finished fifth and as they say, the rest is history.
But that was just one of the many events on the duo's list - today they get to fight for places in their individual events of board, swim and ironwoman.
"Just a bit disappointing," India said. "We did well, I couldn't see, I didn't want to take a chance if it wasn't the right person (who signalled).
"I went back to check."
With an infectious smile on her face, India explained she has the heats, quarters and semis of the swim, board along with quarters and then semis after qualifying through the first round yesterday of the ironwoman today to qualify for tomorrow's finals.
A big ask in anyone's language but the plucky 13-year-old will be ready.
"Lots of pasta and plenty of sleep," she said.
Hannah has a similar program to contend with in her quest for a state gold medal.
"I just want to make it to the final in the swim, board and ironperson," Hannah said.
"Drink lots of water, fuel up ... eat lots of pasta and get lots of sleep," she offered of the evening ahead.
Byron Bay was the first of the Far North Coast Branch clubs to visit the medal presentation arena.
The tri-colours collected silver in the under-10 girls board relay yesterday.
India Hembrow, Healey Smith and Freya Peacock were ecstatic with their efforts.
Two unfortunate competitors payed a visit to the Tweed Hospital.
A 10-year-old from the Manly club was treated and transported with suspected spinal injuries and a 13-year-old from the Cabarita Beach suffered a lacerated ear after a collision with a board.
Both are believed to be in a satisfactory condition.