Rescue 2012 World Title results - Swimming


Christie’s beach Adelaide was the location for Day 1 of the Masters, and things got off to a brilliant start with David 'Lockie' Locke - back at Coogee SLSC following a 12 years absence - taking out the 40-44 years men’s surf race in fine style. Things were looking equally good for Chris 'Hips' Gately in his 50-54 years surf race, as he led for three quarters of the event before the grand piano fell on his back! Totally spent, he was pipped for 3rd place up the beach. Paul 'Pod' Jefferson and Philomena Pettit also competed in the surf races and did well in their respective age groups against strong opposition. 


Day 2 saw the team events take place on a rather fresh morning. The ocean at 17C was definitely the warmest place to be. The wind chill was creating some problems early on and the 110+ years surf teams of Lockie, Hips and Matt Fernandez decided a 'dry land warm up' would be sufficient and not risk getting any colder! It definitely worked; the boys performed extremely well against the other Australian teams as well as a number of big units representing clubs from Canada, Germany and Iran. In tricky, choppy conditions, they took out the Gold medal with the hot showers, coffees and hot chocolates not far behind!


Saturday and Sunday saw the Master’s swimmers move to the Adelaide Aquatic and Leisure Centre. Again Hips and Lockie excelled, competing in their individual events. Lockie impressively took out the 40-44 years 200m obstacle race, setting a World Record in the process though Hip found the going a little tougher in the 200m with another piano getting the better of him in the finals stages of his race, placing 4th. Proving he's a true sprinter, Hips recovered brilliantly in time to take Gold in the 100m manikin with flippers!


The first team event was the 4x50m obstacle relay, which saw Todd Mison join Matt, Hips and Lockie and take the Silver behind a strong Port Hacking team. Despite the great result, the talking point post race was how Todd managed to bang and split the bridge of his nose whilst diving under the 1st obstacle and then proceeding to give himself a fat lip when he went face first into the 2nd obstacle! A trip to the optometrist has been suggested. Todd had the chance to redeem himself an hour later when the boys entered the 4x25m manikin tow, where each swimmer is required to tow a 40kg manikin for 25m and keep its head afloat at all times. Anyone who has done this event would know how tough it is carrying a manikin, even if its only 25m.


Coogee could not match the powerful German club (DLRG Korschenbroich), finishing in second place. We faced further problems when the team was disqualified immediately after the race as the manikin’s head 'allegedly' went underwater during Lockie's leg. A quick review of the video (thanks to Lockie's dad) revealed a tale of porky pies from the official and Coogee was soon re-instated, earning the Silver medal. 


Not long after, Lockie was again protesting his innocence, following his individual 100m manikin tow disqualification - officials denied him 3rd place as they believed he lost control of the manikin outside the 15m zone off the wall. Video footage suggests he had a few issues with the manikin well inside that zone. He soon collected the bronze medal! Perhaps the officials were adjusting to the smell of chlorine that particular morning?


The next day (following an impressive Saturday night bonding session and free dinner at Glenelg SLSC) Hips was magnificent in the 100m manikin tow breaking his age group world record. Unfortunately, the St-Laurent swimmer from Canada (in the following heat) improved Hips' new mark by half a second – handing him the silver. If only he left that last schooner of Coopers alone! Nevertheless, Hips backed that up with a Bronze medal in the 50m manikin carry.


The final event on Sunday was the 4x50m medley relay with Coogee saving their best till last in an event which featured Todd sprint swimming, Matt underwater with flippers, Lockie swimming with the tube and Hip towing Lockie back with flippers. Coogee held off a fast finishing Port Hacking in an exciting race to take Gold. A great result considering the Pork Hacking side had a number of former Australian Royal Life Saving representatives in this race.


We thank everyone for their support over a number of enjoyable days in Adelaide. There is already plenty of talk about the next World Surf Life Saving titles in France 2014.


~ Matt F


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