By admin

MEDIA RELEASE Thursday 2 April, 2020


Seaspray Surf Life Saving Club has taken delivery of a new set of wheels.

The club’s new all terrain vehicle (ATV) has arrived and has been at work on the beach since February.

Among those first to use it were (from left) Bruce Johnson, a long time club member and member of the masters boat crew, patrol vice captain James Robbins and patrol captain Tom Fleming.

The funding for the new ATV was secured through the State Government’s Volunteer Emergency Services Equipment Program.

Club President Amanda Castle said the $22,400 grant enabled the surf club to update its vehicle and ensure the club was properly equipped to respond to emergencies.

“As a club, we are grateful to be able to secure two thirds of the money we needed to buy such an important piece of equipment,” Mrs Castle said. “It would take us a long time to raise the full amount needed to buy a new ATV.”

 The Volunteer Emergency Services Equipment Program (VESEP) aims to enhance the capability and safety for local volunteer emergency service groups, such as surf clubs, the SES, CFA and Coast Guard.

This financial year almost $14 million was available through the program to buy additional equipment such as trucks, tankers, vehicles, boats and trailers.

Meanwhile, like countless local businesses, volunteer and sporting groups, and households, Seaspray Surf Life Saving Club has been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Mrs Castle said the club’s bistro and bar had closed in line with new government regulations to help stop the spread of the virus.

Now from this weekend, there will be no patrols at Seaspray. Instead, the club will only respond if there’s an emergency.

“The official advice to everyone is very clear: if you can stay at home, you must stay at home,” Mrs Castle said. “Now is not the time to go to the beach.”

“Beaches elsewhere have been closed because people have not followed social distancing rules.

“Without life savers on duty, there is now another compelling reason not to travel down to the beach. Instead, you should exercise closer to home.

“Our new season would normally begin in October.  We are looking forward to getting back to normal when the pandemic eases and welcoming everyone back to the club, the beach and the bistro as soon as we can.”

By admin

MEDIA RELEASE Friday, March 6, 2020


Leanne McDonald from Seaspray Surf Life Saving Club has been honoured as an outstanding woman in lifesaving.

The honour was bestowed on Leanne as part of Life Saving Victoria’s celebrations for International Women’s Day.

Seaspray Surf Life Saving Club President Amanda Castle said Leanne had a long and distinguished record of contributing to the club.

“Leanne has held her Bronze Medallion and was a patrolling member,” Mrs Castle said. “She has had a long involvement in the Nippers program as an official at local, regional and state level.

“Leanne has been a panel member for our Nippers of the Year and Life Saver of the Year awards and has served as treasurer on club committee.

“She has been invaluable as our grants officer. She’s worked closely with other members to help Seaspray Surf Club to secure many thousands of government and non-government grants over many years, including for the construction of our new club house and for our operational areas.

“Leanne has given countless hours to help out with our fundraising activities and represented the club at high level functions and advocated on our behalf. She’s also been a driving force behind getting progress on the club’s strategic plan underway.

“As a club, we are truly thankful to Leanne for all that she has done and achieved. We are pleased that Life Saving Victoria has chosen to recognise her important work in this public way.”

Leanne attended Life Saving Victoria’s International Women’s Day breakfast event at the organisation’s Port Melbourne headquarters on Thursday morning. The event celebrated and acknowledged the contributions made by 48 outstanding women to life saving.

Leanne McDonald from Seaspray Surf Life Saving Club was among 48 outstanding women to be honoured by Life Saving Victoria at a special breakfast to mark International Women’s Day.

Seaspray’s Leanne McDonald travelled to Life Saving Victoria’s headquarters at Port Melbourne where her contribution to life saving was publicly recognised.  


By admin

MEDIA RELEASE Thursday, March 5, 2020


Seaspray Surf Life Saving Club has marked the approaching end of the surf life saving season with the running of its annual club championships.

The championships were held on Saturday morning in near perfect conditions.

The event signaled the end of the season for the club’s youngest members, but was a valuable opportunity to train and compete for others who’ll soon be representing Seaspray at state and national title events.

President Amanda Castle said the club was proud of all that its junior members had achieved over the 2019-2020 season.

“The focus of the season for our Nippers caters is on fun, getting involved and safety,” Mrs Castle said. “As they move through the age groups, these kids learn valuable water safety and life saving skills. They gain confidence in the surf and learn how to use valuable life saving equipment.

“For our teenage and adult members, competitions of this kind are a way of practising their life saving skills and an opportunity to show they are rescue ready.

“The club is incredibly proud of what our members have achieved over the summer months, particularly those who were joining us at the beach for the first time. The wider community, too, should be proud of them and feel confident in the skill and ability of those who watch over them at the beach. 

“The club championships are an opportunity for our members to come together on the beach and enjoy a morning of friendly competition. It’s a great chance for our new members to see our experienced life savers in action and also to compete alongside one another.”

Those named as age champions at the Seaspray Club Championships were:

Mackenzie Gibbs, under 8 female

Chevy McMahon, under 8 male

Milly O’Brien, under 9 female

Remy Stephenson, under 9 male

Lola Van Berkel, under 10 female

Ky Fleming, under 10 male

Charlotte Armstrong, under 11 female

Leo Stephenson, under 11 male

Dean Feltis, under 12 male

Charlotte Stephenson, under 13 female

Jimmy Greenwood, under 13 male

Ashley Centra, under 14 female

Luca Centra, under 14 male

Kate Ronchi, under 15 female

Ryan Feltis, under 15 male

Bridget Brown, under 17 female

Will Boulton, under 17 male

Jess Jackson, under 19 female

Tom Fleming and James Robbins (joint winners), under 19 male

Bridget Brown, open female

Neil Lazzaro, open male

While the beach training sessions are now over for the youngest club members, beach patrols at Seaspray will continue until after Easter.

Club members involved in surf life saving competitions at state and national level still have a number of major events to look forward to, including the Victorian Lifesaving Championships in Lorne later this month and the Australian Surf Life Saving Championships 2020 on the Gold Coast in April. 

By admin

MEDIA RELEASE Tuesday, March 3, 2020


 A small group of talented local Nippers have competed at a junior surf life saving carnival at Point Leo against some of the best young competitors from across Victoria.

Despite their small numbers, the youngsters from Seaspray made their presence felt on the beach and in the water.

The junior carnival, the sixth of the season, was a lead-up event to the 2020 Junior Lifesaving Championships in Warrnambool this weekend.

From left to right, Max McLay, Jimmy Greenwood, Luke Dwyer (back), Remy Stephenson (front), Mack McMahon, Leo Stephenson, Charlotte Stephenson and Jett McMahon comprised the team from Seaspray, cheered on by Gus McLay (second from left, front). 

The group competed against much bigger teams from surf life saving clubs including Mornington, Mentone, Mordialloc, Lorne, Torquay and Portsea.

Each one of the local Nippers performed strongly against talented nippers from across the state.  Among the results were:

Max winning the under 10 boys board race and placing fourth in the surf swim;

Remy securing third in the under nine boys wade race;

Charlotte coming sixth in her heat of the under 13 girls iron nipper event;

Leo winning through almost 20 heats of the under 11 boys flag race to reach the final;

Leo competing with Max, Leo and Jett to come fourth in the wade relay;

Jett coming second in his heat of the beach sprint;

Jimmy claiming fourth place in the final of the under 12 boys board race and sixth in his heat of the iron man; and

Jimmy teaming up with Leo to make the final of the under 12 boys board rescue.

Charlotte, Jimmy, Leo, Jett, Mack, Max and Remy will this weekend travel almost 500 kilometres or around five-and-a-half hours to compete in the 2020 Victorian Junior Lifesaving Championships.

Warrnambool Surf Life Saving Club is hosting the three-day event at Lady Bay, with the first events to begin on Saturday morning.

By admin

MEDIA RELEASE Thursday February 20, 2020


Eight young competitors from Seaspray Surf Life Saving Club were last weekend named age champions at the Seaspray Nippers Carnival.

It was the last local nippers carnival of the season for around 100 youngsters from Seaspray, Woodside and Lakes Entrance and their families and friends.

A strong south-easterly wind forced the water events to be moved to nearby Merrimans Creek, while the beach events proceeded as planned nearby on the sand.

Among Seaspray competitors to take age champion honours were:

Under 15 girls: Charlotte Grogan, who won the beach flags, sprint, surf swim, and the board race;

Under 14 girls: Zali Gallagher, who placed first in the beach flags, sprint and board race, second in the iron nipper and third in the swim;

Under 13 girls: Charlotte Stephenson, who came first in the board race and iron nipper, second in the swim and third in the flags;

Under 11 boys: Leo Stephenson, who won the board race and beach flags and came second in the sprint, swim and iron nipper;

Under 11 girls: Lily Canfield, who was first in the swim, board race, board rescue and iron nipper, and third in the flags and sprint;

Under 10 boys: Max McLay, who won all six of his events (flags, sprint, wade, swim, board and iron nipper);

Under 9 boys: Patrick Centra, who had wins in the flags, sprint and wade, came second in the board and swim, and third in the iron nipper; and

Under 8 boys: Jack McLay, who placed first in the flags and board, second in the sprint and third in the swim.

Lola Van Berkel was among Seaspray’s other outstanding competitors. Lola won the wade, swim, board and iron nipper events in the under 10 girls.

Seaspray Surf Life Saving Club President Amanda Castle said the carnival was a great way to begin winding up the season for the young competitors.

“The last nippers session for the current season will be held this Sunday morning, before the Seaspray club championships are held on Saturday, February 29,” Mrs Castle said.

“This whole-of-club carnival will be a chance for our young nippers to compete alongside the club’s youth, senior and masters competitors, including those who’ve won titles at a state and national level.

“It’s a great day for the club’s members to get together on the beach and enjoy a fun day of competition. I’d like to encourage people to come down to Seaspray on the 29th, enjoy a meal at the bistro and see just what our local surf life savers can do.

“It’s been a terrific season for our young nippers, including many who were taking part for the first time, and the club is proud of what they have all achieved.”

Ready to compete in the under 12 board rescue event representing Seaspray are (from left) Evie Humphris, Tara Dihood, Frances Dwyer and Lana Douthat.

Seaspray’s Charlotte Armstrong narrowly defeats Morgan McConville from Woodside to win the under 11 girls flag race.

Lily Canfield was named the under 11 girls age champion after winning the surf swim, board race, board rescue and iron nipper, and coming third in the beach flags and beach sprint.

Around 100 excited and enthusiastic youngsters from Seaspray, Woodside and Lakes Entrance competed at the last local carnival for nippers at Seaspray at the weekend.

Lola Van Berkel was among Seaspray’s top performers, winning the wade, swim, board and iron nipper events in the under 10 girls.

By admin

MEDIA RELEASE – February 13, 2020


Every competitor from Seaspray who competed at the 2020 Victorian Masters Lifesaving Championships held at Lorne on Saturday came home with a gold medal.

Around 400 competitors from across the state faced challenging conditions in the surf, which the host club said were only seen a few times a year and challenged the most experienced surf life savers.

Despite travelling nearly 400 kilometres to get to the event, the team from Seaspray was rewarded for its effort.

The winners were:

Mat Fleming and Ern Ronchi, who won gold in the 45 to 49 year-old men’s double ski. Mat also won bronze in the 45 to 49 men’s single ski;

Neil Lazzaro, who won gold in the 35 to 39 men’s board and silver in the 35 to 39 men’s iron man.

Rod Centra and Ben Greenwood teamed up to win gold in the 40 to 44 men’s double ski. Rod also won gold in the 40 to 44 men’s single ski and Ben got the bronze in the 35 to 39 men’s single ski.

Seaspray’s team of Glen Boulton, Stuart Mawley, Bruce Johnson, James Brown and Billy Noble, won the surf boat race for teams with a combined age of 220 years or more.

Seaspray’s strong performance continued the next day when Lorne hosted a senior and youth carnival.

Seaspray’s ski paddlers handled the surf better than most, before the remainder of the water events were cancelled due to the challenging conditions.

Jess Jackson continued her success this season with a second in the open women’s flag race and first in the under 19 women’s flag race. Jess came fourth in the under 19 beach sprint.

Teammate Bridget Brown came 8th in the open women’s beach flag race, fifth in the under 17 beach flag race, and fifth in both the open women’s and under 17 women’s beach sprint. Competing at her first senior and youth carnival, Olivia Hug performed strongly in the beach flags.


Seaspray’s Neil Lazzaro, pictured on the single ski, won gold in the 35 to 39 men’s board race and silver in the 35 to 39 men’s iron man at the Victorian Masters Championship at Lorne. Photo by Brad Walker Photography

Seaspray’s surf boat team of Glen Boulton, Stuart Mawley, Bruce Johnson, James Brown and Billy Noble, won their race for teams with a combined age of 220 years or more at the Victorian Masters Lifesaving Championships held at Lorne. Photo by Brad Walker Photography

By admin

MEDIA RELEASE – February 11, 2020


A strong contingent of nippers from Seaspray Surf Life Saving Club, including plenty of first-timers, competed at the Lakes Entrance Nippers Carnival on Sunday.

The weather may have been gloomy, but Seaspray President Amanda Castle said the local team of nippers was excited and keen to compete against friends old and new from the Lakes Entrance and Woodside surf clubs.

“It was the first carnival for many of our families and nippers and I think they all enjoyed the friendly and supportive atmosphere that you find at all of our local carnivals,” Mrs Castle said.

“The club was proud of the performances of all our outstanding young competitors. We are all particularly proud of those who are with us for their first season this year and came along to their first carnival with a great attitude.”

The water events were held in the lake by the footbridge due to the rough surf conditions.

The Seaspray club, which was declared the overall winner at the carnival, will this weekend host Lakes Entrance and Woodside when it holds its nippers carnival on Sunday morning.

Mrs Castle encouraged spectators to come down to the beach to support all of the competitors.

“The carnival is a good opportunity to support the club’s youngest members, who might one day patrol our beach and keep you and your family safe,” Mrs Castle said.

“It’s also a chance for anyone who might be thinking of joining the program to see what we do at Nippers.”

The carnival will run from 9am until around lunchtime. To book a table for lunch at the Waves Bistro and Sand Bar, call 5146 4231.

Jimmy Greenwood came first in the under 12 boys surf swim, beach sprint and board race and the under 13 boys iron nipper event.

Max Castle  won the under 14 boys board race, beach sprint and iron nipper event, and came second in the surf swim and beach flags.

Lola Van Berkel came first in the under 10 girls board race, wade, surf swim and iron nipper, third in the beach sprint and fourth in the beach flags.

The Stephenson family came home smiling with older sister Charlotte winning the under 13 girls board race and iron nipper, and coming second in the surf swim, beach flags and beach sprint; brother Leo coming first in the under 11 boys board race, wade race, iron nipper and beach flags, and second in the beach sprint; and youngest brother Remy placing first in the under 9 boys surf swim, board race and beach flags and second in the beach sprint.

Max McLay came first in all of his events in the under 10 boys, including the iron nipper, while his younger brother Jack came first in the surf swim, board race and beach flags, second in the beach sprint and third in the wade race.

Winners representing Seaspray in the iron nipper event, which comprises a swim, board and run leg, were (from left to right) Lola Van Berkel (under 10 girls), Max McLay (under 10 boys), Jimmy Greenwood (under 13 boys), Max Castle (rear, under 14 boys), Leo Stephenson (under 11 boys), Charlotte Stephenson (under 13 girls) and Lily Canfield  (under 11 girls).

Mackenzie Gibbs swam strongly to win the under 8 girls surf swim at the Lakes Entrance Nippers Carnival.

Adelaide Ripper (centre) won the under 9 girls board event with Milly O’Brien (right), who placed second. Their teammate Ellie Reid (left) came sixth. Earlier, Milly won the under 9 girls surf swim with Adelaide in second place.

Seaspray’s team of nippers, some of whom were competing at their first carnival, were in high spirits during the Lakes Entrance Nippers Carnival on Sunday, despite the grey sky and early rain.

By admin

MEDIA RELEASE February 7, 2020

Competitors from Seaspray Surf Life Saving Club took home a handy collection of pennants from the state surf life saving carnival hosted by the club at the weekend.

Club president Amanda Castle said the team from Seaspray had an advantage over their rivals at the carnival, the only state level carnival to be held east of Western Port Bay this season.

“The forecast was for challenging weather on Saturday, so we decided to shift the events planned for that day to Sunday. Instead of a two-day carnival, we were able to hold all of the events on just one day,” Mrs Castle said.

“Seaspray is known for its difficult conditions, but our local competitors are experienced, know the beach well and understand how to use the conditions to their advantage.

“The Dash for Cash still went ahead on Saturday afternoon, attracting friendly competition between entrants. It was very entertaining for all the spectators who gathered to watch in front of the club house.”

Around 130 competitors from across Victoria took part in the carnival. Among the local place getters were Jess Jackson, who won both the Under 19 and Open Women’s Beach Flags; Bridget Brown, second in the Open Women’s Beach Flags; Courtney McDonough, first in the Under 17 Women’s 2km Run; James Robbins, Tom Fleming, and Ari Fleming, first in the Under 19 Men’s Ski Relay; James Robbins, second in the Under 19 Men’s Ski; and Zac Bloink, Owen Gallagher and Angus Hugg, first in the Under 17 Men’s Board Relay. Seaspray also won the Under 19 Women’s Beach Relay.  Complete results from the carnival are not yet officially available from Life Saving Victoria, which will post the results on its website.

“This event was the first state carnival for five of our Under 14 youth members, who’ve stepped up from Nippers last season. They all gave it their best and the club is very proud of them,” Mrs Castle said.

“I also want to thank all everyone who helped out over the weekend. Events like this can’t run without assistance from our water safety volunteers, local officials and Life Saving Victoria. We also had invaluable support from Woodside’s IRB crew, Brydie and Graeme Hurrell, who spent most of the day on the water.”

(From left to right): Zac Bloink, Owen Gallagher and Angus Hugg came first in the Under 17 Men’s Board Relay.

Courtney McDonough (left) won the Under 17 Women’s 2km run, while Jess Jackson (centre) won both the Under 19 and the Open Women’s Beach Flags, and Bridget Brown (right) came second in the Open Women’s Beach Flags and was a member of the winning Under 19 Women’s Beach Relay team.

Ella Ronchi (left) and Amy Fleming (right) teamed up with a competitor from Inverloch to race in the Open Women’s Ski Relay.

Seaspray’s winning Under 19 Men’s Ski Relay team (left to right) James Robbins, Tom Fleming and Ari Fleming.

There was friendly competition between the second and first place getters, Bridget Brown and Jess Jackson, in the Open Women’s Beach Flags.

Trying to keep warm while not competing were (from left to right) Zac Bloink, Courtney McDonough (back), Amy Fleming, Angus Hugg (back), Jess Jackson, Abi Allman and James Robbins.
By admin

MEDIA RELEASE – January 21, 2020

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Photo:  Athletes from Seaspray Surf Life Saving Club, like Bridget Brown and Tom Fleming (both on the left), will line up against competitors across Victoria when Seaspray hosts a two-day surf life saving carnival on February 1st and 2nd.


Surf life savers from across Victoria are heading to Seaspray to compete at a two-day carnival designed to test their life saving skills and their fitness.

Seaspray Surf Life Saving Club President Amanda Castle said the carnival was open to competitors in the under 14 and 15 age groups to under 17s and open.

“This year’s sports carnival calendar for surf life saving has taken competitors from the state’s west coast to beaches around Port Phillip Bay and Western Port Bay,” Mrs Castle said. “There are also carnivals held interstate for our top level competitors.

“Seaspray is the only location east of Western Port Bay to host a carnival this season and one of seven senior carnivals of the year before state championships in March at Lorne. 

“This carnival is a fantastic chance for Gippsland’s surf clubs, including Lakes Entrance, Woodside, Wonthaggi and Inverloch, to compete against the best in the state.

“The carnival at Seaspray is known for its social atmosphere and life savers from across the state enjoy coming here to compete.”

Competitors in the carnival will compete in individual and team events, including sprint swims, surf races, board relays, beach sprints, surf boat and ironman and ironwoman events.

“I want to encourage people to come down to Seaspray on Saturday 1 February from midday and Sunday 2 February from 8am to watch and support your local surf life saving club,” Mrs Castle said.

“It’s a great chance to learn more about what we do at Seaspray Surf Club and see some of the state’s best athletes compete against one another.

“People often say if you can handle the surf at Seaspray, you can handle anything. It will be interesting to see how our guests from surf clubs across the state manage the conditions here.”

A highlight of the weekend will be Seaspray Surf Life Saving Club’s annual Dash for Cash competition held after the last event on Saturday afternoon.

The eight Dash for Cash races are only open to qualified life savers. They include a swim, board and ski race for both men and women, plus a three-person Taplin relay with a swim, board and ski leg. Teams will be drawn out of a hat for the Mixed Taplin, which means competitors from Seaspray are likely to team up with athletes from other surf clubs.

“The Dash for Cash is a great event. It’s hugely popular with the competitors and also with spectators as there are always lots of thrills and spills,” Mrs Castle said.

“It’s going to be a big weekend at Seaspray. We also have a private function for our life members and 2000 Club members on Saturday afternoon from 3pm.

“The Waves Bistro and Sandbar will be open all weekend for breakfast, lunch and dinner and there’ll be live entertainment on Saturday night. On Sunday morning, the club will have a BBQ to support our Nippers.”

By admin

MEDIA RELEASE – December 1, 2019


More than 80 of Seaspray Surf Life Saving Club’s Nippers turned out this morning for their first session at the beach.
The session coincided with the beginning of Seaspray’s patrol season, which runs through until Easter next year.
More than 140 children underwent swimming assessments at the Sale pool in November, many of whom were at the beach today to have their first try at the beach flags and sprints, swimming and wading in the surf, and paddling on the boards.
Seaspray Surf Life Saving Club is one of 57 surf life saving clubs across Victoria to successfully run the Nippers program.
Nippers comprises safe, fun activities on the beach for all levels of experience and ability, with a focus on safety, fun and getting involved.
As the children move through the age groups, they learn valuable water safety and life saving skills, gain confidence in the surf, and learn how to use valuable life saving equipment.

(From left to right) Ava Armstrong, Milla Lazzaro and Daisy Wilson show their speed and practise their skill in the beach flags.

There were plenty of smiles and excitement as Seaspray’s Nippers received their caps and singlets ahead of their first session at the beach this morning.

The surf conditions couldn’t have been better as Seaspray’s Nippers headed into the water for the first time this season.