The 15-strong contingent from Seaspray lined up against 700 athletes representing 30 surf life saving clubs from across the state.
While the challenging conditions forced the postponement of the surf boat events, the Seaspray team again showed its skill and talent in the surf and on the sand.
Jessica Jackson continued her top form this season, winning gold in the beach flags to become the under 19 Victoria champion. She placed fourth in the open beach flags and in the under 19 beach sprint.
Jessica teamed up with Bridget Brown and two competitors from Altona Surf Life Saving Club to win silver in the open mixed relay. The pair won a second silver in the under 19 mixed relay with two competitors representing Chelsea and Williamstown surf clubs.
Bridget won her third silver medal in the under 19 beach sprint and came seventh in both the under 19 beach flags and the open beach sprint.
Courtney McDonough also came home from Lorne with four medals: two gold, a silver and a bronze. She placed second in the under 17 two-kilometre beach run, first in the under 17 mixed relay, first in the under 19 female relay in a composite team with competitors from Hampton, and third in the under 17 beach flags. She also came fifth in the under 17 beach sprint.
Zali Gallagher was awarded the silver medal in the under 15 beach flags and came fourth in the under 15 beach sprint, while her older brother Owen Gallagher came home with bronze in the under 17 beach sprint.
Tom Fleming and James Robbins secured fifth place in the under 19 double ski, while Rod Centra made the final of the men’s open ski event.
Seaspray Surf Club President Chris Fleming said the club was proud of its athletes’ achievements.
“All of our members who compete at state and national level carnivals train hard and are dedicated to their sport – and these outstanding results are proof of that,” Mr Fleming said.
“Competing against other surf life saving clubs is an important way that we ensure our surf life savers maintain their skills and fitness and remain ‘rescue ready’.
“These results are testament to their hard work and everyone at the club is proud of what they have achieved and for the work they do for our community.”
Patrols will continue at Seaspray until the season ends on April 18 on Saturdays from 1pm to 4pm and on Sundays and public holidays from 10am to 4pm.]]>
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 warm conditions with a heavy shore break that challenged both the young Nippers and experienced life savers competing in the swim and wade events.
The strength of the waves forced organisers to move the board races and iron Nipper events to nearby Merriman Creek for the younger competitors, while older club members pitted their skill and strength against the surf – and one another – in the board, ski and iron events.
The club championships signalled the end of the season for the club’s youngest members, but was another valuable opportunity to train and compete for those who’ll be representing Seaspray at this weekend’s Victorian Lifesaving Championships at Lorne.
President Chris Fleming said the championships marked the end of a season like no other at Seaspray.
“The club championships are an opportunity for our members to come together on the beach and enjoy a morning of friendly competition,” Mr Fleming said.
“For our youth and senior members, competitions of this kind are a way of maintaining their life saving skills to remain ‘rescue ready’. These events are also a great chance for our new families and members of the community to see our experienced life savers in action and compete alongside one another.
“The club is incredibly proud of what our members have achieved this season, particularly our young Nippers who joined us at the beach for the first time. The wider community, too, should be proud of their surf life savers and feel confident in the skill and ability of those who watch over them at the beach.
“The coronavirus pandemic forced us to do things differently at the surf club this past year and I am proud of all our members, particularly those who were on patrol, for all they were able to do to keep people safe at the beach.”
Those named as age champions at the Seaspray Club Championships were:
Evie Whittaker, under 7 female
Patrick Morrison, under 7 male
Ella Francis, under 8 female
Harlow Dowsett, under 8 male
Kiah Dowsett, under 9 female
Jack McLay, under 9 male
Milly O’Brien, under 10 female
Remy Stephenson, under 10 male
Max McLay, under 11 male
Lillian Canfield, under 12 female
Jett McMahon, under 12 male
Jimmy Greenwood and Dean Feltis, under 13 male
Charlotte Stephenson and Emma Feltis, under 14 female
Luke Dwyer, under 14 male
Lola Wilson, under 15 female
Luca Centra, under 15 male
Kate Ronchi, under 17 female
Zac Bloink, under 17 male
Tom Fleming, under 19 male
Bridget Brown, under 19 and open female
Loughlin Brown, open male
While the beach training sessions are now over for the youngest club members, beach patrols at Seaspray will continue until 18 April. Until then, the beach will be patrolled from 1pm to 4pm on Saturdays and from 10am to 4pm on Sundays and public holidays.
Seaspray Surf Club’s age champions were named after the club championships were held on Saturday morning. A contingent from Seaspray will head to Lorne this weekend to compete at the Victorian Lifesaving Championships.]]>
Life Saving Victoria has named Amy Fleming from Seaspray Surf Club as an outstanding woman in life saving.
Amy was among a number of women from across Victoria to be honoured at a Life Saving Victoria breakfast event to mark International Women’s Day.
The group was recognised for its contribution to and achievements in life saving, drowning prevention and the emergency services.
Seaspray Surf Club President Chris Fleming said Amy was one of the club’s young leaders.
“Amy has been involved with the surf club since she was a Nipper competing in the under sevens,” Mr Fleming said.
“Through her involvement in the Youth Involvement Program, Amy co-ordinated fundraising activities to raise funds to make improvements to the youth area and buy a smart tv that’s now a valuable training tool.”
Now 21, Amy is a mentor for younger members, supports and instructs the club’s young Nippers while they’re in the surf, and helps to train the club’s Surf Rescue Certificate and Bronze Medallion candidates.
Mr Fleming said Amy was known at the club for her enthusiasm and commitment to surf life saving.
“Amy has progressed through the ranks at the club: she has now been a patrol captain for the past three years and is an experienced open ski competitor,” Mr Fleming said.
“Her dedication to the club has been particularly important over the past 12 months when the club needed to rely on members aged over 18 years to patrol the beach during the pandemic.
“Amy is also known for her involvement in the Maffra Mardi Gras in 2018 when she and her committee raised $35,000 for the surf club over six weeks.
“That was a huge effort and helped our club to finish off our new clubhouse and to buy much-needed equipment to train our younger members.
“Amy is one of the great young people at Seaspray Surf Club and we are extremely proud of her and her achievements.”
At just 21, Amy Fleming from Seaspray Surf Club has been honoured for her contribution to and achievements in life saving, drowning prevention and the emergency services.]]>
SEASPRAY’S WAVE OF SUCCESS AT LORNE
A strong contingent of athletes from Seaspray Surf Club returned home from two days of competition at Lorne with an impressive medal haul.
Neil Lazzaro, Rod Centra, Ben Greenwood and club president Chris Fleming were among 300 of Victoria’s most experienced athletes to compete the 2020-21 Victorian Masters Championships last Saturday.
In his 35 to 39 age group, Neil Lazzaro came home with five medals including two individual medals: gold in the board race and bronze in the ironman.
Neil teamed up with Ben Greenwood to win gold in the double ski, and won silver in the board rescue together with Rod Centra.
Neil, Ben and Rod then competed as a team in the ski relay, winning silver in the 35 to 39 men’s event.
Ben added to Seaspray’s medal tally with his gold in the 40 to 44 men’s single ski, as did Rod, who came in third in the same event to get the bronze.
Seaspray’s success continued the next day at the Lorne Surf Carnival.
Jessica Jackson and Bridget Brown again performed strongly on the sand following on from their success at Mordialloc the previous weekend.
Jessica and Bridget placed first and second in the open women flags, and second and fifth in the under 19 women. Bridget came fourth in the under 19 beach sprint.
Courtney McDonough placed second in both the under 17 women’s beach flags and beach sprint, while Zali Gallagher also came second in the same two events in the under 15s.
Tom Fleming and James Robbins teamed up and took second place in the under 19 men’s double ski, while Angus Hug took fourth place in the under 19 men’s beach sprint.
Competing in her first senior carnival, Lola Wilson lined up alongside Emma Feltis in the under 15 women’s water events. The pair were among other local athletes representing Seaspray who performed strongly in tough surf conditions.]]>
Seaspray turned heads at the first Life Saving Victoria carnival to be held in almost a year, walking away with impressive wins in the beach flags.
A small contingent of junior and youth competitors represented Seaspray Surf Club at the two-day Mordialloc Carnival last weekend.
Seaspray’s success began on Saturday at the Youth and Senior Carnival, where under 19 women’s events were combined with the open women’s events. This meant Jessica Jackson and Bridget Brown competed in the open events as under 19 competitors.
Jessica Jackson won both the under 19 and open women’s beach flags, while Bridget Brown came fourth in the under 19 and fifth in the open.
In the beach sprint, Bridget placed third as an under 19 competitor and fifth in the open. Jessica came fourth in the under 19 and seventh in the open.
Courtney McDonough came fourth in the beach sprint and the beach flags in the under 17 women’s competition.
The next day, Seaspray continued to show its strength on the sand during the Nippers events for under 12s and under 13s.
Leo Stephenson and Jett McMahon took first and second in the under 12 boys beach flags against a strong field of more than 80 competitors representing surf clubs across Victoria, while Lily Canfield reached the semi-finals of the under 12 girls beach flags.
In the under 13 boys competition, Jimmy Greenwood ran strongly in the two kilometre beach run and the beach sprint, finishing fifth in both events.
All water-based events at the carnival were cancelled due to water quality concerns.
This was the first Life Saving Victoria (LSV) carnival to be held since February last year. The next LSV carnival for youth and senior competitors will be at Lorne on February 7, while the next Nippers carnival is scheduled for February 2 at Ocean Grove.
Leo Stephenson in action in the heats on his way to winning the under 12 beach flags event at Mordialloc.
Jett McMahon (front left) and Leo Stephenson (front right) are pictured with event officials at Mordialloc after receiving ribbons for taking the top two places in the under 12 boys beach flags event.
Bridget Brown (left) and Jessica Jackson (right) were still smiling following their success at the Mordialloc Carnival when they returned to training this week under the guidance of Gippsland Track Club coach Denis
The Seaspray Nippers who travelled to the Mordialloc Carnival at the weekend included (from left) Remy Stephenson, Jett McMahon, Mack McMahon, Leo Stephenson and Lily Canfield.]]>
Seaspray is expecting a surge in beachgoers this long weekend as Gippslanders and other Victorians enjoy the last few days of the school holidays at the coast.
The increase in visitor numbers has prompted a safety reminder from local volunteer surf life savers.
Seaspray Surf Life Saving Club president Chris Fleming said Seaspray was a popular choice for many people wanting to spend Australia Day at the beach.
“Australia Day is one of the busiest days of the year on the beach at Seaspray,” Mr Fleming said.
“People come down to dine at the bistro, watch the flag raising ceremony and enjoy the sand and surf.
“Our trained surf life savers know the beach well and erect the red and yellow flags at the safest place to get into the water, so please swim between the flags.”
Mr Fleming’s comments came after 35 people died in fatal drownings in Victoria from July 1 to December 28 last year. It is the highest number of lives lost for that six-month period on record.
The Royal Life Saving National Drowning Report 2020 and Surf Life Saving National Coastal Safety Report 2020 found males accounted for 80% of all drowning deaths and 93% of fatalities in the 15 -34 age group recorded between July 2019 and June 2020. Risk taking and the use of drugs and alcohol were among the key factors in male drownings.
And according to the Royal Life Saving Summer Drowning Toll, there have been 42 drowning deaths across Australia this summer including 20 at coastal locations. Thirteen lives have been lost in Victoria.
Mr Fleming urged beachgoers to stay safe at the beach this weekend.
“The safest place for everyone to swim is between the flags,” Mr Fleming said. “Please read the safety signs and follow the instructions of our surf life savers.
“Parents must supervise their children at all times and everyone please avoid alcohol and drugs if you are going to be around the water.
“We want everyone who comes to Seaspray to have a great day and have fun with their family and friends on our beautiful part of the Ninety Mile Beach.”
Patrol hours at Seaspray are from 9am to 5pm on Sundays and public holidays, and 1 to 5pm on Saturdays. Paid lifeguards will be on duty on weekdays and Saturday mornings until the Australia Day long weekend.
Local volunteer life savers will continue to patrol the beach on Saturday afternoons and Sundays until April 18.
For detailed patrol information, go to beachsafe.org.au/beach/vic/wellington/seaspray/seaspray
Sixteen-year-old Ben Dallimore from Sale is a patrol member at Seaspray and part of the team of local volunteers keeping beachgoers safe this season.
Note to editors and journalists: for more detail on the statistics referenced above, please visit:
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.”
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 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.]]>
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.