NOWRA-Culburra Surf Life Saving Club’s (SLSC) golden gun Chad Poland stepped it up at the NSW Country Surf Life Saving Championships on Mollymook Beach over the weekend.
The 31-year-old from Culburra Beach did his club proud, storming home to win three gold medals.
Taking on the carnival which attracted more than 1200 competitors from 36 regional clubs throughout the state, Poland met glory in the 30 to 39 years male board race, iron man and rescue tube.
Poland did not stop there, winning silver in the 30 to 39 years single ski and surf race and bronze in the open iron man event.
Nowra-Culburra members picked up 18 medals, seven of which were gold, five silver medals and two bronze.
Stars of the championships were Abbey Holly, who took home the gold in the under 11 female beach sprint event, Jessica O’Donnell won the under 12 female beach sprint event, and Riley Watson also bit into gold for the under 15 male surf board riding event.
Leah Hill won silver in the under 13 female surf board riding and Rachel Hill also took silver in the under 14 female surf board riding event.
Peter Hill was another big achiever who felt the full weight of glory and wore gold for the 50 to 59 years male Malibu long board riding event, surfed a swift wave for silver in the 50 to 59 years male surf board riding and then took on the open male surf board riding finishing in third place.
Shoalhaven Heads SLSC gave it their all over the weekend, and won four bronze.
Marie Colquhoun placed third in the 40 to 49 years female two kilometre beach run, while Angus Pryde wore bronze for the under 17 male beach flags.
Clyde Poulton picked up the last two bronze in the 60-plus male board race and the 60-plus male rescue tube race.
Mollymook SLSC president Rod Austin was thrilled with the conditions and the success of the carnival.
Mr Austin said Mollymook Beach lived up to its reputation as a world-class venue.
“It was sensational,” he said.
“We would have had up to 5000 people on the beach at any one time.”
It wasn’t only surf club members soaking up the atmosphere, local residents and visitors flocked to the beach to watch the action on the sand and in the waves.
Mr Austin said local surf life savers performed “exceptionally well” at the carnival, both on the beach and behind the scenes, with more than 100 member volunteers helping to set up and run the event, providing everything from first aid to cold water.
He commended carnival co-ordinator John Patterson who has worked hard over the past six months to pull the championships together.