Junior Black Fins golden start on day 1 at International Surf Rescue ChallengeMonday, 30 September 2019
The Junior Blacks Fins got off to a great start in the International Surf Rescue Challenge in Durban, South Africa.
With the first day’s racing completed the team have an impressive haul so far but an injury to one of the team will leave them one woman down for day two.
On day one, September 28, 2019, Brianna Irving won the women’s beach sprint, Astaria Teakura, Christy Tate, Claudia Kelly and Georgie Pitkethley teamed up to win the women’s tube rescue, Atakura Julian, Fletcher Moles, Lachie Falloon and Louis Clark also won the men’s tube rescue.
Teakura and Pitkethley won the women’s board rescue and Teakura, Irving, Tate and Reid won the women’s beach relay.
“It’s been a great start to the competition,” coach Zac Franich says.
“The teams did an amazing job, but the whole squad has put in an outstanding effort.
“The conditions in the water were tough, it certainly wasn’t a walk in the park.”
Sasha Reid is now under concussion protocol after being injured running into the water for the Surf teams race.
This was one of the earlier races so the team were down to only five girls for the majority of the day and as a result she will not be racing in test two.
“Sasha wasn’t able to race in either the board or tube rescues,” Franich says.
“She was replaced by Star Teakura who produced some of the most outstanding performances on the day.”
Louis Clark got things underway for the Junior Black Fins with a second in the surf race, Georgie Pitkethley and Joe Collins also picked up a silver in the mixed board relay.
Christy Tate and Fletcher Moles were second in the mixed ski relay, Seven Mapu also bagged silver in the men’s beach sprint.
Astaria Teakura, Julian Atakura, Louis Clark and Sasha Reid finished third in the mixed surf teams race, Claudia Kelly was second in the women’s ski race and Christy Tate was third.
Pitkethley was third in the women’s board race and Joe Collins was second in the men’s board. Julian and Collins were third in the men’s board rescue.
Claudia Kelly was second in the women’s Ocean M and Joe Collins was third in the men’s event.
Moles, Collins, Falloon and Mapu were third in the men’s beach relay, and Irving was third in the beach flags.
Just eight points separate the Junior Black Fins from leaders Australia after day one and Franich says the team is fired up.
“There’s plenty left in the tank,” he says.
“With Sasha being out tomorrow it will obviously up the workload for the girls but they are all keen and excited to take on the challenge.
“The team is only going to get better, it’s game on.”
Words: Marcus Forbes
Photos: Lester Kelly