John Hart had a dominant day at Anglesea, winning gold in the open board and junior ski relays and bronze in the under 19 board relay.RELAY specialist Warrnambool Surf Life Saving Club bagged three gold medals in team events at the senior state titles in Anglesea last weekend.
Nanjing Night Net

The dual celebrations capped a dominant performance at the Surf Coast carnival, with the club claiming a total of four gold, one silver and one bronze.

It was Warrnambool’s biggest medal haul in five years.

Breaking another drought, the club won its first open board relay in more than 20 years, with teenagers John Hart and Ned Aulsebrook joining Stephen Kerr for the feat.

The win was set up by the under 19 youngsters, as Hart completed the first leg alongside two other teams who were chasing early leader Torquay.

Working with Ocean Grove, Aulsebrook caught Torquay, giving Warrnambool every chance in the third and final leg.

Stephen paddled away from Torquay and Ocean Grove to claim the victory.

“This is something I have been chasing for a while and to win it with the young guys is terrific,” Stephen said.

Warrnambool then fronted up for the open ski relay, with trio Mark Rantall and Phil and Stephen Kerr flying the flag. Rantall set a blistering pace, opening up a lead on the entire field.

Phil and Stephen maintained the margin to claim the title.

“This was the club’s first win in the ski relay since the dominant days of the Owen brothers over 10 years ago,” Stephen said.

“To be able to say we have the best open board and ski relay teams in the state is something the club can be really proud of.”

Not to be outdone, the junior ski relay team of Jackson Fary, Hart and Aulsebrook snaffled yet another gold for Warrnambool.

Hart was among the top three when he tagged Fary for the second leg.

Fary broke away with Anglesea before Aulsebrook went on to catch a lone wave and cruise to the podium.

The formidable duo of Hart and Aulsebrook stepped up again for the under 19 board relay, this time with Henry Mahoney, taking bronze behind Ocean Grove and Torquay.

In the individual events, Warrnambool had three paddlers in the open men’s board final.

In-form club president Stephen held off a chasing pack to win back-to-back gold medals in the discipline.

Eve Aulsebrook collected silver in the under 15 female two-kilometre beach run. The A reserve men’s boat crew of Gary Askew, John McNeil, Toby Pettigrew, Stuart Titmus and Xavier Thornton missed a wave in the final to finish fourth.

Stephen, Hart, Aulsebrook, Fary, Mahoney, Rantall and Robbie Brian contest the Australian titles in Queensland later this month, while Michael, Rodney and Mark Owen and Peter Day will compete at the Australian Masters.

To follow the club’s activities and to view photos from the state titles, visit the club’s Facebook page.

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