Local surfie siblings lead from the front
Sunday, June 25, 2017
Written by Bay of Plenty Times
The Kiwis left nothing in the tank on Sunday, making their mark on the first day of the Sanyo Bussan International Lifesaving Cup in Fukuoka, Japan.
The day starting under dreary skies and continued to deteriorate throughout the day but the team coped well and adapted to the conditions.
They made it on to the medal tally quickly with Casie Fyall taking gold in the Beach Sprints, which she quickly backed up with gold in the Beach Flags. Samalulu Clifton added to the gold tally taking out the Women's Ski Race title and the boys added another in the Men's Tube Rescue.
Coach Danny Morrison says the goal for every athlete is to win races but this tour is more than just racing.
"It is also about exposing some younger athletes to international competition at the highest level. We saw a number of athletes really stand up and put everything they had into their races. Some were rewarded with outstanding results, while others found out that this type of racing is a significant step up and there is much less room for error compared to their usual domestic competition."
Danny says the goal was fight for every position and execute their preparation and race plans as best as they can and he's proud to say that every athlete that wore a black cap emptied the tank for their team mates, their country, and themselves.
Watching Samalulu Clifton dominate the Women's Ski Race in her first ever international ski race, Casie Fyall win the Sprint/Flags double and Atakura Julian and Hamish Miller storm home to win the Tube Rescue were obvious highlights given their awesome victories, he says.
"But for me, equally important was watching a 15 year-old girl from Taranaki (Claudia Kelly) go stroke for stroke with a Nutri-Grain Ironwoman and almost take her out. It was watching Javon McCallum fight and scrap with a guy twice his size to stay in the flags final and it was watching Libby Bradley overcome the pain of swimming into a Jellyfish, and giving everything she had left for the team in her Taplin swim. Those are just some of the moments that made me proud to be a part of this team and there were many more.
Team manager Steve Vaughan echoes Danny's sentiments saying the team gave it their all.
"The competition was magnificent throughout the day. It is fantastic to see the continuing development of countries who have been less successful in the past, he says.
"There were standout performance all over the beach from all participating nations and the Kiwis did not disappoint. Our young team showed some real grit and determination, took some big steps against some classy international competition and have set themselves up for some great racing on Day Two."
The team heads into the second and final day of racing at Momochi Beach in Fukuoka in third place with 349 points behind Australia (429) and Japan (355).
There are seven nations taking part in the 10th anniversary of the annual two-day beach competition, hosted by the Japan Lifesaving Association.
Women's Beach Sprint: Casie Fyall, 1st
Men's Beach Sprint: Javon McCallum, 3rd
Women's Surf Race: Jess Miller, 6th and Libby Bradley, 10th
Men's Surf Race: Atakura Julian, 5th and Bayden Botha, 7th
Women's Surf Ski Race: Samalulu Clifton, 1st
Men's Surf Ski Race: Hamish Miller, 3rd
Women's Surf Team Race: Jess Miller & Libby Bradley, 4th
Men's Surf Team Race: Ben Johnston & Atakura Julian, 2nd
Women's Beach Flags: Casie Fyall, 1st
Men's Beach Flags: Javon McCallum, 5th
Women's Board Rescue: Jess Miller & Claudia Kelly, 2nd
Men's Board Rescue: Bayden Botha & Ben Johnston, 3rd
Men's Beach Relay: Javon McCallum, Hamish Miller, Ben Johnston & Bayden Botha, 5th
Women's Tube Rescue: Jess Miller, Samalulu Clifton, Libby Bradley & Casie Fyall, 5th
Men's Tube Rescue: Hamish Miller, Javon McCallum, Atakura Julian, Ben Johnston, 1st
Women's Board Race: Claudia Kelly, 3rd and Jess Miller, 8th
Men's Board Race: Bayden Botha, 2nd and Ben Johnston, 8th
Oceanwoman: Jess Miller, 2nd
Oceanman: Hamish Miller, 4th
Oceanwoman Relay: Libby Bradley, Samalulu Clifton, Claudia Kelly & Casie Fyall, 2nd
Oceanman Relay: Atakura Julian, Ben Johnston, Hamish Miller & Javon McCallum, 2nd
Sanyo Cup: New Zealand team:
Jessica Miller - Mt Maunganui (captain)
Casie Fyall - Waikanae
Claudia Kelly - East End
Libby Bradley - Mt Maunganui
Samalulu Clifton - Mairangi Bay
Bayden Botha - Mairangi Bay
Hamish Miller - Mt Maunganui
Javon McCallum - Fitzroy
Atakura Julian- Lyall Bay
Ben Johnston- Papamoa
Danny Morrison - Coach
Steven Vaughan - Manager
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