Port Fairy Surf Life Saving Club masters aim for gold at state titles

PORT Fairy Surf Life Saving Club members are hoping to add a little more gold to their club colours this weekend. 

The club will send a purple and gold army to the Victorian masters championships in Lorne tomorrow and Sunday, with members competing in both beach and boat events. 

The masters titles are for club members aged over 30. The club’s surfboat crew is aiming for back-to-back gold medals in the 180 years’ minimum event. 

The Port Fairy crew includes Scott Hethrington, Dean Dwyer, Greg Dalton, Shaun Murrihy and sweep Paul Buchanan. 

Buchanan said it was hard to tell if they were in with a chance for gold, but would give it their best shot. 

“In surfboat racing, some clubs come out of the woodwork through the year, so you can never really tell what’s going to happen,” he said. 

“But we have the same team as last year and are hopeful we can do well.”

Buchanan said other club members in line for medals included Mark Plant and the women’s beach relay team. 

“Mark won a bronze at the world masters last year in the ski and board events, so he will be in with a shot,” Buchanan said. 

“He will team up with his wife Iiona Plant for the double ski event and they should make a very competitive duo. 

“We have a gun women’s beach relay team with Martina Murrihy, Iiona Plant, Nicole Dwyer and Kristen Pannan who could medal.” 

Buchanan said about 15 club members were heading to the two-day event. 

“It’s one of the only events where we can compete in our age group. At the other events we compete in the open category with the young guys, so it’s a little bit fairer and a good way to test yourself against the other clubs from around the place,” he said. 

Warrnambool and Port Campbell surf clubs will also send competitors to the event.

Warrnambool will be represented by Michael Owen, Mark Owen, Justin Houlihan, Rodney Symons and Peter Day, while Port Campbell will send its surfboat crew. 

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