April 1, 2012: Mona Vale, and South Curl Curl are the toast of the surf boat area after the 2012 Australian Surf Life Saving Championships at North Kirra.
The Mona Vale club have won back-to-back A grade gold medals with the same crew of Bryce Munro, James Davison, Wes Dose, Sam Funch and James Morison who won the club's first open boat gold since 1939 at Kurrawa last year.
The Mona Vale boys were too strong for Bateman's Bay and North Cottesloe in the near millpond conditions which made for a final between the best rowing crews in the nation. Bateman's Bay also won the under 23s.
To win one Australian title is special but to mount a successful defence is not easy and they are now set to challenge for a third straight title, which has seen clubs such as Cronulla, Ballina Lighthouse-Lismore, Warriewood and North Cottesloe (four) achieve in the past.
For South Curl Curl sweep Chris Flemming, victory was sweet in the open women's final, their first National gold win since 2008 and with survivors Lara Raymond, Elly Gillis and Kate Mortimer re-joined by former star, Olympian Yanda Nossiter and Anna Webster, head of North Cottesloe and Bilgola.
The under-23 women's championship was taken out by Helensburgh-Stanwell Park from North Cottesloe and Bulli.
Another NSW South Coast club, Moruya, won the men's reserve grade final from Northcliffe and North Bondi, while Batemans Bay continued the south coasters' golden haul when they won the men's under-23 crown, with Coolum and Collaroy filling the minor placings.
Richard Brierty's Avoca Beach crew won the under-19 boat gold medal ahead of Alexandra Headland and Dee Why
(Images by Jon Dibbs)
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