Jemma excels in interstate championships
Umina Surf Lifesaving Club's Jemma Smith has excelled in Surf Lifesaving Australia's Interstate Championships over the Australia Day weekend (January 25 to 27).
Held on the Sunshine Coast's Alexander Headland, Jemma was a part of the successful NSW squad that won the title for the third year in row.
The squad edged out home side Queensland by just six points.
The tournament saw over 180 competitors from all over Australia thrashing it out on the sand and in the sea.
Jemma was in scintillating form early on the ski, taking out the Open Women's event.
She cleared the breakers effortlessly to establish an early lead and then powered home through uneven waves to win the event from her nearest rival from Queensland.
"It's always nice when you're chasing those runs and it forms into a nice little wave to bring you home," Jemma said.
Jemma said she had had a break over the Christmas period and went into the competition fresh and ready to go.
Backing up from the win in the ski, she played a key role in NSW's winning Open Mixed Ski Relay team.
Jemma also found success in the Open Women's Tube and Board Rescue events, but it was her fifth place in the Open Ironwoman event that was perhaps the most impressive performance of all.
In her favourite leg, the Ocean Ski, Jemma was wiped out in the first minute by a chest wave, her signature pink ski seen hurtling backward on the whitewash.
The spill gave her competitors a 30 metre lead, but Jemma fought hard to get back in contention and had almost closed the gap by the end of the first leg.
She even took the lead during the swim leg, but the effort told in the final stages of the board leg where she faded slightly to finish a close fifth.
The next major event on the national surf lifesaving calendar is the Australian Surf Life Saving Championships, which will see members from Australia's 314 Surf Clubs compete in more than 400 beach and ocean events in Broadbeach North Burleigh in April.
Media release, 24 Jan 2020
Chris Smyth, SLS NSW
Photo credit: HarvPix/SLS NSW