Seaspray Surf Club athletes shone at this year’s Victorian Senior Lifesaving Championships, which were held in Ocean Grove at the end of February.

The team from Seaspray were among 800 competitors from 25 surf life saving clubs across Victoria to contest the state titles over three days.

Mahli Stothers and Lily Canfield put in strong performances in the water and on the sand during the state titles.

Club president Chris Fleming, said the small Seaspray team caught the attention of many at the event for its athletes’ inspiring performances, top 10 placings and medal-winning finishes.

Zali Gallagher came home with two gold medals after winning the under 17 women’s beach sprint and the under 17 women’s beach flags.

Zali also won a bronze medal with Bridget Brown and two athletes from Altona in the mixed open beach relay. Club mate Jessica Jackson came second in the same event, also in a composite team with Altona. Zali, Jessica and Bridget teamed up with Zahra Patterson from Altona and placed second in the open women’s beach relay.

Jessica placed third in the open women’s beach sprint with Bridget not far behind in fifth. Jessica also won silver in the open women’s beach flags, with Bridget in fourth place and Zali sixth. Jessica ranked third of all open women for all beach events, while Bridget ranked sixth and Zali, 12th. Denis Huffer from Wellington Athletics is the beach team’s running coach.

Lily Canfield placed fourth in the under 14 women’s beach sprint, fifth in the youth women’s beach relay in a team with South Melbourne and Bon Beach, and 10th in the under 14 women’s one kilometre run. Lily ranked ninth in her age group for all beach events.

Jett McMahon, who placed seventh in the final of the under 14 men’s board race, stops for a photo between events with teammate Leo Stephenson.
Jimmy Greenwood, Leo Stephenson and Mack McMahon proved a strong combination and placed 10th in the youth men’s board relay.

In the 2km run, Luke Dwyer placed fourth in the under 17 men’s age group, and Mahli Stothers came seventh in the under 15 women.


Jett McMahon came seventh in the final of the under 14 men’s board race, while Jimmy Greenwood placed eighth in the same event for under 15 men.

Jimmy Greenwood, Leo Stephenson and Mack McMahon teamed up to come 10th in the youth men’s board relay. With Jett McMahon added to the line-up, the team came 14th in the youth men’s Cameron relay, which comprises a board, swim and two run legs.

The silver medal-winning masters surf boat crew (from left) sweep Stuart Mawley, Michael Kent, Warren Boulton, James Brown and Bruce Johnston.


In the surf boats, Seaspray’s masters boat crew – comprising James Brown, Warren Boulton, Bruce Johnston, Michael Kent and sweep Stuart Mawley – won silver in its event.

Linley Bertacchini and Emma Lazzaro rowed for Lorne and won gold in the reserve women’s surf boat final. The crew made the final at the Australian Surf Rowers League at Bulli Beach in New South Wales last month and are hoping to do it again at the 2023 Australian Surf Life Saving Championships, known as the Aussies, in Perth at the end of this month.

Seaspray’s Emma Lazzaro (front of frame, left) and Linley Bertacchini (front of frame, right) steady their boat at the start of their race as members of one of Lorne’s reserve women’s surf boat crews.

Fleming said all of the club’s athletes trained hard throughout the year to achieve such exceptional results.

“We have a talented group of athletes at the club and we are incredibly proud of what they achieve and the commitment they show to their sport and our club,” he said.

“Many have been receiving specialist board training and the results they’ve been getting is testament to their dedication and ability.”

Shae Grant, Paula Stewart, sweep Geoff Stewart, Seaspray’s Linley Bertacchini and Emma Lazzaro, also from Seaspray, won gold for Lorne in the reserve women’s surf boat final.