Surf club cancels coastal sports festival

Apollo Bay Surf Life Saving Club will not have the Great Ocean Sports Festival in 2012 due to a lack of organisers.

APOLLO Bay Surf Life Saving Club officials believe their Great Ocean Sports Festival will return bigger and better in 2013.

The coastal club has cancelled the 2012 festival, originally scheduled for February, after organiser Darren Minns couldn’t commit to making the event a reality.

Vice-president Andrew Bazell said he was confident the festival would return in 2013, with the club having a year to find a volunteer organiser.

Mr Bazell said he did not believe competitor interest in the festival would drop off.

“There’s quite a lot of work to run it and because it’s volunteers who do it there wasn’t anyone prepared to take it on,” he said.

“It’s more the case of getting someone to take it on or putting it into a management scheme so you could pay someone to run it.

The Great Ocean Sports Festival has been running for five years and had started to establish itself on a crowded adventure race calendar.

The festival offered swimming, running, kayaking, mountain bike riding and fishing events, and crowned a champion athlete for posting the best results in five events over two days.

Mr Bazell said the event, which raised money for the Apollo Bay SLSC, could have changes in 2013.

“You could do it better, you could cut back a couple of events and maybe approach football clubs through the district to do it for pre-season,” he said.

“I think it’s got merits, it’s a matter of finding someone to run it.”

Meanwhile, Apollo Bay SLSC will host the Western Region Junior Championships on Wednesday.

Junior surf lifesavers from Lorne, Wye River, Apollo Bay, Port Campbell and Warrnambool will converge on the town to compete in beach events.

The top performers at the regional titles will qualify for the state titles, at Lorne in March.

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