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Surf's up at Carlton


It's good timing for Tasmania's warmer weather, as Carlton Park Surf Lifesaving Club gears up for its annual Bendigo Bank 7HOFM Surf Festival on Saturday.

Ocean swimming, beach running, surf boats, boards and skis are all on the cards, crews from all over the state heading south to mark the start of Tasmania's surf sport season. 

In the boats, Burnie crews dominated a recent Surf Safari event but the return of Penguin and Carlton Park is expected to mix things up.

Race one of the Engine Tasmanian Ocean Swim series kicks off the action at 10.30 am with many of the big names in ocean swimming lining up.

The dominance of three times series winner, Sam Askey Doran, could be challenged by a group of younger swimmers including Kye Direen, Alex Stolp and Sam Castle.

Burnie’s Isaac Malley and Cooper Armitstead from Port Sorell are noted surf swimmers and could cause an upset in the final stages of the 1500 m race, if the surf is up.

In the women’s section 2020/21 series winner Billie Roger, will be up against the experience of Jayde Richardson and Amanda Duggan.

Although Duggan will be competing in the new Legends division, she is expected to provide strong opposition to the younger swimmers.

A novice swim over 500 meters is provided for those new to ocean swimming together with the Hobart Plant Hire Dash for Cash. This is a hectic 100 m swim followed by a 50 m run to the pole.

Event Manager Don Marsh expects a late entry in the 5k beach run to spice things up. 

"Cate Clingeleffer, who was the winner at the Australia Surf Lifesaving Championships in the 2k beach run has entered," he said. 

"She's previously entered in the swim as well as the board and ski events, so she'll be pretty hard to beat." 

The board and ski events are conducted over an M shaped course making for exciting racing with negotiation of the surf on four occasions.