SURF lifesaving clubs gathered Sunday at Leighton Beach for an annual ceremony to honour the HMAS Sydney II crew.
The doomed crew has a special link with the Fremantle SLSC, having spent R&R at Leighton and participating in surf club activities when not on duty. Just months before its fatal battle against German raider Kormoran in 1941, the crew had presented lifesavers with a hand-made reel, an important piece of rescue equipment in the ‘40s.
This year, for the first time, a belt and reel race was run, to remember the friendship.
“It was great to see our juniors eagerly watching an event that is as old as the surf lifesaving movement itself” says the club’s Matt Elliot.
Sorrento SLSC men’s and Perth women’s won the races.
Mr Elliot hopes the event will grow to include more clubs in the future, and raise the profile of traditional events like the belt and reel race.
by JESSICA COCKERILL