Erosion may have reduced the amount of sand currently at Stockton, but beach sprinter Kieran Gordon will be using whatever’s left to win gold this weekend.
The Merewether 24-year-old, now based on the Gold Coast, has returned home to represent Hunter at the NSW Surf Life Saving Interbranch Championships.
“I drove back from the Goldy last night and it’s good to be back in the side,” Gordon told the Newcastle Herald on Friday. “I’ve heard there’s not a lot of sand left over there [Stockton Beach], but I’ve never competed over there so it will be good to get over there.”
Organisers assessed Stockton in the lead up to the annual two-day event but Hunter coach Tim Foran said the venue wasn’t changed to Fingal Bay despite damage caused by recent big swells.
Regardless of any potential late shift it has been at least five years between Hunter flags for Gordon, but he comes back in 2017 under the newly formed “branch of origin” rule.
Burleigh Heads resident Gordon was approached by Hunter assistant coach Michael Waghorn while competing in this year’s Australian Surf Life Saving Championships at Coolongatta. He was fifth in the sprint, fourth in the flags and first in the relay with Currumbin Vikings.
“I had a pretty good titles up there and made the Australian squad for the world campaign,” Gordon said.
“I was asked to come down as the ‘branch of origin’ competitor and I was more than happy to do that for Hunter.”
Gordon last wore the Hunter colours at Black Head in 2012 and said he was keen to help them onto the podium for the first time in almost 15 years.
“We always seem to end up fourth,” he said.
“Hopefully we can try and fix that.”
The state competition takes place on Saturday and Sunday with 11 teams of 40 people, ranging from under 12s to opens.