The Doug Crane Classic

This race, in the name of the late longstanding Life Member Doug Crane, is an opportunity for the best surf swimmers in the Club to show their talents over a course of approximately 1km. Generally held on the same day as the Nipper’s Christmas party , the winner’s* names will be engraved on the Doug Crane Classic paddle on display in the Clubhouse Hall of Champions.   *This event is open to all Club members and Nipper carnival competitors to participate, however, only Active patrolling members and Nipper carnival competitors are eligible to win.  Keep an eye on the newsfeed for the date of the Doug Crane Classic.  Registration is not required.

Doug was a member of Avalon Beach SLSC for 65 years having gained his Bronze Medallion back in 1946. Doug was saving lives on our beach well before rubber ducks, rescue boards, wetsuits and tubes. A rescue then meant swimming out attached to a heavy belt and line, something at which Doug excelled, being the Junior Belt Race champion in his first year and then the Senior Belt race and Senior Swim Champion for three years running a couple of years later.

Over the years Doug was a driving force within the club holding the Club Presidency from 1977 – 1989, an incredible 12 years, only almost matched since by Warren Young 1990-2001. He was also the Club’s Vice Captain, Patrol Captain, Registrar, a Life Membership Committee Member and Club Delegate to Branch.

Doug was awarded Life Membership of the Club in season 1982/83 and awarded the Club Honour Blazer in season 2005/06. In the 1995-96 season he was one of four to be awarded the first 50 Year Service Awards (along with Max Watt, Reg Wood, and Ken Davidson). In 1999 he received the Commonwealth Recognition Award for Senior Australians.

In 2003-04 Doug, then in his 70’s, finally decided to retire from patrols and the last Sunday swim for the year was renamed The Doug Crane Classic. In 2005-06, Doug received the 60 Year Award. In 2008 Doug received the Surf Life Saving Sydney Northern Beaches Distinguished Service Award.

2018 Summary

Congratulations to all of our Club competitors who swam in the 2018 Doug Crane Classic.  In challenging conditions, this year’s Doug Crane Classic turned out to be a test of surf swimming ability.  The race was started by Life Member, Warren Young, in the far north corner of the beach and swimmers went out way past the waves and surfers in a U shape to come back in line with the Max Watt viewing platform.  20 good swimmers started and first place in the Men’s division was last year’s winner Ashley Brown from Justin Steel (2nd) and Charles Lindop (3rd).  The Women’s division was won by 11 year old Nipper Zannah Dixon, this girl can swim!  Zannah beat home Gem Lehman (2nd) and Julia Jones Hughes (3rd).  Congratulations to all of our competitors and it was great to see swimmers testing themselves in the tricky conditions.

Thank you to our swim organiser Tim Hixson for organising another great event.