PORT Macquarie’s Ryan Carroll certainly had some highlights on the board this year, with 12 straight surf life-saving carnival victories.
But this season, he’s also had a great time off it. Meeting his idol Zane Holmes in Sydney almost overtook all Carroll’s achievements.
The Tacking Point Surf Club member has won everything he’s contested. Carroll blew them out of the water in Lennox Head, Coffs Craft, the Cudgen Classic, Forster Weekend, Wollongong and Swansea/Belmont.
They’re just the events he rattled off the top of his head.
“At the interbranch championships at Blackhead, I won all three [board events],” he said.
“That’s a first for Tacking Point.”
He smashed them in Wollongong a couple of weeks back. “I won by about 30 metres,” Carroll said.
The race consists of a beach start, before competitors paddle out around a couple of buoys and back. It’s about 400m.
“It’s really tiring,” Carroll said. He’s starting to see some of the great benefits of training.
He swims for an hour-and-a-half six days per week. There’s more board training on Saturdays, before Nippers on Sundays.
“That’s kind of a day off,” Carroll said. “It’s a pretty hard lifestyle, but it’s good.”
It’s the kind of lifestyle that allowed him to meet Holmes in Wollongong.
“It was a real pleasure,” Carroll, who has aspirations to be an ironman, said. Holmes had similar praise for Carroll after the Wollongong event.
“I’d love to see more competitors from the Port Macquarie area come and race next year,” – the guys that raced this year showed a lot of talent,” he said.