Rivals Nathan Baggaley, left, and Nick Crilly start their struggle for the edge.
Rivals Nathan Baggaley, left, and Nick Crilly start their struggle for the edge.

Baggaley to go for Crilly



Olympian Nathan Baggaley will put his pride on the line when he goes head-to-head with arch rival Nick Crilly in the Queensland Surf Lifesaving Championships at North Kirra this weekend.

Baggaley is in fifth place in the single ski standings behind runaway leader Crilly after five rounds of the XXXX Premiership Series.

But Baggaley has been in impressive form, recently qualifying for this year's world kayaking championships in Croatia and he is confident he can close the gap on his Northcliffe club-mate this weekend.

"This is my main priority now," said Baggaley who has turned his focus to the surf this season after winning two silver medals in the kayaking at last year's Athens Olympics.

"I have been training really hard for the surf events."

Baggaley has only contested one round of the premiership series, which he won and his determination has not gone unnoticed with Crilly, the reigning world and Australian champion, nominating him as race favourite.

"Nathan is the one to beat, no doubt about it," Crilly said.

"Last time the Queensland Championships were at North Kirra I took the silver behind Nathan, but this year I'm hoping to walk away with gold."

With the lure of double premiership points this weekend attracting a quality field, Baggaley was quick to point out that the race would by no means be a two-horse event.

"There are about half-a-dozen guys that could win and if any one of them gets a break you know you're in trouble," Baggaley said. "There is such depth of talent in the single ski race, it will come down to the conditions on the day.

"Nick is the current Australian champion in the event so he is definitely a force to be reckoned with.

"But I got caught up last year (in a battle) with Clint Robinson and Nick came through to win, so I won't be making the same mistake this year."



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