The two teams competing at Sunshine Coast.

A pair of Tasmanian tappers have taken their third national tapping competition win as they claimed victory on the Sunshine Coast, in a head-to-head time trial to install a tap into a pressurised steel and concrete water main as fast as possible. 

TasWater’s ‘Wild West Tappers,’ Lynden Thurston and Cameron Lusk, are three-in-a-row champions after their victory on the Sunshine Coast.

The pair were the champions of the Tasmanian Tapping Competition held in Moonah in February 2023. They went on in April to defeat the Victorian teams in Bendigo, before finally claiming a major victory over the Queensland teams at the Water Industry Operators Association of Australia (WIOA) Queensland Conference. 

TasWater’s Regional Manager Service Delivery North, Mick Hartwell, said the event was pressure packed.

“It was so exciting. It was like watching an elite sporting event. The guys moved in such a blur the video of the event looks sped up,” Mr Hartwell said.

The Wild West Tappers won in one minute and 44 seconds – defeating their closest rivals, the Gold Coast, by seven seconds –  and shattered their previous February record of three minutes and 15 seconds.

The Gold Coast team are highly respected in the event, and it was the first time the team had been beaten in six years.

Tapper Cameron Lusk said he was thrilled to get the opportunity to compete. 

“I really appreciate the opportunity to represent TasWater and the West Coast of Tasmania,” Mr Lusk said. 

“It was a good opportunity to go over and have a crack. All the crews were welcoming and friendly the whole time apart from the competition itself, but the banter was friendly and competitive, nothing serious.

“The Gold Coast lads were good about it, a bit upset, but they took it well. They learned a bit off us, and we learned a bit off them too.”

Tapper Lyndon Thurston said there was some good back and forth between the competing teams.

“There was a bit of banter from the boys. They haven’t been beaten in six years, so it felt good,” Mr Thurston said.

Now Tasmania’s Wild West Tappers have gained the state, TasWater and themselves some serious respect and bragging rights.

Featured image: Both teams in action at the Sunshine Coast competition. Image credit: TasWater.

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