Board Riders Gear Up For State Glory

Lifesaving’s best surf board riders will swap patrol uniforms for wetsuits as they take to the waves at Soldiers Beach on the NSW Central Coast from Friday for the 2016 NSW Surf Life Saving Board Riding Championships.

After a positive response to staging the state’s premier board riding championships as a separate event, the three-day competition will again be held as a stand-alone event with the Central Coast playing the role of hosts after successfully holding the State Championships at Ocean Beach – Umina in March.

Over 120 competitors from Cudgen Headland in Northern NSW through to Shellharbour on the state’s South Coast will be making the journey to the picturesque beach.

Competition for entry was fierce with the lifesavers having to qualify for the State Titles through their respective Branches, those that missed out on qualifying positions were added to the waitlist or entered as a wildcard entry.

The championships are open to both male and female competitors in the Long Board and Short Board categories, and will feature Masters Athletes on Day 1, Youth (U13-15) on Day 2, and Open competitors (U17- Open) on the final day. Heats will be 20 minutes long and there will be semis and finals as required.

Among a host of competitors to watch out for will be Anthony Carroll most familiar to television audiences as “Harries”, from Bondi Rescue. The Manly duo of Samson Coulter and Sienna Coulter who will be contesting the U17s and Open Short Board Division will also be names to keep an eye on.

NSW Surf Sports Coordinator Luke Stigter is confident of a successful competition.

“It’s an exciting opportunity for our lifesavers to show off their surfing skills, and I know they’re all looking forward to it. There’s a buzz around all types of surfing at the moment with the inclusion of the sport in the Tokyo Olympics,” Mr Stigter said.

“Soldiers Beach is a southern facing beach and is perfectly positioned to take advantage of the conditions. I’m sure it’s going to be a fantastic competition and we wish all the competitors the very best of luck,” he concluded.

With the swell playing such a vital role in the competition all eyes will be on the forecast.

The 2016 NSW Board Riding Championships begin this Friday 19 August at Soldiers Beach with competition commencing at 8.00 AEST.

Photo: 2015 Board Riding Championships at Copacabana Beach.

Tue 16 Aug 2016