Central Coast Nippers On Show At State Champs

A large contingent of Central Coast competitors travelled north to the 2017 NSW Surf Life Saving Age Championships held at Blacksmiths Beach, Swansea last weekend and returned home with a bagful of medals and plenty of fond memories.

For the first time in more than three years no Central Coast club finished inside the coveted top the Club Championship with the best place finish going to Avoca Beach (11th overall on 78 points). Seaside rivals Terrigal finished in 13th place with last year’s hosts Umina the next best-placed back in 21st position.

Competing in her final junior competition before making the step up to senior racing Piper-Lily Walker (Avoca Beach) finished with two gold medals. She took out a highly competitive U14 Female Surf Race before teaming up with Darci Berry to win Board Rescue.

It wasn’t only those competing on the Nipper’s stage for the final time who came away with gold medals, but also those just beginning to make their mark. Tahj Hamilton (Terrigal) won the U9 Male Beach Sprint, while North Avoca’s Emma Duggan won the U10 Female Surf Race. ' It was a good weekend for Macmasters SLSC with Spencer Morris and Ben Sapsford teaming up to win gold in the 2 Person R&R Event before Hamish Taylor claimed gold in the U10 Board Race, and he was understandably thrilled with his maiden state title to go along with the silver he won in 2016.

“I’m really happy it feels so good to be a State Champion, and to it in my favourite event as well is awesome,” said Hamish Taylor who was also a finalist in the Surf Race.

“The race was really hard as I wasn’t happy with start and I knew when I got to the cans that I was going to have to just go as hard as I can.

“The surf was actually quite small during our race so it meant I had to do heaps of paddling to the finish,” he said. NSW Surf Sports Manager Rob Pidgeon felt that despite the challenges of the weather and the conditions it was a highly successful competition for the young athletes.

“I would like to congratulate everyone for what was an extremely successful State Age Championships. It was certainly played in the right spirit, and all the Nippers, their families, and their clubs can look back with pride on what has been a fantastic surf sport season.

“Some of our older Nipper competitors will now go on to get their first taste of national level racing at next month’s Australian Championships while our younger ones can look forward to an exciting finish with their club season,” Mr Pidgeon said.

2017 Age Championship Club Point Score:

• Manly LSC 349
• Wanda SLSC 201
• Elouera SLSC 194
• Cooks Hill SLSC 192
• Swansea Belmont SLSC 135
• North Curl Curl SLSC 107
• North Bondi SLSC 94
• Coogee SLSC 94
• Cronulla SLSC 90
• South Maroubra SLSC 89

The 2017 NSW Surf Life Saving Age Championships, proudly supported by Your local club continues at Blacksmiths Beach, Swansea on Wednesday 8 March with the opening day of the Masters Competition.

Photograph - Macmaster's Hamish Taylor powered to victory in the U10 Board Race. Credit Stephen Chu.

Wed 8 Mar 2017