Country Champs Day 1 - Cudgen Headland Take The Lead

Cudgen Headland hold a narrow lead over rivals Byron Bay after an exciting day of competition at the first day of the 2015 Stramit NSW Country Championships.

The day may have started cold, wet, and overcast, but by the time the sun broke through it was a glorious summer day at Mollymook Beach.

Woolgoolga SLSC is one of the smaller teams at the Country Championships with just 12 members making the trek to Mollymook, but the club from the North Coast Branch has plenty of heart.

In the Under 9 age group, twins Emily and Jak Snowling, and best friend Emily Bell were nervous but excited as they prepared for their first race of the championships on Friday.

“It was very fun out there, but it was really hard with the waves. There wasn’t a plan to swim together it just happened,” Emily Bell said.

“We always end up with each other! I’ve got a lot of other events to do, but I’m looking forward to racing in the board.”

“It was very fun to do my first swim at the Country Championships, and I’m very happy to finish it. I will be doing a few other events, but flags is my favourite.

“The waves were quite hard to swim in,” Emily Snowling added.

The Under 10 boards were some of the most challenging and exciting events of the day. Battling wind and comparatively large swells, the two winners demonstrated excellent reading of the conditions to cruise to victory.

“It was really hard out there with some big waves, but I got a good finish,” Tahj Thrower from Tacking Point SLSC.

“It’s my first win at Country so I’m really happy.”

Kalani Ives from Yamba who won the girl’s U10 race said she found it tough to get out there.

“I’m really happy to win, but I didn’t actually see the last wave that I rode it. So I was a bit lucky.”

Other strong performances came from the South Coast clubs who were relishing the chance to compete in their home branch.

The under 19 and open women’s beach events were some of the most competitive events of the day, with the victors essentially trading places.

Taryn Love from Mollymook finished 1st in U19 flags and 3rd in the sprint, she also competed in the open division achieving some strong results. Lauren Dam and Riana Drake were also in red-hot form.

Angus Pryde from Shoalhaven Heads won the U17 sprint – flag double, with Joseph Halsey from Narooma SLSC also achieving the feat in the U19 male division.

The Country Championships continues tomorrow with the first event getting underway at 7am.

Top 10 Clubs Day 1 – Point-score:

1 Cudgen Headland SLSC 230
2 Byron Bay SLSC 218
3 Warilla Barrack Point SLSC 193
4 Mollymook Surf Life Saving Club Inc. 158
5 Coffs Harbour SLSC 129
6 Lennox Head - Alstonville SLSC 120
7 Tacking Point SLSC 107
8 Port Macquarie SLSC 101
9 Shellharbour SLSC 84
10 Sawtell SLSC Inc 78

Fri 16 Jan 2015