Far North Athletes at State Champs

Athletes from Cudgen Headland made a solid impression on the results sheet at the 2013 Allphones NSW Opens Surf Life Saving Championships held at Ocean Beach-Umina from 8-10 March.

More than 3000 competitors aged from under 15 through to opens battled it out on the beach and in the water over three days for state title glory.

U15 superstar Luke Chaffer was the reigning U14 board champion and once again he dominated the older age group, securing gold in the U15 board race. In very tough conditions, with little swell to assist competitors once they went around the cans and turned for home, Chaffer paddled flat-out the whole way and never looked like being reeled in.

“This is such a great feeling. I really want to thank my coach Scott McCartney and my parents. It’s my Mum’s birthday today so this is a good way to say thanks,” said Chaffer.

After he missed out on the surf race final over the weekend because he swam the wrong way, his advice for other juniors coming up through the ranks was, “If you have a bad race or an unlucky experience, never give up”.

Cudgen Headland’s older water team of Scott McCartney, Jarrad Cain and Nathan Gray collected silver in the open board relay after a very impressive performance.

McCartney was also awarded bronze in the individual open board event, beaten by the smallest of margins. “It’s great to take home a medal in an event you are confident in, and we have a very strong team. We were pretty unlucky last year so this is a great result,” he said.

Byron Bay’s Ela Heiniger caught a lucky ride to the beach in the under 17 women’s surf race to catch Manly swim star Georgia Miller who led until the last 10 metres of the gruelling swim.

“I knew Georgia was way ahead and I knew I had to get that wave. It was good to finally have something to bring you in,” she added, reflecting on the conditions over the weekend which until finals day had some referring to the competition area as ‘Lake Umina’.

It was Heiniger’s first state gold medal since under 6s. She switched clubs to Byron Bay as a senior for the training and coaching program.

The program for next year’s state championship was announced at the official ceremony and March Past on the final day of the carnival.

The 2014 NSW Surf Life Saving Championships will be held back at Ocean Beach – Umina from the 28th of February to the 2nd of March for the Age Championships and the 7th to the 9th of March for the Open event. The Masters competitors will have their own dedicated event to be held on the 15th and 16th of March. Lifesaving events will be held on 22nd and 23rd of February.

Full results from the 2013 Allphones NSW Surf Life Saving Championships can be found on the event page.

Tue 12 Mar 2013