Northern Nippers Shine At State Champs

It’s shaping up to be an exciting future for Surf Sports in Northern NSW with plenty of encouraging results from the young surf lifesavers who made the journey to Blacksmiths Beach in Lake Macquarie for the 2017 NSW Surf Life Saving Age Championships last weekend.

Buoyed by the confidence that comes from being crowned Country Champions last month, Cudgen Headland SLSC confirmed their rising status with another strong performance and were the best of the Far North Coast clubs.

The competitors from Kingscliff beach left Swansea with 3 gold, 3 silver, and a bronze medal. Olissa Onley (U13s) finished the event with gold in the Beach Run and Board Relay, silver in the Board Race, and bronze in the Mixed Cameron Relay. Club mate Lily O’Sullivan (U13s) also picked up multiple medals winning gold in the Board Relay, silver in the Ironwoman, and bronze in the Mixed Cameron Relay.

Athletes from Lennox Head also had a successful weekend with Niamh Sharpe picking up gold in the U10 Female Board Race. She was joined on the podium by fellow club mates Maisie Miller who claimed bronze in the U14 Ironwoman event, and Nathan Mackenzie who picked up third place in the U14 Ironman and Surf Race contests.

Kalani Ives (Yamba SLSC) was the only other Far North coast medallist when she took silver in the U12 Ironwoman.

The best performing country club was Sawtell SLSC who had a weekend to remember when they topped the country point score.

Aidan Blaxland claimed gold in the U13 Board Race, while Hayley Fischer picked up medals in the U13 Beach Sprint (gold), Board Relay (silver), and Board Race (Bronze). Alyssa Golding earned two bronze medals in the U14 Board Relay and Board Rescue events while Aoife Carey (U14 Board Rescue and Board Relay), and Cloe Nolan (U13 1KM Run and Board Relay) also picked up multiple medals.

Brea Fischer announced herself as an emerging talent with gold in the U11 Board Race and bronze in the Board Relay. “It’s my first individual state win so I’m really happy to get it. I’ve been training really hard for it so it means a lot,” she said after her victory on the Board.

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 - Olissa Onley, Lily O'Sullivan, and Imogen Evans were among a host of Cudgen Headland competitors to enjoy a a successful State Champs. Credit Stephen Chu

Wed 8 Mar 2017