That Warneing Feeling For Cudgen Family

The Warne family from Cudgen Headland SLSC enjoyed a highly successful Country Championships campaign returning home with a combined tally of 21 medals; and now with the State Championships looming over the horizon they’re hoping to make their mark on the competition.

The four Warne children Lewis, Anthea, Joey and Elizabeth have Surf Life Saving in their blood having joined Nippers at a very young age, and all are equally as comfortable gliding through the water as they are walking on land.

Because they all compete in different age groups and in different water sections competing at a major championship can sometimes resemble a giant chess game as they strive to ensure that they are in the right race at the right time. It’s a logistical challenge, but this close knit family wouldn’t have it any other way.

“It’s great to have the family around, and while we don’t get to see everyone compete all the time it’s good to do stuff together,” said Lewis, the oldest of the clan.

“Sometimes you don’t see the rest of the family for the day but it is good that everyone in the club knows who we are so we hear how the others are going through the grapevine,” added younger sister Anthea.

The two elder siblings enjoyed a successful weekend at South West Rocks with Lewis contesting water events in the U17, 19, and Open Divisions, and winning 5 medals in the team efforts, while Anthea contested the U15s and picked up 7 medals including 5 gold.

“It’s a lot of fun and we’ve really enjoyed coming down and competing at the Country Champs I’ve been involved in lifesaving since U6s and I’ve always enjoyed competing in this competition. It was a great weekend and I would have loved to have had a bit more swell, but you can’t have it all!” said Lewis who made the most of his final Country Campaign before he makes the step up to U19s next season.

Anthea who is also a highly accomplished swimmer said it was the social side of the event as well as the chance to blow out the cobwebs before state that keeps drawing her back every year.

“I love the Championships; I really do as it’s a very social event. You get to see friends you’ve made not only from other branches around the state, but also the people from your own branch.

“When you compete at events like the Branch Championships or at State it can get really busy and with everyone focusing on their own race you don’t get as much time to see the others as you might like.”

Twelve-year-old Joey earned himself a number of medals and was delighted that his efforts in training paid off with a win in his favourite event.

“It was a great competition. I’m really happy about winning the swim for the 5th straight year as it’s an event I spend a lot of time training for and something that I love doing. South West Rocks is a great event and I really liked how clear the water was.

The clear water also provided the youngster with an unusual opportunity.

“During the board rescue we had dolphins swim next to us the whole time which doesn’t happen that often,” said Joey.

The youngest member of the family may have had the shortest program but she too took home plenty of memories from the 2016 Stramit NSW Country Surf Life Saving Championships, and a couple of additions for her burgeoning trophy cabinet as well.

“I really liked the carnival I had a lot of fun seeing friends I hadn’t seen for a while. The water was so clear I wanted to keep looking down,” said Elizabeth Warne.

“It was very tiring having to swim and paddle without much help from the waves, but it was ok. I like having my family here and seeing how they all go.”

So what’s next for this water loving family?

All of the Warnes competed at the recent Far North Coast Championships and will make the trip to Ocean Beach – Umina for the State Titles. Rounding down their season will be a trip to Queensland for The Aussies.

Proud mum Nicole said that it will be busy but worth it.

“I think Surf Life Saving is such a wonderful activity for the family to be involved in. All of my kids have been involved since they were 5 and they absolutely love it.

“They’ve made a lot of friends and it’s a lifestyle they all love doing it. It’s a bonus that they can all do it together.

“From the perspective of a parent it provides safety and security of mind. Living on the coast you need to know that your child can handle the ocean.”

The Warne family got that winning feeling at Country and clearly there’s plenty of talent to go round.

2016 Country Championships Warne Family Results:

Elizabeth U11

1st Surf Race
3rd Ironwoman
4th Board Race

Joey U13

1st Surf Race
2nd Ironman
2nd Junior March Past Team
3rd Mixed Board Relay
3rd mixed Swim Team
2nd U13/14 Cameron Relay

Anthea U15:

1st Surf Race
1st Rescue Tube Race
1st Mixed U15 Swim Team
1st Board Relay
1st Cameron Relay
3rd Board Race
3rd Ironwoman
4th Board Rescue


1st U17 Ski Relay
2nd U17 Board Relay
4th U17 Swim Team
6th U17 Board Rescue
6th U17 Taplin
2nd U19 Board Relay
3rd U19 Board Rescue
2nd Open Swim Team
2nd Open Rescue Tube Rescue

Photograph - The Warne family are all smiles after their successful 2016 Stramit NSW Country Surf Life Saving Championships campaign. Pictured (l-r) are Joey, Lewis, Elizabeth and Anthea at South West Rocks

Mon 22 Feb 2016