It’s the competitive return of an event buried deep in the hearts of many within the Surf Life Saving movement, with the NSW Board Riding Championships returning to the Surf Sports calendar with a bumper weekend at the iconic Merewether Beach.

After a false start in September following wild conditions in the Hunter, surfers from 28 NSW clubs are registered to hit the water on Saturday and Sunday across the short and longboard titles.

It promises to be a fairytale return for the state championship event.

The Board Riding Championships is a chance for surf lifesavers to showcase their skillset in a different water discipline to those commonly associated with the movement.

“Board riders are fundamental tools to saving lives, we’re the pillars of the surf community, out in the water you can see everything,” said Bondi Rescue lifeguard and surf lifesaver, Anthony ‘Harries’ Carroll.

The man made famous by the established TV show will compete, as he has numerous times in the past, across the longboard category, looking to add to his suite of State medals earned in the past.

His motivation, however, has changed over the years from success in the water to success out of it.

“I’m 46, I’ve competed for so many years and won heaps of State Titles, but I want to firstly be a great example for my two boys, get them involved in the ocean and invest in being safe and saving lives and giving back to the community,” he said.

“It’s a dream come true to have had the success I’ve had but for me with my children I just want them to give back.”

‘Harries’ says the beach will be pumping for the longboard and teams events and says that organisers couldn’t have selected a better location.

“It’s such an iconic place, Merewether Beach, the things I think of are 4x world champion Mark Richards is from Merewether,” he said.

“To have an event like this back on, it’s so important because some of these board riders that have come through the clubbie scene have gone on to be championship surfers – Tom Whittaker, Luke Hitchings, Rod Kerr, it’s become historical.

“It’s so good to have it back on, and it’s a reminder that if you’re a surfer, just get in there and do it, join a club, why wouldn’t you.

“Lifesaving gave me so many opportunities, the brand itself is incredible, it doesn’t matter what you do, from driving an IRB to being down the front doing the sausage sizzle, it’s the collective.”

And of his chances, ‘Harries’ was typically coy.

“I’m ready to dance, we’ll leave it at that,” he said with a laugh.

The 2022 NSW Board Riding Championships will take place on Saturday 8 October and Sunday 9 October at Merewether Beach.

96 competitors from 28 clubs will compete across the following events:

  • Youth Female Malibu Long Board
  • Youth Male Malibu Long Board
  • Open Female Malibu Long Board
  • Open Male Malibu Long Board
  • 30-49 Female Malibu Long Board
  • 30-49 Male Malibu Long Board
  • 50+ Male Malibu Long Board
  • 50+ Female Malibu Long Board
  • U13 Male Short Board
  • U13 Female Short Board
  • U14/U15 Male Short Board
  • U14/U15 Female Short Board
  • U17/U19 Male Short Board
  • U17/U19 Female Short Board
  • Open Male Short Board
  • Open Female Short Board
  • 30-49 Male Short Board
  • 30-49 Female Short Board
  • 50+ Male Short Board
  • 50+ Female Short Board

A Team event will also be run on Sunday morning. This will be a non-championship event and the first time it has run.

Teams must have five surfers entered, including:

  • One youth (U13-U17) competitor
  • One female competitor
  • One Masters (30+) competitor

Wednesday 5 October 2022