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The future of Surf Sports in NSW is bright after the state’s most talented junior athletes brought home a bevy of medals – many gold – by the time the Youth titles at the Australian Surf Life Saving Championships had been run and won on Sunday afternoon.

North Curl Curl and Redhead SLSCs lead the way as more than 1,400 athletes hit the sand and surf on the Gold Coast on Saturday and Sunday for the start of nine days of the Aussies.

For the Northern Beaches club, Zara Kasprowicz and Luke Higgs crossed the line first in the U14 Female and Male Ironperson, while Zara grabbed a second gold medal in the U14 Female Surf Race, with clubmate Pipi Te Pania coming in third.

For her part, Pipi took out the U14 Female Board Race before the girls joined Dominique Melbourn, who had earlier won the U15 Female Surf Race, to bring further success for North Curl Curl in the U14 & U15 Female Surf Teams. The Male U13 & U14 team was also victorious.

The club also brought home gold medals in the U13 & U14 Male Cameron Relay and the U13 & U14 Female Board Rescue.

Meanwhile, the Hunter also had much to celebrate with Redhead’s Kane Edwards taking out the prestigious U15 Male Ironperson, and in doing so etching his name on the memorial  Matthew Barclay Trophy.

In the team events, Redhead were too strong in the U14 & U15 Male and Female Board Relay, as well as the U14 & U15 Male Cameron Relay – the last of which not least due to another strong effort from Kane and teammates Brodie Wright and Brodie Macadam after a sprint finish to beat Maroochydore.

Adding to the region’s success was Cooks Hill, with Alexander Walker taking individual gold in the U15 Male Board Race after finishing second in the Surf Race, while the club’s U13 & U14 Male Board Rescue team also had a win.

Swansea Belmont had teams success in the U13 & U14 Female Board Relay and the U14 & U15 Female 2 x 1km Beach Run Relay.

North Cronulla flew the flag highest for the Sydney-based clubs, with gold in the U13 Female Beach Flags for Kaitlyn Williams and a pair of medals for Kobe Sorensen in the U15 Male Beach Flags and Sprint.

Sari McKee also finished first for North Cronulla in the U15 Female 2km Beach Run in a race that saw five other NSW clubs – Umina, Warilla Barrack Point, Wanda, North Bondi and Cudgen Headland – finish in the top six.

Of note, as well, was the fantastic finish in the U14 Male Beach Flags which saw Joshua Ballard of South Maroubra edge out Umina competitor Anwar El-Kurdi for the win. Wanda’s U14 & U15 Female Board Rescue win was also a special moment on the final day.

In other events, Milton Stepanovski and Isabella Evans will leave the Gold Coast with Wollongong City’s first national gold medals in some time, while Coffs Harbour’s Quinn Evans, Gerringong’s Miller Siasat, Terrigal’s Hayden McGregor and Guy Ormond of Queenscliff each won an individual gold.

Monday 4 April 2022

Photo credit: Harvpix

Dominique Melbourn (North Curl Curl)
Dominique Melbourn of North Curl Curl
Kobey Sorensen of North Cronulla
Kobe Sorensen of North Cronulla
Coogee SLSC competitors
Coogee SLSC competitors
Isabella Evans of Wollongong City
Isabella Evans of Wollongong City