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Some great performances by Central Coast clubs resulted in a swag of medals for Nippers competing at the 2019 NSW Age Surf Life Saving Championships, proudly supported by Your local club at Swansea Belmont SLSC.

Avoca was the top performing coast club, finishing in 12th spot overall. Terrigal was 15th and Wamberal 17th, including taking out the prestigious All Age Board Relay.

The ‘Wambie’ boys definitely came equipped with the noisiest cheer squad. The screams from the sidelines alone could have propelled the paddlers across the line and up the beach for the win. U9 starter Jack Humphries headed out, straight into a big set of waves.

“All the sets came and I was like ‘oh crap’,” recalled Jack. “I got out before everyone except for one person but I caught him on the way in.”

Tagging Hayden McGregor for the U10 leg kept them in the lead and U11 Eden Pearson made the most of it before Brok Elliott hit the water. The pressure was well and truly on for Matthew Humphries before Jake Elliott gave the paddle of his life and a sprint up the beach to cross first.

“I blocked out all the pressure and just went for it to keep us in the lead,” said Jake. “We’ve come second at every carnival so far so it’s great to win this and beat Manly.”

The boys put their win down to a combination of skill and luck.

“These are our kind of conditions, we love the surf. It’s been big over the last couple of weeks at Wambie so we’ve had some good training in the waves.”

Declan Richardson from Avoca won the U14 Beach Flags and with teammates Toby Armstrong, Tyke Harvey and Jackson O’Mara, took out the Relay. Josephine Kendal (U9), Will Tebb (U10) and Natalia Drobot (U14) all won their Board races and Natalia teamed up with Mia Cracknell and Sinaed Williams for the U14 Board Relay win.

Mikayley Fisher and Davara Marshall starred in the water for Umina SLSC, winning the U13 Board Rescue, putting it down to team work and a little bit of luck.

“We got a good alley and a good position out to the cans. Mikayley had the best paddle of her life to come save me and then we tried to hold the lead on the way in,” said Davara.

“The set was coming and we were worried about Wanda and Cooks Hill creeping up. We were just saying to each other, all our training has to go into getting this wave and getting in fast. We were talking a lot, ‘we really need to push now, paddle stronger and longer!’,” said Mikayley.

“At the branch carnival the swell was up and we got smashed so today we were hoping it wasn’t a repeat of that,” said Davara.

Nippers since U6s, the girls love their training and showing everyone what they can do.

“Everyone is so excited about this event to show how much they’ve been training and we just want to have fun. We do Ironwoman and Board training through the week with the club and have a great time.  Everyone is so supportive of each other,” said Davara.

On the beach the Umina U11s won the Female Beach Relay and Sienna Scahill led the U12 1km Beach Run across the line to win.

The NSW Age Surf Life Saving Championships, proudly supported by Your local club, returns to Swansea Belmont SLSC and Lake Macquarie in March next year.


Wednesday 6 March 2019