A wonderful and at times wild start to the 2024 Oakberry Acai NSW Country Championships has culminated in renewed rivalries and many amazing results, highlighting a day in which junior athletes hit the sand and surf at Warilla-Barrack Point SLSC.

An intense southerly brought a slightly early conclusion to proceedings but not before hundreds of athletes – many participating in their first surf sports event – brought colour and life to Warilla Beach, competing with sportsmanship and energy across the day.

Taking shape already is a familiar tussle at the top – the host club, Warilla and Cudgen Headland SLSC are neck and neck at the summit of the overall point score.

Perhaps more important, though, were big wins on the board already for smaller regional clubs across the state, including Narooma SLSC which saw Xavier Miles pick up a huge win in the U13 Male Surf Race – beating out the reigning champion, Kobi Howard-Shilling on his home beach, no less.

In the water area, Tully Kippax of Black Head SLSC lived up to significant pre-event hype to win the U11 Female Board, while Max Pengelly picked up one of Port Macquarie SLSC’s four wins in the U13 Male Board.

A win for Louis Hayward in the U14 Male Surf Race would prove one of six for Broulee Surfers SLSC on the day, while Amy Roberts picked up a win for Lennox Head-Alstonville SLSC in the U12 Female Board Race and teammate Billy Stewart won the U12 Male Board for the double.

Oliver Pacheco of Woolgoolga SLSC made a winning start to his surf sports career, claiming both the U8 Male Beach Sprint and Flags, while Cudgen’s Summer Black won each of the three races she entered – the U8 Female Wade, Beach Sprint and Flags.

In the U15s, Gerringong SLSC’s Miller Siasat picked up his seventh straight Beach Sprint and Flags double, while Hayley Smith overcame what she called a less intensive summer training program to win the Open Female Beach Flags in a tight finish with Mollymook SLSC’s Mischa Boniface.

Rowan Hope from Ballina Lighthouse and Lismore SLSC overcame reigning champion and Masters competitor, Darren Drewsen from Broulee to win the Open Male Beach Flags, and also claimed the U19 event.

The 2024 Oakberry Acai NSW Country Championships continues over the weekend at Warilla-Barrack Point SLSC, with the Masters and Opens competition starting first up Saturday.

TOP 10 CLUB POINT SCORE – DAY ONE

Warilla-Barrack Point SLSC – 384

Cudgen Headland SLSC – 328

Yamba SLSC – 145

Woolgoolga SLSC – 141

Black Head SLSC – 121

Gerringong SLSC – 112

Byron Bay SLSC – 110

Broulee Surfers SLSC – 105

Mollymook SLSC – 83

Port Macquarie SLSC – 52

Friday 26 January 2024