Skip to main content

Hosts of the 2019 NSW Envirobank Country Championships have used their hometown advantage to finish more than 400 points clear of nearest rivals Byron Bay at Kingscliff Beach.

High temperatures and challenging water conditions were not enough to stop the Cudgen team steamrolling their way to wins in every race area and across all age divisions. Byron Bay staged a comeback attempt and managed to claw its way up from third last year into second spot. South coast club Warilla-Barrack Point put in a huge effort to finish in third, up a place from last year, making the long trip north worth their while.

Cudgen Coach Scott McCartney led by example with individual and team wins across all water events. McCartney was first across the line in the Open Ski, Open Board and teamed up with Angus McPhail and Kai Onley to win the Open Ski Relay. He also doubled up in Masters categories to win gold in the 30-39 yrs Board and Ski races.

Kai Onley won the Beach Flags, U19 Ironman and Ski events and helped teams to win the U19 and Open Taplins and Swim Teams events. Joseph Warne now holds the title of U17 Ironman.

At the other end of the age spectrum, Cudgen U8 competitor Jesse Black came first in the Wade at his very first Country Champs. In the U10s Lachlan Arghyros claimed gold in the Board race and Isabella Tate won the U11 Ironwoman.

In the female divisions, Hayley Smith was first across the line in the U17 Surf Race and Open Female Board and Lily O’Sullivan was busy in the water winning the U15 Surf Race, Board and the Ironwoman.

Anthea Warne won the double in the U19 and Open Ironwoman races, U19 Ski and Board and teamed up with Paige Leishman and Elise O’Callaghan to win the Open Ski Relay. She and Elise then joined Chloe Jones to claim the U19 Ski Relay title and she and Chloe won the U19 Double Ski.

In the younger age groups Cudgen caps were everywhere with wins recorded by Kalani Ives, Alexis Barnett, Kaimana Lowien-Britt, Charli Mills, Sienna Lee, Olissa Onley and Jarrah Onley.

Some outstanding results from Byron Bay secured second spot after Sunday’s competition with Bradley Kay and Shaun Sewell taking out the Open Double Ski and Grace Eady and Zoe Hughes crowned Open Female Double Ski champions.

Will Jones and Daniel Peacock did the same in the U19 Double Ski. Beau Carter was a great performer in the U17 events with the Byron boys also taking out the Open Beach Relay.

Cudgen Headland SLSC president Adam Mills said to win for the third year in a row on their home beach was the result of a huge combined effort by the club across the board.

“Scott McCartney and his coaching team have kept this nucleus of a team of young kids that has created depth in the club and it’s paying off in spades and will do for a long time to come.

“One of the club’s agendas was to offer a range of things, not just surf sports. We focus on lifesaving, international engagement, IRB training and a whole range of activities. It’s a pyramid effect, if you have a good base you can build a club of champions,” said Adam Mills.

“It’s months of planning to build up to this weekend. All the committee and behind the scenes work to set everything up with about 80 volunteer members and countless hours by everyone.

“Tweed Shire Council has played a major part in helping us prepare for this event. They’ve partnered with us in delivering the IRB Championships and the Country Champs last year. They put a lot of resources into getting the beach and community prepared and we couldn’t do it without them.

“For the last two years we’ve hoisted this trophy at South West Rocks but this year we have a chance to celebrate at our own club, it’s awesome.”

Top Ten Overall Pointscore

  1. Cudgen Headland SLSC 1128

  2. Byron Bay SLSC 687

  3. Warilla Barrack Point SLSC 479

  4. Lennox Head - Alstonville SLSC 317

  5. Sawtell SLSC 300

  6. Port Macquarie SLSC 287

  7. Tacking Point SLSC 245

  8. Yamba SLSC 212

  9. Ballina Lighthouse and Lismore SLSC 171

  10. Cabarita Beach SLSC 163