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Cudgen Headland SLSC has cemented its position over the NSW Surf Life Saving Envirobank Country Championships title after finishing more than 400 points ahead of the closest rivals.

Sawtell SLSC staged a huge effort to unseat last year’s champions however the northern powerhouse proved too strong. Former Country Champions for more than close to a decade, Byron Bay finished in third spot.

For the third and final year, South West Rocks SLSC on the mid north coast hosted the Envirobank NSW Country Championships featuring more than 1500 competitors fighting it out in a full carnival program from juniors right through to masters events.

The blue and white Cudgen caps were everywhere as points flooded in from successes across all events and disciplines.

A virtual clean sweep of the Iron and Taplin races was backed up by solid performances by key competitors including Anthea Warne and Luke Chaffer. The Open Ironman was won by Luke Chaffer, U19 by Kai Onley, U17 Ironman was Josh Jones and U15 Ironman was Joseph Warne.

In the Ironwoman, Anthea Warne won the U17 event, then backed up to get second in the Open event. The U14 race was won by Lily O’Sullivan.

Anthea Warne also delivered a trifecta in the water with firsts in the U17 Board, Swim and Ski races. Luke Chaffer did the same in the Open Male Board, Swim and Ski.

Board rescues were also dominated by Cudgen winning the Open, U19, U17 and U15 male events.

In the Taplins, results included firsts in the Open Male and Female, U19 Male and Female, and U17 Female events.

Success continued on the beach track with teams taking out the U8, U15 and the prestigious All Age Relays.

Sawtell competitors didn’t disappoint the crowds either and the club has done a lot of work to build its strength right across the board. Team events gave the club a steady growth in the pointscore throughout the weekend including wins in the U19 and U15 Female Beach Relays, U19 Female Ski Relay, U15 and U12 Cameron Relays and U19 Board Relay.

Competitors contributed across the board in individual events, including the club’s Masters athletes and March Past teams.

The best performing of the southern clubs was Warilla Barrack Point, finishing in fourth position.

The team from host club South West Rocks SLSC ended the weekend in 24th spot in the overall pointscore in a dead heat with neighbours Kempsey-Crescent Head SLSC.

The success of the Cudgen team bodes well for next year when the club hosts the 2019 and 2020 Championships on their home turf.

Cudgen Headland club president Adam Mills put the success of the team down to their commitment and some great coaching.

“We’ve got some good programs at the moment and we’ve been able to offer extra opportunities which has meant we’ve been able to hold onto our competitors, rather than lose them to the Queensland clubs.

“Our head coach Scott McCartney is fantastic, the kids love training with him and they’re happy to come to training.”

The club is looking forward to welcoming competitors from around the state when it hosts the event next year, the first time since 2003.

“We’re really excited and it’s a great opportunity for some of our kids who haven’t been to the Country Champs before,” said Adam Mills.

Almost 40 clubs competed in this year’s NSW Country Championships from as far south as Tathra. The event injects millions of dollars into the local economy and the support of the Kempsey Shire Council and event partner Envirobank is crucial to its success.

President of the South West Rocks SLSC, Rod McDonagh, said he was extremely proud of his team in hosting the event for the last three years.

“It’s a huge amount of work that our volunteers put in to make the event a success. For a small country club, I reckon we punch well above our weight in putting on surf sports events of this size. I can’t thank them enough for their time and effort,” said Rod McDonagh.


Top 10 Overall Pointscore

  1. Cudgen Headland SLSC               1048

  2. Sawtell SLSC                                  619

  3. Byron Bay SLSC                             494

  4. Warilla Barrack Point SLSC            349

  5. Lennox Head - Alstonville SLSC     348

  6. Mollymook SLSC                            299

  7. Port Macquarie SLSC                     263

  8. Yamba SLSC                                  209

  9. Coffs Harbour SLSC                       186

  10. Tacking Point SLSC                        185


Sunday 4 February 2018