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The strength of surf sports across the Far North Coast was reinforced by a number of stunning performances at the 2018 Envirobank NSW Country Championships held at South West Rocks last weekend.

Four clubs - Cudgen Headland, Byron Bay, Lennox Head, and Yamba, all finished inside the coveted top ten in the overall standings with Ballina  (12th) and Brunswick (17th) also enjoying successful campaigns.

From the opening day Cudgen Headland dominated the competition to record an outstanding 1048 points, well clear of second placed Sawtell, and with the competition moving to their home beach next season, it would be a brave bookie to back against them in 2019.

Some of their key performances were in the surf with the Open Ironman being taken out by Luke Chaffer, the U19s by Kai Onley, Josh Jones won the U17s, and the U15 Ironman champion 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 Rescue was also dominated by the Champion club as they won the Open, U19, U17 and U15 male events.

The medals continued to flow in the team events especially in the Taplin Relays with results including wins in the Open Male and Female, U19 Male and Female, and U17 Female events.

Not to be outdone by their water counterparts, success continued on the beach track with Cudgen teams taking out the U8, U15 and the prestigious All Age Relays.

Impressive performances from other Far North Coast clubs included Ballina’s Noah Waldock who scorched the sand to take out the U12 Beach Sprint. He also managed a silver in the Beach Flags. Club mates Aliyah Gerrada won her first ever gold medal in the U8 Beach Flags, while Jenny Campbell also stood atop the podium after taking gold in the Female 30-39 Beach Run.

Maisie Miller (U15 Ironwoman and Rescue Tube) and Maalik Moston (U12 Ironman and Surf Race) were both double gold medallists for Lennox Head-Alstonville, helping their club into fifth place on the table.

It was a memorable weekend too for Yamba’s Kalani Ives who won four gold medals to add to her ever expanding trophy case. The talented youngster took out the U13 Ironwoman, Surf Race, Board, and 1km Beach Run events, while her clubmate Bobbie Winger also enjoyed plenty of success in the Over 60s category after taking gold in the Board, Tube, and Surf Race events.

Yamba also enjoyed success in the Surfboat arena, with crews winning the Reserve Male and Female divisions and the Male and Female 120+ years Masters events. The junior women’s crew were over the moon with their second in the Female U19s as a new crew this season and with only a handful of races under the belt.

While for Byron Bay who finished third overall strong performances came from the experienced Caitlin Callahan who won gold in the U19 Single Ski Relay and Board Riding Races, Bronze in the Surf Race, and silvers in the U19 and Open Ski Relay as well as the U19 Board Relay.

Other club competitors who enjoyed success included Daniel Peacock who won the U19 Single Ski Race ahead of clubmate Cooper Murray who took the bronze, Paul Pattison who was a triple gold medallist in the 60+ Year Beach Sprint, Board Race and Beach Run, and Suki Alford who won the U12 Female Board Race, and1KM Beach Run, while also finishing with a bronze in the Surf Race.  

NSW Surf Sports Manager Rob Pidgeon said it was an excellent weekend of competition.

The 2018 Envirobank NSW Country Championships were held at South West Rocks from 3-4 February. Action will return in February 2019 when the event moves to Kingscliff on the state’s Far North Coast.

Top 10 Overall Standings

Cudgen Headland SLSS (1048 points)

Sawtell SLSC (619)

Byron Bay SLSC (494)

Warilla Barrack Point SLSC (349)           

Lennox Head - Alstonville SLSC (348)   

Mollymook SLSC (299)                          

Port Macquarie SLSC (263)                    

Yamba SLSC (209)                                  

Coffs Harbour SLSC (186)                      

Tacking Point SLSC (185)                       

Friday 9 February 2018