Skip to main content

There were smiles all round as Nipper competitors at Day One of the 2018 NSW Surf Life Saving Championships were crowned NSW Champions on the beach and in the water.

Proudly supported by Your local club and hosted by Swansea Belmont SLSC at Lake Macquarie, the fantastic surf conditions and sunshine made for fast racing for thousands of competitors from clubs throughout the state. Over the three days of junior competition, more than 2500 young lifesavers will go for glory across a range of events, from board, swim and ironperson racing, to beach sprints, flags and relays.

The action packed Beach Flag competition decided medallists in every age category, from Under 9s to Under 14s. While there were many familiar faces on the podium from previous years, a number of upsets left some of the favourites disappointed.

In the U13 boys final, reigning beach flag and sprint champion Malikye Kessie from Sth Maroubra was forced to pull out when he re-injured his hip after having spent five weeks recovering from a painful tendon/bone condition.

The pain and disappointment was clear on the face of the talented sprinter, unable to defend his title, however it left the field wide open for the remaining finalists. In the end it was Coogee’s Ethan Smith who took the gold. It was a bittersweet victory as the two are friends and Ethan placed second to Malikye at last year’s event. “I just really wanted to do it for Malikye,” said Ethan after the race.

Avalon Beach SLSC’s Ava Roberts also stormed home to take the gold from last year’s winner in the U12 Female Beach Flags, Nina van der Reyden from Manly who ended up third with Yasmeen Janschek from Coogee claiming silver.

Ava’s motivation going into the event was particularly high as her dad Dave had promised to take her with him when he flies to Canada on Monday for work if she won.

“The competition is so tough, but today was her day for sure,” said a happy dad, admitting he may well struggle to find a suitable replacement reward for his daughter when he breaks it to her that she unfortunately won’t be ditching school to jump on the plane on Monday!

The best performing locals were hosts Swansea Belmont, who notched up a couple of great results with a first in the U10 boys Beach Flags by Samuel Govender and gold in the U9 boys Board Relay event. Cooks Hill had wins in the water in the U9 and U10 Female Surf races and the Board Relay team was first across the line in the U10 event.

Upsets continue in the overall pointscore, with Elouera SLSC on top after day one and reigning champions Manly, sitting in eighth spot on the ladder. Last year’s third place getters will be fired up to make the most of the lead and host club Swansea Belmont is celebrating sitting in fourth place ahead of many larger city rivals.

With plenty more racing over the next two days still to come, the field is wide open and it could come down to the finals on Sunday to see who will take home the trophy for 2018.


  1. Elouera SLSC       71

  2. Cronulla SLSC     59

  3. Wanda SLSC        37

  4. Swansea Belmont SLSC   30

  5. Cooks Hill SLSC   29

  6. Coogee SLSC      29

  7. North Curl Curl SLSC        24

  8. North Cronulla SLSC         23

  9. Manly LSC           21

  10. Freshwater SLSC               18

  11. Wamberal SLSC 16


Friday 2 March 2018