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Competitors across the Hunter are basking in the glory of a successful 2017 NSW Surf Life Saving Open Championships last weekend with the athletes relishing the chance of competing at a major carnival in home waters.

Three Hunter clubs finished inside the top 20 in overall point score with Redhead (7th), Swansea Belmont (17th) and Cooks Hill (18th) all performing strongly.

Bella Williams (Cooks Hill) continued her impressive summer campaign with gold in the U15 Surf Race and bronze in the Ironwoman with club mate Jackson Meyers taking silver in the U19 Male Beach Flags.

Caves Beach enjoyed success in the three-day competition picked up bronze medals through Connor Henderson (U17 Male 2KM Beach Run), Paris Wright (U19 Female Flags), and the U23 Male Surf Boat Crew.

It was a great weekend for Redhead competitors with Daniel Collins (Open Ironman – bronze), Hayden Copping (U19 Ironman – bronze), Lily Costello (U19 Female Ironwoman – bronze), Justin McMorland (U19 Single Ski – bronze) and Nicola Owen (U17 Ironwoman – silver) all picking up individual medals.

Additionally it was also a great weekend for Redhead teams with two of the highlights being gold in the U19 Male Swim Teams and silver in the Open Male Taplin Relay.

Hosts Swansea Belmont also got among the medals. Angela Leadbeatter got the club off to the best possible start as she powered home to take the Open Female 2KM Beach Run, young gun Nicholas Stoddart claimed gold in the U15 Board finishing just ahead of club mate Kyle Lehmann who took the silver.

The two then combined with Josh Murphy to finish with bronze in the U15 Board Relay, the U15 Cameron Relay also won bronze, while the U15 Surf Team completed the dominance in the water for with Swansea Belmont as they stood on the podium with a silver medal.

Swansea Belmont President Graham Burge said it was a highly successful carnival that showcased the best of Lake Macquarie.

“It’s been a wonderful 8 days of competition and I would like to publicly acknowledge the efforts of our working party and all the volunteers who came together throughout some very challenging conditions to deliver a first class experience to visitors.

“Swansea Belmont is looking forward to hosting The Championships again next year and we’re proud to be putting our part of the world on the map.

NSW Surf Sports Manager Rob Pidgeon felt that despite a challenging start due to the conditions, the State Championships put an exclamation point on what has been another successful summer for the sport.

2017 Open Championship Club Point Score:

Newport SLSC 425

Manly LSC 343

Wanda SLSC 202

North Cronulla SLSC 174

Cronulla SLSC 144

Umina SLSC 128

Redhead SLSC 115

Avoca Beach SLSC 112

Freshwater SLSC 93

Elouera SLSC 89

The NSW Surf Life Saving Age Championships, proudly supported by Your local club returns to Blacksmiths Beach, Swansea in 2018 from Feb 24 – March 11 for another exciting year of competition.