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History was made on the final day of the 2019 NSW Age Surf Life Saving Championships at Blacksmiths Beach with local club Cooks Hill SLSC claiming the overall title for the first time anyone can remember.

Knocking the dominant Newport team from its top spot by just three points was met with rowdy cheers from the Cooks Hill crew at the trophy presentation. The club’s tilt at the title after coming third last year was aided by some gutsy performances in the challenging conditions and some stars in the ranks of the newest competitors, the Under 9s.

Sid “the Gun” Burns carved it up, winning both the Board and the Swim, the Board Relay with Angus Jackson and Taj Williams and helped get the U9 Surf Team a second place.

His namesake Sid Forbes won the U13 Board Race and the girls were on fire in the swims, claiming firsts in the U9, U11 and U13 Surf Teams events. Individual results included Lily Egan (U10), Daisy Breasley (U11), Andie Widseth (U12) with golds in their Surf Races and Isabella Campbell picked up silver in the U14 event. Alexander Walker won the U12 Male Surf Race and the U11 team took out the Mixed Cameron Relay to round out the medal haul in the water.

Knowing the local conditions also proved successful for the host club, giving Swansea Belmont SLSC a meteoric rise in the ranks from 10th last year to 4th. Coogee’s third place was also out of left field after placing 8th in 2018.

The Swansea juniors were everywhere and clocked up points in the water and the beach events. Wins in the U9 and U11 Surf Teams and the U13 Board Relay were backed up by a second in the U13 Board Rescue thanks to Ethan Hamilton and Tye Worell. Cambell Connelly and Billy Foran won the U11 Board Rescue, Kaitlin Rees the U11 Board Race and Zara Foran the U13 Ironwoman and Surf Race.

On the sand young Samuel Govender led the charge, winning both U11 Beach Flags and Sprint, while younger brother Denzel claimed Bronze in the U9 Beach Flags. In the 1km Beach Run local knowledge may have played a part in wins for Nate Ward in the U11s, Ryder Griffith in U12 and second for Ty Leadbeatter in U13s.

An ecstatic Michael Clancy, junior competition manager at Cooks Hill SLSC couldn’t be prouder of all the competitors this weekend.

“It’s been absolutely fantastic and a completely new era for Cooks Hill. We’ve been rebuilding for probably 8 to 10 years and this is the culmination of it,” said Michael Clancy.

“We’re extremely strong in the water and that’s where we get all our points, but overall it’s a team event and accumulating the points that get you to the end and get you the win is what it’s about.”

He says the dedication to training in the ranks of the younger competitors is amazing and the skills they are learning for life are invaluable.

“Our guys are out there four or five times a week in the surf. The young ones in particular, the 9s and 10s stepped up yesterday and smashed the field and it just continued today. It was fantastic seeing kids come across the line with smiles, even if they didn’t win.

“I’ll be honest, you look at all the different sports kids can get involved in and this is by far the most comprehensive, all-round sport kids can do. The emotional resilience it teaches kids, to get back up every single time, despite the conditions, is untold in developing kids and their ability to compete and perform as individuals and in society. That’s what we want at the club, we want our kids not just to compete but to stay with the club, volunteer right through and this is a great basis to do that.”

The Championships continue on Wednesday with the Masters Championships and from Friday with the Opens weekend. The NSW Surf Life Saving Championships are proudly supported by Your local club and Lake Macquarie City Council.

Overall Pointscore

  1. Cooks Hill SLSC 173

  2. Newport SLSC 170

  3. Coogee SLSC 168

  4. Swansea Belmont SLSC 159

  5. South Maroubra SLSC 153

  6. North Curl Curl SLSC 148

  7. Wanda SLSC 139

  8. Elouera SLSC 124

  9. North Bondi SLSC 116

  10. Cronulla SLSC 103

  11. Manly LSC 102

  12. Avoca Beach SLSC 80

  13. Warilla Barrack Point SLSC 71

  14. North Cronulla SLSC 65

  15. Terrigal SLSC 58

  16. Freshwater SLSC 52

  17. Wamberal SLSC 40

    Bulli SLSC 40

  18. Bronte SLSC 37

  19. Collaroy SLSC 34

  20. Maroubra SLSC 33

    Mona Vale SLSC 33


Sunday 3 March 2019