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The first of many State surf sport carnivals for NSW’s youngest competitors has kicked off on Sydney’s Northern beaches, with many laying solid foundations for future success across an exciting day in the surf and on the sand.

The 2024 NSW Surf Life Saving Championships, proudly presented by Your local club began with a bang on Thursday 7 March as hundreds of U9 and U10 athletes hit Queenscliff beach, the first of four action-packed days at the idyllic location.

North Bondi SLSC began its Age overall point score title defence strongly, finishing the day in first place ahead of Swansea Belmont SLSC and Manly LSC.

Young gun Emerson Hoo contributed a large portion of the success on her own, faltering only once in her four water events across the day to take three gold and a silver.

Her only slip up – in the U10 Surf Teams alongside Isabel Christie, Azzuri Felix and Emilia Laban – was particularly tight, and would later be softened slightly by an impressive win in the Female Board Relay alongside the former two.

The club also saw success in the teams events on the beach, winning both the U9 Mixed Beach Relay and the U9 Female Beach Relay.

Keeping hot on North Bondi’s heels, though, is the club from the Hunter – Swansea Belmont – led by an impressive first-up showing from beach specialist, Sailor Grintell.

Competing at her first State Championships, she won the Beach Flags and Sprint double – the latter being the first gold medal of the event.

Other key winners across the day included a pair of hometown heroes. Queenscliff SLSC’s Leo Ormond picked up an U9 Male Beach Sprint gold medal to rapturous applause in the beach track in front of his surf club, but perhaps the most dramatic win of the day was reserved for North Steyne SLSC’s Hugo Collins.

Despite transitioning into the white water slightly behind Umina SLSC’s Nicholas Hopley and even dismounting on the shore behind the Central Coast competitor, Hugo would take advantage of a slight stumble in grabbing the board and pip Nicholas to the line, running off into the distance with a single finger held high.

Yamba SLSC, travelling one of the furthest of the competing clubs, picked up a win in the U10 Male Surf Teams, while Stockton SLSC closed out the day with a huge win in the U9 Male Beach Flags, with young William Isedale coming up trumps over North Curl Curl SLSC’s Mitch Mckinnon.

Special mention, too, to Hugh Hunter Jamieson of Pacific Palms SLSC – the first Age Championships competitor from the Lower North Coast club in many years.

The 2024 NSW Surf Life Saving Age Championships, proudly presented by Your local club continues tomorrow with all age groups up to U14s hitting the beach to compete.


Thursday 7 March 2024