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The future of surf sports in NSW shone bright in spite of the weather as Nippers hit the beach for the first time for Age Championships at the 2023 NSW Surf Life Saving Championships, proudly supported by Your local club.

A drizzly Thursday morning met the athletes as the state’s largest community sporting event kicked off at Queenscliff and Manly Beach, but competition was fierce and unwavering through the rain.

U9s and U10s navigated challenging swell with seasoned grace, while a number of athletes made a name for themselves – or built upon an already glowing reputation – on the sand.

Jada Christie lived up to expectation after taking the opening day of State Championships by storm last year, winning the U10 Female Beach Sprint and Relay with Elouera SLSC.

She led an all star cast from the Bate Bay who would finished the first day on top of the overall point score; Max Ingram grabbed a silver in the U9 Male Surf Race, while Georgia Gardener finished just outside the podium place in the Female equivalent, and Elouera’s U10 Mixed Relay Team also came fourth. The U9 Male Surf Team finished second.

North Bondi SLSC finished the day just behind Elouera, and have their performances in the water to thank. Emerson Hoo dominated in the U9 Female Surf and Board Race, while Tymen Spierings finished as runner up in the U9 Male Board. The U9 Female Board Relay team also claimed a win.

In first, Andrei Szabo of Coogee SLSC showed excellent skill on his way to a state title, while clubmate, Max Nguyen was seamless, stoic and, eventually, the last man standing in the U10 Male Beach Flags.

A far less stoic Scarlett Tracy was overcome with happiness when she outwitted and outraced a stacked U10 Female Beach Flags contingent to claim her gold medal – beating out Alice Darke from her neighbour to the north, North Cronulla SLSC, and a travelling Warilla-Barrack Point SLSC competitor, Matilda Liberato.

It was Matilda’s second podium of the day having earlier placed second in the Beach Sprint.

Further up the coastline, Redhead SLSC picked up a win in the U10 Mixed Beach Relay and Bronx Dillinger, with his gold medal safely tucked away, added a silver to his tally in the U10 Male Flags later in the day.

Avoca Beach SLSC closed out the day with a win in the U9 Male Board Relay.

The 2023 NSW Surf Life Saving Championships, proudly presented by Your local club, continues tomorrow with U9s on the sand, U10s in the surf, and U11-U14s hit the beach for the first time.

Next week, Masters and Open athletes will compete, along with Surf Boats.

Access the Live and Full Results here.

Thursday 23 February 2023