The Youth Championships open to U14 and U15 age groups is for many the first opportunity they have had to test themselves against the best surf sport talent from around the country.
It is safe to say that the NSW lifesavers passed this toughest of tests with flying colours.
In the U14s, NSW clubs picked up 19 medals made up of seven gold, seven silver and five bronze.
In the male races Nicholas Stoddart (Swansea Belmont) and Riley Dixon (Wanda) claimed the Australian Title in the Board and Surf Race respectively, while on the beach Brandon Morkos (Bellambi) took out the Beach Sprint and Kai Hammond (Wanda) was first-over-the-line in the 2km Beach Run.
Bella Williams (Cooks Hill) continued her scintillating summer campaign taking gold in the U14 Ironwoman and Board Race and earning silver in the swim. Jacinta Davidson-Bunch (Cronulla) lasted the distance to take out the U14 Female Flags, while Holly Abbey (Nowra-Culburra) also picked up two silvers on the beach.
Umina’s Lachlan Braddish won three gold medals in the U15s after taking out the Ironman, Surf Race, and being a member of the successful Surf Teams event.
Kye Taylor (Cooks Hills) won the Board Race but there was more joy for the Hunter club in that event as club mate York Dalton joined him on the podium with a bronze medal.
The speedsters from Mollymook continued their run of form on the sand as Keeghan Norwood (U15 Beach Sprint), Sam Zusotovich (Beach Flags) and the U15 Beach Relay Team all finished with gold medals.
Manly and Swansea Belmont also enjoyed success in the team events with the Sydney Northern Beach powerhouses taking out the U15 Male Board and Cameron Relay while Swansea Belmont won gold in Board Rescue.
Coogee enhanced their reputation as one of the best exponents of R & R in the country claiming gold in the U15 Mixed event with Collaroy taking the bronze.
In the U15 Female Events Hayley Smith (Cudgen Headland) won the Board Race. Isabellah Walker took out the Beach Sprint, while Newport’s Macy Carrothers is now the best Flagger of her age in Australia.
Elouera’s U15 Female Beach Relay Team consisting of Brigitte Salib, April Druery, Rachel Tougher and Ella Randazzo continued their winning streak to be crowned Australian Champions.
The best friends were the ones to watch heading into the weekend after blitzing the field at the NSW Championships in U15 relay only a couple of weeks ago.
The amazing feat of the victory was Brigitte, April and Rachel were all competing up an age group as they did at Blacksmiths but that didn’t intimidate them one bit.
Success is second nature to the girls with Brigitte, April and Rachel winning gold at the last six NSW Championships along with U14s teammate Holly Porter.
Individually, Ella placed second in the U15 sprint while in the U14s, Rachel claimed bronze and April and Brigitte just missed out on the medals finishing fourth and fifth in the final respectively.
There was more joy for NSW based athletes in the 2KM Ocean Swim that was also held during the opening weekend of competition as they added 4 medals to their tally. James de Vrites (Shelly Beach) was the lone gold medallist as he claimed gold in the U19 event.
Aussies 2017 - (NSW Results)
Under 15: Male
Iron - 1st Lachlan Braddish (Umina), 3rd Zach Morris (Manly)
Board - 1st Kye Taylor (Cooks Hill), 3rd York Dalton (Cooks Hill)
Surf - 1st Lachlan Braddish (Umina), 2nd Zachary Roja (North Cronulla)
Beach Sprint - 1st Keeghan Norwood (Mollymook)
Beach Relay - 1st Mollymook
Beach Flags - 1st Sam Zustovich (Mollymook)
Surf Teams - 1st Umina, 3rd Manly
Board Relay - 1st Manly, 2nd Cooks Hill
Board Rescue - 1st Swansea Belmont
Cameron Relay - 1st Manly
Board Riding - 2nd Fletcher Armstrong (Avoca Beach)
Under 15: Female
Iron - 3rd Kaimana Fittock (Bulli)
Board - 1st Hayley Smith (Cudgen Headland), 2nd Madison Ward (Manly)
Surf - 3rd Madison Ward (Manly)
Beach Sprint - 1st Isabellah Walker (Cronulla), 2nd Ella Randazzo (Elouera)
Beach Relay - 1st Elouera, 3rd Cronulla
Beach Flags - 1st Macy Carrothers (Newport)
2km Beach Run - 3rd S Taurins (Newport)
Surf Teams - 2nd Wanda
Board Relay - 3rd Manly
Board rescue - 2nd Manly, 3rd Wanda
Under 15: Mixed
5 Person R&R - 1st Coogee, 3rd Collaroy
Under 14: Male
Board - 1st Nick Stoddart (Swansea Belmont), 2nd Nathan Mackenzie (Lennox Head-Alstonville)
Surf - 1st Riley Dixon (Wanda), 3rd Nick Middleton (Wanda)
Beach Sprint - 2nd Aiden Helu (Manly), 3rd Fletcher Myers (Cooks Hill)
Beach Flags - 1st Brandon Morkos (Bellambi), 2nd Bryan Rudenas (North Cronulla)
2km Beach Run - 1st Kai Hammond (Wanda)
Under 14: Female
Iron - 1st Bella Williams (Cooks Hill), 3rd Piper-Lily Walker (Avoca Beach)
Board - 1st Bella Williams (Cooks Hill), 2nd Xanthe Christopher (North Bondi)
Surf - 2nd Bella Williams (Cooks Hill)
Beach Sprint - 2nd Holly Abbey (Nowra-Culburra), 3rd Rachel Tougher (Elouera)
Beach Flags - 1st Jacinta Davidson-Bunch (Cronulla), 2nd Holly Abbey (Nowra-Culburra)
2km Beach Run - 3rd Piper Harrison (Manly)
Board Riding - Darci Berry (Avoca Beach)
2km Ocean Swim
Open Female - 3rd Madison Spencer (Newport)
Under 19 Male - 1st James De Vries (Shelly Beach)
Under 17 Male - 3rd Harry Came (Cronulla)
Under 17 Female - 3rd Emily Doyle (Manly)