Near perfect conditions greeted the more than 2500 Nippers competing at the 2019 NSW Surf Life Saving Championships, proudly supported by Your local club.
Day One of the event, hosted by Swansea Belmont SLSC, saw a packed beach and a mix of successes in the water and on the beach. With only a handful of events going through to finals, it was the host club on top of the pointscore, followed by southern Sydney clubs Wanda, Cronulla and South Maroubra.
Good results for the Swansea Belmont Nippers included Samuel Govender in the U11 Beach Flags, Ryder Griffith in the U12 1km Beach Run and Nate Ward in the U11 Beach Run.
For another local, Cooks Hill competitor Lily Egan, it was a matter of containing the nerves and excitement to come through the pack to back up from last year and claim the U10 Surf Race title against some tough competition.
“It was quite tough but my mum told me to just push through, and I did and that’s how I got first. I love state champs because I get to be with all my friends and put in all I’ve got for my club and myself to do the best I can,” said Lily.
And it was all smiles for Elouera’s new U13 Beach Flag Champion, Jeremy Hall. Victorious at the end of a nail-biting effort warding off more than 40 other competitors, Jeremy gave his proud mum Emma a special treat on her birthday by winning Gold. He thanked his coach, the champion beach competitor Davina Strauss for helping him achieve success.
“I’m so happy, it’s made today worthwhile,” said Davina. “Jeremy’s worked so hard for this, he really deserves it.”
In the final event of the day, Swansea’s Ryder Griffith was stoked to take out the 1km Beach Run in the U12 division, knowing his teammates were cheering him on.
“It was really hard because there were a lot of good competitors. I tried so hard with my training and in the race and I’m really happy with this win,” said Ryder.
“At Swansea we’re all really supportive and kind. It’s so good and fun to have friends here to run with and cheer me on. Most of my friends are here.
“My Dad used to compete here. It’s really inspiring because my dad used to do what I do, run. He tells me to start hard and keep a good pace and stay in other people’s footprints.”
In her first outing as referee at the NSW Championships, Official of the Year Jenny Kenny said she was happy with the way the event was running so far and is looking forward to similar conditions over the weekend.
“We’ve had a fabulous day in the water areas and on the beach and finished in a good time. All the officials and area and sectional referees have done an amazing job bringing it all together. I love watching all these kids out here having the best day.
“We’re expecting conditions to be similar over the weekend. It will be calm in the morning and windy in the afternoon. We’ve changed the program around a little bit to make it fairer for the kids. And it will be hot!”
The largest junior surf event in the country, the NSW Surf Life Saving Championships continue on Saturday at Blacksmiths Beach with teams events and relays.
Day One Overall Pointscore
- Swansea Belmont SLSC 48
- Wanda SLSC 38
- South Maroubra SLSC 37
- Cronulla SLSC 37
- Elouera SLSC 32
- North Curl Curl SLSC 27
- North Cronulla SLSC 25
- Terrigal SLSC 24
- North Bondi SLSC 24
- Cooks Hill SLSC 23
- Coogee SLSC 21
- Kiama Downs SLSC 14
Friday 1 March 2019