A large contingent of Central Coast competitors made the short trek north to the 2018 NSW Age Surf Life Saving Championships at the picturesque Blacksmiths Beach returning with medals, memories and a burning desire to continue to test themselves against the very best from around the state.
For the second year in succession no Central Coast club was able to crack the coveted top 10 in the overall point score, but that didn’t stop the area returning home with an impressive 31 medals throughout the 3-day competition.
Avoca Beach led the way finishing in 12th spot overall with 11 medals thanks to a number of strong performances.
The U13 Male Beach Relay team (Toby Armstrong, Jackson O’Mara, Declan Richardson, and Jack Wilson) were the club’s only gold medallists.
Mia Cracknell (U13s) won three silver medals including individually in the Surf Race, while Ella Parker, Ciara Williams, and Emily Prior were multiple silver medallists in their first attempt at the State Titles in the U9s after enjoying success in the team events.
The emergence of Wamberal as a force in junior surf lifesaving continued with the club finishing with an impressive 6 medals.
Daniel McCarthy took gold in the U12 Beach Flags, the Male U12 Beach Relay combined for a silver medal, Hayden McGregor (U9 Surf Race) claimed an individual silver medal as well.
Other strong performances came from Keenan White (U13s Beach Run), Matthew Humphries (U12 Board), and Noah Nakagawa (U12 Beach Sprint) who all finished with a bronze medal.
Umina Beach finished with 4 medals with Sienna Scahill (U13 Female Beach Run) leading the charge with a gold medal.
Terrigal SLSC claimed Branch honours for the first time in several seasons earlier this year and entered the championships full of confidence.
“The last couple of years we’ve really working on building up our training squad and this year our goal has been to win the overall branch point score which we did so that was a huge achievement for us,” said Nipper Head Coach Rachelle King.
“For State it’s about getting as many teams and individuals into finals and just having a really good time.”
No Terrigal member had quite as good a time as Emelyn Wheeler who won the Sprint/Flag double in the U13s.
Bree Josling (MacMasters Beach SLSC) won bronze in the U11 Beach Sprint while her club mates Ben Sapsford and Hamish Taylor combined to finish third in the U11 Board Rescue.
North Avoca’s Emma Duggan showed her water skills to finish with bronze in both the U11 Ironwoman and Surf Race.
Rounding off the Central Coast medallists were Copacabana’s Cooper Hobbs (3rd U11 Beach Flags), Killcare’s Alexis Sheppard (3rd U9 Beach Flags), and Sienna Kennedy-Wilkie (North Entrance) who won gold in her first ever State Champs in the U9 Board Race.
NSW Surf Sports Manager Rob Pidgeon said that it was a highly successful competition for the young athletes.
“I would like to congratulate everyone for what was an extremely successful State Age Championships.
“Some of our older Nipper competitors will now go on to get their first taste of national level racing at next month’s Australian Championships while our younger ones can look forward to an exciting finish with their club season,” Mr Pidgeon said.
Tuesday 6 March 2018