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It’ll be a race between two for the 2023 NSW Open Surf Life Saving Championships, proudly supported by Your local club, at Queenscliff Beach on Sunday, with Newport SLSC and Wanda SLSC in a ding dong battle at the top for ultimate bragging rights.

That said, the Championships has thus far delivered entertainment of the highest level from a variety of competing clubs and athletes, highlighting the value and quality of training and coaching available across the state.

The last day of 12 at the NSW Surf Life Saving Championships will manifest as the ultimate Finals Day, with athletes contesting the Iron, Cameron Relay, Taplin Relay, Ski, Board, and Surf races, as well as the Surf Boat Championships being decided further down the beach.

With a string of finals contested today, however, the landscape is taking shape.

Newport has illustrated its strength in depth through both days of competition to date, seeing multiple teams and athletes score podiums in the same races and generally looking strong across the board.

Arabella Cox, Lizzie Welborn, Jemma Smith and Maddy Spencer did it in the Open Female Board Rescue, the former two running first and the latter two second, while two Newport teams did the same thing again in the U19 Female Rescue Tube Rescue.

In its first running at the NSW Surf Life Saving Championships, the Mixed Open Taplin Relay was also won by a stacked Newport team of Conner Maggs, Maddy Spencer, Mitch Trim, Jemma Smith, Lizzie Welborn and Charlie Brooks. A Newport team that could just have easily have been winners claimed silver and, for a moment heading into the final legs, it looked like a third team from the Northern beaches club may claim the bronze.

They eventually settled for fifth.

Around the beach, Far North Coast club, Cudgen Headland SLSC had Board Rescue success in the Open Male and U15 Female, while Cooks Hill SLSC, Swansea-Belmont SLSC and Redhead SLSC also picked up wins in the event on a solid day for the Hunter clubs.

Indeed, Cooks Hill’s win in the U19 Male Rescue Tube Rescue, among others, aided the club’s climb up the leaderboard on Day Two to sit just outside the top 10 in the overall point score. For their parts, Swansea-Belmont currently sit on the podium and Redhead in ninth.

All Beach Sprint and Flags finals were held over the course of the day, with South Maroubra showing they’ll be a force to be reckoned with for years to come in the Flags – Luke Newrick, Tom Farr-Jones, and Ruby Gray took out the U15 Male, U17 Male and U17 Female, respectively, to dominate the younger categories.

Sam Zustovich was, as so often expected, a class above in the Open Male Flags, picking up a win for Mollymook SLSC who featured heavily throughout the Flags finals. Alex Rampoldi was too strong in the Open Female.

In the Sprints, Zustovich would complete the beach double in the Open Male and Wanda’s Zara Lammers would pip Lucy Flanagan to the post in the U19 Female – the North Cronulla SLSC sensation having to settle for a Flags gold only later in the day.

Meanwhile, back on the water, Bulli SLSC’s Hannah Minogue and Jasmine Locke beat out the highly fancied Jemma Smith and Sascha Taurins Newport combination in the Open Female Double Ski – Newport’s only defeat in the event across four age and gender categories.

The 2023 NSW Surf Life Saving Championships, proudly presented by Your local club, continues tomorrow as the Open and Surf Boat Championships reach Finals Day, with NSW’s top elite athletes contesting a string of surf events in a bid to crown new champions.

Top 10 Clubs As It Stands

1. Newport SLSC

2. Wanda SLSC

3. Swansea-Belmont SLSC

4. North Bondi SLSC

5. North Cronulla SLSC

6. Manly LSC

7. Cronulla SLSC

8. Coogee SLSC

9. Redhead SLSC

10. Mollymook SLSC

Full results can be accessed here.

Saturday 4 March 2023