With three of its clubs finishing inside the coveted top 10 in the overall point score, and an impressive haul of 96 medals it was a highly successful weekend at the 2018 NSW Surf Life Saving Age Championships for junior competitors from Sydney’s Northern Beaches.
With Manly Life Saving Club gunning for an 8th straight title at Blacksmiths Beach it was the team from Newport who put one over their Branch rivals finishing second in their best ever result.
Leading the way for the Northern Beaches powerhouse were Bailey Clues who picked up 4 gold medals across the U13 and 14 water events, Kimberly Doyle (U13s) who continued her strong campaign with another 4 gold medals for her collection including wins in the Ironwoman and Surf Race, and Brandon Bartlem (U14s) who ended his Nippers career with three golds in the team events.
Although they finished equal 4th overall there were a number of strong performances from the Manly athletes.
Conner Maggs (U12s) picked up three gold medals for Manly including a win in the Ironman while younger brother Noah (U10s) added two for the family cabinet with an individual gold in the U10 Surf Race.
Joshua Gedz was a double gold medallist including a win in the U13 Male Beach Sprint while Duncan Cowan (U12s) also earned two podium finishes after being part of successful water teams.
It was a successful weekend for North Curl Curl with 25 medals to their credit on their way to 6th place.
Leading the way was U11 competitor Olivia Crews who won three gold medals in team events, and Dominque Melbourn who finished with 4 gold including wins in the U11 Ironwoman and Surf Race.
The U11 Surf Race was a club highlight with Melbourn doing enough to hold off crews in a tight finish.
“It was a pretty tight race between all three of us, in surf like anything can happen now I was just lucky enough to get a win today,” Melbourn said after the race.
Other athletes to pick up medals included Kai Lilienthal (U12s) who was part of two gold medal winning water teams, and Ruby Lovell (U13s) who earned two of her own in the team events.
Rounding out the podium performances for Northern Beaches clubs were Zoe Couzens (Bilgola) who won bronze in the U14 Female Flags and was a finalist in the Sprint, and Samuel Ferguson (Dee Why) who took silver in the U13 Beach Run.
The pair were joined as the lone medallists for their respective clubs by North Narrabeen’s Elizabeth Tyson (third in U12 Beach Run), and Toby Dorahy (Warriewood) who finished with a silver in the U11 Beach Run.
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.
2018 Age Championship Club Point Score
- Elouera SLSC - 179
- Newport SLSC - 174
- Cooks Hill SLSC - 172
- Cronulla SLSC- 165
- Manly LSC - 165
- Wanda SLSC - 160
- North Curl Curl SLSC -159
- Coogee SLSC - 149
- North Bondi SLSC - 140
- Swansea Belmont SLSC - 132
Wednesday 7 March 2018