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Bragging rights and glory were on the line last weekend as the best surfers from lifesaving clubs around NSW came together at North Narrabeen for the 2018 NSW Midford Board Riding Championships.

There were spills and thrills, and while the weather didn’t always co-operate throughout the three-days of competition, it didn’t affect the competitors performance.

Bronte’s Anthony Carroll of Bondi Rescue Fame, had a stellar competition on his way to multiple gold medals. The experienced surfer won both short and long board 40-49 competition before backing it up on Sunday to take out the Open Long Board Division ahead of Adriaan Van Der Wallen (Palm Beach SLSC)

“We are in a modern day now,” said Carroll,

"It’s about being a good waterman or woman, about being part of a community. Not just looking east or looking west, and bringing the broader community into the lifesaving movement. Being a board rider, it makes sense to be in a surf club and for Surf Life Saving NSW to support it in its surf sports format."

Others to impress on the opening day last Friday in the Masters Competition included Christine Maybury (North Bondi SLSC), and Cronulla’s Emma Larssen who went one/two in the 30-39 Long Board and Short Board. While another Bondi Rescue lifeguard, Ryan Clark (Bronte) in the Male 30 – 39 Division, Nikki Drobot (Avoca Beach) and North Bondi’s Greg Clifford (60-69) were also double gold winners.

The best swell conditions were arguably on Day 2 and the youngest competitors took full advantage in a spectacular day of surfing. The judges from Surfing NSW and North Narrabeen Boardriders remarking that the skills on display wouldn’t be out of place on the junior circuit.

Winners in the junior competition were shared between the clubs.

On the Short Board the female gold medallists were Kiahni Scott (Manly LSC – U13s), club mate Evie Coulter took out both the U14s and the U15s. Sofie Boyd (Cudgen Headland SLSC) was judged the best of the best in the U17s before backing up to take bronze in tightly contested Open Female Short Board Final.

The teenage men who stood atop the podium in Short Board Riding included Max Timbrell (Bulli SLSC) who won the U13s Division and Jack Roberts (Avalon Beach SLSC) – U14s.

Sawtell’s James Hill was judged the best board rider in the U15s, and Max Bullen (Kiama Downs) was crowned the U17 champion.

After two days of biding their time the U19 and Open competitors finally had their turn on Sunday with a number of youngsters backing up their earlier efforts to compete against their experienced counterpart.

Thirroul teenager Darci Air surfed her way to an impressive 4th place in the Open Female Long Board final behind medallists Sophie Wade (Palm Beach SLSC), Taylor Durrant (Cabarita Beach SLSC), and Newport’s Isabella Stevens before she went on to secure gold in the Open Short Board Division.

Max Bullen won gold in the Open Male Short Board ahead of Wanda’s Tyler Nott. Nott would earn a second silver medal in the U19 Division of the same event behind Cudgen Headland’s Kai Onley.

The event also made history after a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Surf Life Saving NSW President David Murray, and John O'Neill (Surfing NSW Chairperson), which heralds a new era of cooperation between the two sports on Friday.

Some of the features of the new agreement include lifeguards and lifesaving assets provided to increase safety at Surfing NSW competitions, while the Surf Life Saving Academy will conduct First Aid Training for the Maroubra-based organisation.

“The MOU is an important document which will allow members from both organisations to gain benefits, and it was fantastic to sign it at a surf break that is special both to surf lifesavers and surfers,” said SLSNSW President David Murray who was on hand to watch the competition.

“Many of our members enjoy getting into the water and having asurf which was evident in the joy, that the more than one hundred competitors had throughout these championships.

“We’re looking forward to continue to cooperate with Surf NSW,” he said.

The 2018 NSW Midford Board Riding Championships were held at North Narrabeen SLSC from Friday 7 – Sunday 9 September. For full results, please click here

Monday 10 September 2018