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Junior lifesavers from across Sydney enjoyed a highly successful return from the 2017 NSW Surf Life Saving Age Championships held at Blacksmiths Beach in Lake Macquarie last weekend.

Powerhouse Northern Beaches club Manly secured their eighth straight championship ahead of Sydney Branch rivals Wanda and Elouera finishing the meet with 23 gold medals.

It was a successful weekend for Manly twins Mitchell and Jake Morris who finished with 9 gold medals between them. The pair went one-two in the U12 Surf and Board Races before joining forces in the team events.

Others to shine were Kimberley Doyle who picked up three gold medals (U12 Surf, Board, and Ironwoman Races) and Nina van der Reyden who also stood in top spot on the podium three times in the U11 Beach Sprint, Flags, and Relay events.

North Curl Curl also enjoyed a successful carnival finishing 6th overall and second past the post from the Northern Beaches. The team won 6 gold medals with Olivia Clues and Ruby Lovel (U10s) both finishing with two golds apiece. The duo won gold in the Surf Team and Board Relay events, with Clues also picking up individual bronze in the Surf Race.

Olivia Alvarez (North Bondi) claimed her third successive State title in the U14 Female Flags race as defeating club mate and friend Capri Felix in an entertaining final.

“It feels great to be champion for a third time in the row, but it was really special to do it with my teammate,” she said.

South Maroubra’s Malikye Kessie once again confirmed his sprinting prowess on the sand with two gold medals in the U12 Beach Sprint and Flag events.

It was the Bate Bay clubs of Wanda and Elouera who enjoyed the most success from south of the Harbour Bridge.

After earlier winning gold in the Swim and Board races, Fletcher Warn (Wanda) led from start to finish in the Ironman capping off a dream day in the U11 water events on Sunday.

“I’m stoked to get the win – I wasn’t happy because I didn’t get a good start so I dived under the waves. I couldn’t see the cans in that first leg but once I got to them it was fine, but was definitely hoping for a wave on the way back in,” he said.

There was a special moment in the U14 Female Beach Relay as the Elouera team consisting of April Druery, Holly Porter, Bridgitte Salib and Rachel Tougher lined up for the final time as junior competitors.

The girls have competed together and used the same running order ever since they debuted at the State Championships in the U8s and they used the emotion of the event to come away with another gold medal.

NSW Surf Sports Manager Rob Pidgeon felt that despite the challenges of the weather and the conditions 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. It was certainly played in the right spirit, and all the Nippers, their families, and their clubs can look back with pride on what has been a fantastic surf sport season.

“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.

2017 Age Championship Club Point Score:

• Manly LSC 349

• Wanda SLSC 201

• Elouera SLSC 194

• Cooks Hill SLSC 192

• Swansea Belmont SLSC 135

• North Curl Curl SLSC 107

• North Bondi SLSC 94

• Coogee SLSC 94

• Cronulla SLSC 90

• South Maroubra SLSC 89


Wednesday 8 March 2017