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It was an extraordinarily successful return for junior surf lifesavers from across Sydney at the 2018 NSW Age Surf Life Saving Championships held at Blacksmiths Beach last weekend with five clubs finishing inside the coveted top 10 on the overall point score.

For the first time in almost a decade a club other than Manly will have their name etched on the Championship trophy after the kids from Elouera claimed the top spot with 25 medals and their first ever title.

Bate Bay rivals Cronulla (4th), and Wanda (6th) also performed strongly across the 3-day competition, with Coogee (8th) and North Bondi (9th) rounding out the final placings.

Among a host of strong performances for the champions was Max Geronimo who won three gold medals in the U14 Beach Sprint, Relay, and Mixed Beach Relay races, Sybelllah Daly who was part of the winning U9 Female Surf Team and Board Relay events, and dual team gold medallists Lachlan Crossle, Emily Nguyen, and Peter Thoroughgood.   

“One of our highlights was our U9 girls for their first time at State got a gold in the Surf Team a gold in the Board Relay, silver in the Sprint, silver in the Board, so for their first experience these kids must think this is what it’s all about, they will be thinking this is just what goes on without realising how tough and rare it is to take out the Championships,” said a delighted Elouera Junior Director Michael Randazzo.

“It’s important to celebrate this year first and then work out the plan going forward, but no doubt the kids will be up there next year again, Swansea has been a good venue for us so we are looking forward to next season,” he said.

Despite winning the same amount of medals as Elouera, Cronulla couldn’t quite close the gap. In encouraging signs for the future some of their best performances came from the U9 rookies.

Young guns Sabina De Battista (3 gold medals), and Taleah Miller (4 gold) will have fond memories of their first ever NSW Championships. Other strong wins were recorded by Eden Taciak who won the U10 Female Beach Flags, and U12 1km Beach Runner Hanah Dalgleish who was crowned champion in her event.

Wanda too enjoyed plenty of success with strong wins to beach runners Jacob Fong (U12s) and Dane Mitchell (U13s). Keira Vincent (U11s) claimed a beach/flag double, while Fletcher Warn performed strongly in the water.

Coogee’s successful weekend came on the back of solid results in the team events while individually Eden Levit (U12 Female Beach Sprint), and Ethan Smith (U13 Beach Flags) claimed gold medals.

North Bondi were yet another Sydney club where team efforts would eventually play a significant role in the overall result. Young guns Sofia Clifton (U13s), Saskia Roberts (U13s), Toby Rodgers (U12s) and Finn Wicks (U12s) were all multiple gold medallists thanks to their team efforts.

Rising star Lily Finati who has enjoyed plenty of success throughout her junior years would sign off on her final Age Championships with 4 silver medals including in a highly competitive U14 Ironwoman final.  

NSW Surf Sports Manager Rob Pidgeon said that it was a highly successful competition for the young athletes.

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