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The 2019 Australian Surf Life Saving Championships, better known as 'The Aussies' to its 6,500 competitors, begins this weekend with the cream of NSW youth athletes set to take centre stage first up.

The stretch of sand from Burleigh to Broadbeach on the Gold Coast, will host 450 events over the next 9 days, with surf lifesavers travelling from every state and three international clubs participating.

NSW won both the 2019 Interstate Challenge and the Youth Pathways Cup representative events in January, with the NSW juniors taking the title with a dominating 34 point lead over our northern rivals Queensland. This strength on the sand and in the water will give them the motivation to continue their success this weekend at the Australian Youth Championships.

Altogether, almost 2,500 NSW athletes will compete across the Youth, Masters and Opens divisions.

NSW clubs will be represented across a broad spectrum of events ranging from the most traditional including Rescue & Resuscitation, March Past, Champion Lifesaver, to the modern and prestigious Ironperson events, Beach Flags, Sprints and Surf Race. There will also be over 100 teams events including relays First Aid Competition and Patrol Competition, all of which NSW have good chances of winning gold.

SLSNSW Director of Surf Sports Don Van Keimpema said on the eve of the 104th year since the event was first staged at Bondi, “It’s so good we’re going to Broadbeach for some great surf racing. We’ll be showing the best of the best what we can do in some great conditions.

“The surf looks like being around 1-1.5metre waves with an outer bank. It will be testing but exciting racing for the board and ski competitors in particular. It will be anyone’s race. The beach is a bit narrower after the cyclone last month but it will add to the exhilaration of the event.”

Cudgen Headland’s talented Under 15 Ironwoman Lily O’Sullivan doesn’t have to travel far to this year’s event, but can’t wait to compete with her strong and developing team. After taking a second place in the Shannon Eckstein Classic last weekend on the Gold Coast she says the competition has been closer than ever.

“The top girls in NSW in the Under 15s are all about the same level at the moment, so it will be pretty close racing, even with more waves than we’ve had this season. Being in the right place when the waves come through will play a big part in the results more than ever this weekend.”

Cooks Hill are the 2019 NSW Age Champions and their competition manager Michael Clancy says the 20-strong team of mostly first-timers to Aussies, have set themselves up for the conditions that are different to back home in the Hunter.

“The team has been here since Tuesday and has spent their time experiencing and working out the sweep of the currents and the power of the waves. Aussies is a great event for our kids to attune themselves to the stronger clubs, especially in Queensland. They love seeing the depth of talent of others, pitting themselves against the people they don’t get to compete against usually.”

After winning the NSW Age Championships, Clancy says the proof of their talent is clear, “when you see the number of champion Iron competitors and board racers in the club now, it really shows the strength of training we have at Cooks Hill.”

Clancy says to keep an eye out for both Sophia McMahon in the U15 Surf Race and Charlie Walker who will test himself competing up in the Under 15s Surf Race.

Newport SLSC took out the 2019 NSW Surf Life Saving Championships and with a super squad lining up for the youth weekend they’re confident they’ll give the Queenslanders a run for their money. Newport’s Mitchell Trim says the Mitchell brothers and the Doyle family have been outstanding all season and are among the very best youth competitors in the country.

“We've got a really good crew at Newport. The young kids coming up are very, very impressive. We train hard but have a good old time and the club is in a really good place at the moment.

“Coming off a strong win at State Champs, I think you can expect to see the momentum following through to Aussies in both our individual and teams events. I can’t wait for the young guys to get out there and show Australia what they’ve got.

"Mitch Morris took out the Under 15 Shannon Eckstein Classic last weekend and he’ll be looking to keep that fire burning this weekend,” said Trim.

From the south coast, expect to see Elli Beecham from Narooma SLSC take to the sand and challenge the girls in the U15 Beach Flags and Sprints. Champion Ironman Ali Day’s grass-roots club, Warilla-Barrack Point SLSC are on a fast-track to re-developing their club’s dominance in surf sports. They are sending a squad of 20 up to Queensland and are hoping to return with medals and great experiences to build on.

The Central Coast will also be represented by athletes who had exceptional results at the NSW Champs. Look out for U15 NSW Board Champion Natalia Drobot and Ryan Green from Avoca in the boys who has also been in great form. 

Competition begins on Saturday 30 March at North Burleigh for the Youth Championships. Competition will then move to Broadbeach Surf Life Saving Club from 1-7 April, with the Masters and Opens competition.

Livestream of the event will run Saturday 30 - Sunday 31 March and Wednesday 3 – Sunday 7 April

Results will be available at 


Friday 29 March 2019