IT WAS an exciting two days of competition for lifesavers from across the North Coast Branch returning from the 2018 Envirobank Country Surf Life Saving Championships with a swag of medals, and two clubs finishing inside the coveted top 10 on the overall standings.
Sawtell SLSC led the way finishing second overall at South West Rocks on 619 points behind runaway leaders Cudgen Headland, while Coffs Harbour (9th), Urunga (16th), Woolgoolga (22nd), and Minnie Water-Wooli (25th) all performed strongly.
There were a number of fantastic performances across the weekend which should give the athletes confidence ahead of next month’s NSW Championships and season-ending Australian titles.
Sawtell’s William Gromadzki picked up five medals during the championships including gold in the U14 2km Beach Run and Mixed Beach Relay event. Club mate Hayley Fischer had a busy program that saw her pick up seven medals including two gold.
Jaydan Stevens was another Sawtell competitor who will have fond memories of this year’s Country Championships after she took gold in the U19 Ironwoman (ahead of teammate Anna Fry), 2km Beach Run, U19 Board Race, and Board Relay, and Beach Relay events. She also finished on the podium in a number of other races putting an exclamation point on a very polished performance.
The Coffs Harbour U19 Male Surf Boat powered home to a gold medal while other club mates including Larnie Mordue (U10 Female Swim), and the U15 Male Cameron Relay team also recorded victories.
Urunga’s strong results came on the back of their Masters competitors with Tyron Cook, Nathan Steele and Bradley Cook leading the charge onto the podium.
Woolgoolga’s best performances of the weekend came in the surf boats with the Barracudas winning gold in the Open Male and the Mudcrabs taking out the 180+Masters division. The Open Female division was won by the Woopi Lion Fish.
Other strong Woolgoolga performances came from Garry Westwood, and Samuel Hodgson performed strongly in the surfboard riding, and Timothy Della (U17 Beach Sprint – 3rd) running well on the sand.
NSW Surf Sports manager Rob Pidgeon said it was an excellent weekend of competition.
“I would like to acknowledge all the athletes, officials and supporters for an outstanding weekend of racing conducted in the true spirit of surf life saving,” Rob said.
“Hosts South West Rocks have done an amazing job over the past few years and we’ve certainly enjoyed our time there. With attention now switching to the State Championships I want to wish everyone luck for the remainder of the season,” Mr Pidgeon said.
The NSW Country Championships will return in February 2019 when the event moves to Kingscliff on the State’s Far North Coast.
Top 10 standings overall:
Cudgen Headland (1048 points), Sawtell (619), Byron Bay (494), Warilla Barrack Point (349), Lennox Head - Alstonville (348), Mollymook (299), Port Macquarie (263), Yamba (209), Coffs Harbour (186) and Tacking Point (185).