March 10-16, 2024: Issue 617


2024 SLS NSW Age State Surf Life Saving Championships

Ready, Set, GO! Photo: Anthony Rose, volunteer photographer from hosts Queenscliff Surf Life Saving Club

The 2024 NSW Age Surf Life Saving Championships, proudly presented by Your local club kicked off on the Northern beaches from Thursday 7 March, with thousands of the state’s best young lifesavers preparing to battle it out in the surf and on the sand over the coming four days.

Queenscliff SLSC, alongside Freshwater SLSC to the north and North Steyne SLSC to the south, is the scene for four days of excitement and action, with U9 through to U15 competitors contesting a slew of events including swims, boards, relays, beach sprints and flags, through to Rescue and Resuscitation and the Junior March Past event on Sunday.

The 2024 NSW Surf Life Saving Championships, proudly supported by Your local club, began the previous weekend with Lifesaving Championships 1-3 March and runs through to 17 March at Queenscliff, North Steyne and Freshwater beaches. 

The NSW Surf Life Saving Championships, proudly presented by Your local club is the largest event of its kind in NSW, with more than 20,000 competitors, officials and spectators to filter through the competition area over the course of the coming two weeks – Masters, Open and Surf Boat Championships will be contested next week, and the Lifesaving Championships ran at Freshwater over the weekend.

North Bondi SLSC is the defending Age Surf Life Saving club champion, with Coogee SLSC, Wanda SLSC, South Maroubra SLSC and traditional Age powerhouse, North Curl Curl SLSC among the clubs chasing top spot.

Following a successful Country Championships just under a month ago at Warilla-Barrack Point SLSC, Surf Life Saving NSW Director and Chair of Surf Sports, Don van Keimpema is anticipating Nippers will be eager and ready to go.

“We’re really looking forward to this – the stage is set, the weather looks like it will be stunning, and we’re ready for all the best young athletes to hit the beach over the next four days,” he said.

“The State Championships is our showpiece event, our opportunity to bring everyone together from up and down the NSW coastline doing the things we love. The Age Championships is a fantastic platform to further our young members’ lifesaving journey.

“We’ve got three fantastic beaches and we’re back in metropolitan Sydney for a third year, it’s going to be a great showcase of sportsmanship and talent.”

The first official NSW Championship event for Nippers was held in 1968 at Merewether Beach in the Hunter Branch with over 1,000 young athletes.

Now, some 54 years later, we will see more than 2,500 enthusiastic Nippers and young lifesavers competing at the highest level – a testament to the evolving nature of the Championships and its ability to inspire and establish great athletes.

For host club, Queenscliff, it’s the benefit of waking up each morning in your own bed that will spur them towards success.

“With State Champs on our beach again the excitement is palpable,” Queenscliff Team Manager, Shona Rose said.

“We’re going to have about 130 competitors all up, including our Masters and Opens, and the sentiment is not lost on them that they’re competing on their home beach.”

The first of many State surf sport carnivals for NSW’s youngest competitors kicked off on Thursday, with many laying solid foundations for future success across an exciting day in the surf and on the sand.

Key winners across the day included a pair of hometown heroes. Queenscliff SLSC’s Leo Ormond picked up an U9 Male Beach Sprint gold medal to rapturous applause in the beach track in front of his surf club, but perhaps the most dramatic win of the day was reserved for North Steyne SLSC’s Hugo Collins.

Hot but otherwise perfect conditions helped the state’s best young surf athletes claim a slew of new medals as the 2024 NSW Surf Life Saving Age Championships put on a mesmerising Day Two for competitors, officials and spectators alike.

Two more water zones were opened on Friday 8 March to accommodate the increase in participants, with athletes from U9s to U14s all mingling across the carnival.

After spending their first ever day of State Championships on the sand, U9 athletes transitioned into the water and showed the future is truly bright, with athletes displaying some incredible skills in the afternoon’s finals package.

Congratulations to Joseva Ranatawake from the Manly LSC who took gold in the U10 Male Surf Race, and Alastair P of North Narrabeen, Hugo C of North Steyne, Will C of Manly, Tommaso P of Manly and Ryder S of Dee Why who all made the Final too from a list of 126 athletes competing in this event.

Congratulations to Manly Team A - for Gold in the U14 Male Board Relay; Jacob C, Thomas McM and Henry W, and to North Steyne Team A and Manly Team B  who made the Final. 

Congratulations to Freshwater Team A - who secured the Gold in the U13 Male Board Rescue; Harrison A and Bradley N.

Congratulations to Hudson W of Collaroy SLSC who won Bronze in the U9 Male Surf Race from a list of 141 confirmed competing athletes, and to River C, North Curl Curl, Hudson M, Collaroy, Hamish McD, Dee Why, Sol R, Manly, and Koby C, Freshwater, for also being among the Final action.

Well done to North Curl Curl Team A - U10 Male Beach Relay for North Curl Curl; Raif B, Darcy S, Caden S and Samuel T for their Silver in the U10 Male Beach Relay, North Curl Curl Green - for Bronze in the U9 Male Board Relay; River C, James D and Xavier M, North Curl Curl Team A -for Bronze in the U13 Female Board Relay; Evie D, Olivia W and Emma W, to North Curl Curl Team A - for Bronze in the U12 Male 2 x 500m Beach Run Relay to Jackson H and Lucas M, and to Darcy S, North Curl Curl, who won Silver in the U10 Male Beach Sprint.

FOR ALL RESULTS (as they become available) CLICK HERE

Photos courtesy Anthony Rose, volunteer photographer from hosts Queenscliff Surf Life Saving Club and report by Surf Lifesaving New South Wales - more pictures below