Byron beats out Cudgen
By Adam Wratten
Traditional powerhouse Byron Bay swept to victory at the Far North Coast surf lifesaving branch championships at Fingal on the weekend.
Byron finished on 372 points to hold off a strong challenge from Cudgen Headland (327) with Lennox Head (128) third.
Yamba's Alyse Bennett was the stand-out competitor of the carnival, winning the open and under-19 ironwoman events and the open ski and board races.
Ballina's Robbie Miles won the men's open ironman and Byron's Kane Battese won the open surf event.
In the Masters competition, Cudgen was too strong for their rivals, scoring 330 points to beat out Lennox Head (213) and Byron (125) respectively.
Far North Coast director of competition John Watson said organisers were delighted with the carnival, the first full summer carnival to be held at Fingal in 17 years.
"This was the biggest championships we have held for some time," Watson said.
"The attendance was magnificent.
"There were 48 officials there .?.?. (and) we got every event out on time."
He praised the efforts of Fingal Rovers Surf Lifesaving Club.
"It is a small club stretched to its limits to organise this carnival," Watson said.
"They did a magnificent job and everyone was full of praise for them."
Fingal club spokesperson Dougal Forsyth said the club, which doesn't normally compete at carnivals, had a handful of entrants in action on the weekend.
Forsyth said the pick of these were Masters competitors Rex Budd who finished second in his surf and tube races and Peter Baird who won his tube race and came second in his surf race.