Cudgen rampages at titles
By GLEN SCOTT
THE CUDGEN Headland Surf Lifesaving Club crushed its competition in a comprehensive display at the NSW Country Surf Lifesaving Championships at Woolgoolga last weekend.
Cudgen took out the senior, combined and junior sections in a club performance that will have its bigger metropolitan rivals decidedly edgy prior to the state championships on February 10-12.
Ken Small, who coaches the under-15's through to the open team, was as impressed as anyone by the sheer dominance of his squad's performance.
"From a coaches perspective it was a wonderful effort and it gives the club a great platform to build on," Small said.
"It gives us a launching pad to go further and perform at the state championships."
Sandwiched amongst a glut of highlights in Woolgoolga, Cudgen won every male senior board rescue title, open and under-15 boys board races and, but for the early departure on Saturday of star board specialist Scott McCartney for state duties, were likely to make a clean sweep of the board relay as well.
"Unfortunately we lost to Byron Bay in the open relay but we took out the U-19 , U-17 and U-15 sections," Small said.
"If Scott had been able to compete I'm certain we would have taken out the opens as well."
One of the stellar performers for Cudgen was U-15 competitor Ben James, who won medals in every division.
James' helped himself to four gold medals in the U-15 division and two in the U-17 section, while he also grabbed bronze in the U19 board rescue and silver in the open taplin relay.
Rather than claim guru status, Small feels much of his success as a coach has been about coaching at the right time in the right place.
"The under-15 boys are an outstanding group of kids. I've worked this particular group since they were in the under12's," he explained.
"They basically won everything they entered. I think every coach is a good coach.
"It is the talent at your disposal that makes you look a lot better.
"I train everybody hard but they respond. They have a great work ethic."
Cudgen's juniors also enjoyed a memorable campaign, winning the Club Champion Shield for the fourth consecutive year.
There were some excellent performances in the U-8 to U-14 age groups, particularly in the beach and board relays.
Teams won gold in the under 9's, 11's and 12's board relay, the U-12 and U-14 beach relay and the U-8 wade relay. Eight juniors won individual gold medals.