Perfect start -- Cudgen Headland launches title defence with strong display

By GEOFF ROUNDS

CHRISTMAS came early for the Cudgen Headland Surf Life Saving Club with a dominant display in the December Carnival at Kingscliff Beach yesterday ensuring the club's second consecutive overall championship.

The reigning NSW Country Champions stamped their authority on the annual carnival, claiming the overall honours with a massive 407 points.

Southern rivals Lennox Head (253) finished a distant second ahead of Byron Bay (170) with Coolangatta (93) and Cabarita (76) completing the top five.

Cudgen Headland Old Boys Association secretary Keith Kennedy said the carnival,which attracted competitors from clubs from as far south as Yamba and north to Maroochydore, was an ideal hitout for the host club ahead of the NSW Country Championships.

"Everything went quite well for us as a club," Kennedy said. "As the reigning country club champion we were keen to defend our title. This was a real good test too see where we are at as a club."

Among the standout performers for the champion club were Tahnee Fleming was among the standouts for Cudgen Headland, claiming victory in the open ironwoman while club-mate Rohan Small who dominated the open surf events.

Cudgen also collected wins in the open surf teams, U19 Taplin, U17-19 surf team, open boat race, open mixed double ski, open ski relay, open female ski relay and the U17 open male board rescue.

Masters competitor Russell Zahn continued the haul for the host club in the over-40 surf events, while Michael Waehorn (open flags), Mitchell James (under 15 board riding) and Ben James (U17 male ski and board riding) also saluted the judges. Brea Bailey (open ski) and Leane Seary (over 40 sprint) were among the winners in the women's events but Cudgen SLSC didn't have everything their own way. Coolangatta claimed the Masters boat race and clubman Kye Hawkins took out the over-24 men's surf event. Cabarita competitors also impressed with Ben Andrews taking out the open sprint final while Steve Sharp won the over-40 event. Under-15 competitor Nathan Sharp triumphed completed the flags and sprint double while club-mate Ryan Andrews won the under-17 flags final.

Lennox Head's Tanyn Lindon was named the Competitor of the Carnival.

The competitive season resumes for Far North Coast clubs in early January. The major focus for Cudgen then will be the Far North Coast juniors carnival on January 6, followed by the NSW Country Championships. Cudgen will defend their title at the carnival to be held at Tacking Point near Port Macquarie from January 18-20.



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