Title lifts us to No. 1
By Bob Anthony
CUDGEN Headland Surf Life Saving Club is on a roll.
In January, the club won the NSW Country Surf Life Saving Championships and yesterday they added the Far North Coast Branch Championships at Kingscliff Beach.
The rare double makes Cudgen arguably the best country lifesaving club in NSW.
A jubilant club president Gary Cain was delighted with the result and the team effort shown at Kingscliff yesterday.
Not only did the club win but did it convincingly against heavyweight rivals and former branch champions Byron Bay. Lennox Head finished third overall.
It was day of firsts for Cudgen, winning the open taplin relay for the first time and under 19 and open ironwoman champion Brea Bailey being named as the competitor of the carnival.
"We had some outstanding individual results but it was a great all-round performance by the club and the members should be very proud," Cain said.
"The conditions weren't the best, a very small surf which meant there wasn't too much assistance for competitors.
"Some of our competitors got stung by blue bottles but they carried on which was a credit to them."
Cain said there had been a good feeling in the club leading up the branch carnival following the success at the country championships at Wollongong last month.
He said they had expected Byron to be their main rivals for the title and while he thought Cudgen was a strong chance to claim the crown, club coach Ken Small wasn't so sure.
"I thought the competition was actually much closer than the end result," Small said.
"At one stage I thought we were behind so I was surprised to see what the winning margin was."
Cudgen dominated in the standings, claiming the title by more than 100 points.
Cain said there was great strength in the under 19s with Bailey and the trio of Jarrad Cain, Robbie Miles and Scott McCartney shining while the Cudgen junior ranks are also very bright, especially in the under 15s.
He paid tribute to the officials and volunteers who helped set up for the carnival which went ahead under the threat of a storm.
The carnival also saw the debut of the Salt lifesaving club with an under 19 and reserve boat crew entered.
The successes at both championships means there's plenty of momentum for Cudgen competitors going into the NSW Championships at Cronulla in March.
Small said there was a good chance that the club's under 19 stars could medal at the state titles with Bailey a strong chance in the ironwoman, Miles and Cain in the ironman, Cain in the swim and McCartney in the board race.
But before that, they will be heading down to Lorne in Victoria for the world championships in two weeks time.
The world championships have already started for masters competitors and the club was informed late yesterday that national championship winner Jan Gielis had won gold in 55-59 women's pool obstacle race.