Cudgen dominates inaugural Country NSW team
Competitors from Cudgen Headlands dominate the inaugural NSW Country team to contest the interstate surf lifesaving titles next month.
Seven from the Tweed Coast power club have made the 12-strong NSW Country team for the interstate carnival, to be held at Moana Beach in Adelaide's southern suburbs.
The decision by NSW officials to send two teams to the titles is seen as a great way to fast-track the progress of a number of younger competitors by matching them with the best. A NSW Country team has contested a tri-series against Central Coast and New Zealand for a number of years but this is the first time they will be tackling the open division at interstate level.
The Interstate Championships are a highlight of the surf sport representative season with state pride on the line.
Each state is allowed to field a maximum of 12 competitors (six male, six female) in the open and youth categories with four U17 athletes to be part of the youth squad, although different selection rules apply for this inaugural NSW Country squad.
Scott McCartney is coaching NSW Country and believes the introduction of the team is a good idea.
"The Country team has been pretty strong since the tri-series started and it's a good way to show young kids in country clubs that the country generates so many stars of the sport,” he said, throwing up the name of Courtney Hancock as a good example.
"It is a good way to showcase the kids coming through.”
The seven Cudgen representatives heading for Adelaide in the Country team are Luke Chaffer, Claudia Crawford, Joshua Jones, Angus Macphail, Jayden Mandall, Hayley Smith and Sarah Wilson. Warilla-Barrack Point SLSC has provided Jayden Allen, Madeleine Baker, Brooke Cavanagh and Jordan White while Steine Lofts (Molly- mook) completes the 12.
Another Cudgen member Anthea Warne is in the NSW youth team for the carnival.
Preparations will continue to ramp up over the coming weeks with the squad travelling to Adelaide on Wednesday, January 18 for a pre-competition camp before the Interstate Championships are held on Friday, January 20, 2018.
Cudgen new home for Country Championships
Meanwhile, Cudgen Headland SLSC has been confirmed as the host of the upcoming Envirobank Country Championships in 2019 and 2020.
The competition will switch to its new home at Kingscliff after three summers at South West Rocks.
The decision ends a 15-year absence from Far North Coast beaches with the last Country Champs to be held in the region also taking place at Kingscliff back in 2003.
Since that time Byron Bay and Cudgen Headland have emerged as two of the strongest clubs in Country NSW, engaging in some titanic struggles in recent seasons with the latter ending Byron's championship winning streak at South West Rocks in 2017.
The champs are expected to deliver an economic boost to the region, with 1500 competitors, officials and supporters expected to descend on the Tweed coastal town.
The 2018 Envirobank Country Championships will be held at South West Rocks on the weekend of February 4 -5.