Copacabana SLSC’s Lauren Stone during the first day of open competition.
Copacabana SLSC’s Lauren Stone during the first day of open competition.

Surf athletes shine

OVERCAST skies greeted the first day of open competition at the 2011 Allphones New South Wales Surf Life Saving Championships at Kingscliff.

The competition, being hosted by Cudgen Headland Surf Life Saving Club, was anything but wet, with local and other country clubs showing a strong presence against their usually dominant city rivals.

Cudgen chairman David Field said he spent most of the day in first-aid and, thanks to the calm conditions, it was almost boring.

“There was a girl with me in the afternoon who was a little breathless from competing, but that was about as bad as it got,” Field said.

Locals he had talked to found the state championships a curiosity at least and a source of pride at most, Field said.

“In fact, I was talking to an elderly couple who felt quite proud looking down the beach at all the flags and action.”

Cudgen president Gary Cain said the club's open men were exceptional, gaining fifth in the ski relay and seventh in the board relay finals.

“The under-15 girls' swim team made the weekend final,” he said.

“The conditions are such that there's no luck involved thanks to the lack of swell, so it's just a matter of skill.”

Cain said he had heard of only one injury.

“It's been a great day, and with guys making finals you can't expect more than that, except to get the icing on the cake – the medals,” he said yesterday.

“We're definitely more confident at home and chomping at the bit to get out there tomorrow.

“Normally in state titles we only field 10 or 12 athletes, but we've got more than 30 today, and a lot of local support to go with it,” he said.



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