Yamba’s Nathan Hollis launches for the flag at the lifesaving championships at Kingscliff.
Yamba’s Nathan Hollis launches for the flag at the lifesaving championships at Kingscliff. Scott Powick

Surf comp hits sand running

KINGSCLIFF yesterday played host to thousands of New South Wales nippers on the first day of the 2011 State Age Surf Life Saving Championships.

Cudgen Headland SLSC head coach Phil Klein said his 95-strong nipper team trained three times a week in the lead-up to the event.

“This is the biggest event of the year,” Mr Klein said.

“They’re doing the club, the community and me very proud.

“On Saturday there will be mostly individual events, and I’m hoping many kids will make the finals for Sunday.”

Salt SLSC team manager Craig Mandall said all the area’s clubs were doing well in excellent surf carnival conditions.

“Particularly in the board rescue, I’m impressed with how my and the other local teams are doing,” Mr Mandall said.

“It’s not a premium event like the flags, which Tweed’s clubs have also done well at, but it’s true to the surf lifesaving spirit of training people to save lives.”

Yamba SLSC nippers co-ordinator Kim McFarlane said she and her team were impressed not just with the conditions but with Cudgen SLSC’s hand- ling of the event.

“The kids have had a ball watching everything going on and getting a feel for the way the other teams operate,” Ms McFarlane said. “It hasn’t been too hot, though the sand had a bit of bite to it around noon, and the kids are looking forward to hitting the water on Saturday.

“Hopefully the conditions will stay the same.”

The day was not without some unlucky casualties, as an Elouera competitor was removed from the water with a twisted ankle after 9am DST and a nipper from Collaroy was taken to Tweed Hospital with suspected spinal injuries about noon.

A New South Wales Ambulance Service spokesman said the 10-year-old boy was in a stable condition.



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