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Bodyboarder on national title trail



COFFS Harbour bodyboarder Aaron Grice will be hoping his recent wave of success continues in Tasmania next week.

Grice is the only Coffs Harbour surfer competing at the National bodyboard titles at Clifton Beach, Tasmania, starting on Sunday and finishing on December 12.

The Jetty High student struck gold at the national titles last year in the grommets division (10-13 years), claiming the Australian title.

But he realises it will be a lot harder to repeat that effort this year, when he steps up to the cadets age group (14-15 years).

"I was one of the oldest last year, but I will be one of the younger ones in the cadet division this year," he said.

"I'm not really sure what to expect, but I know it will be harder than last year.

"Some of the 15-year-olds will be pretty good, so I'll have to wait and see how I go and what the conditions are like."

Grice admits he knows little about the competition he will come up against.

"I'm the only one from Coffs going and I don't know many of the other surfers competing," he said.

"I know a few Port lads, but that's about it."

To qualify for nationals, Grice needed to place in the semi-finals of the State titles, held at Avoca in August.

Grice qualified, but wasn't happy with his performance.

"I didn't surf too well at State," he said.

"There weren't many waves and I fell off most of them."

But Grice is pleased with his form heading into Nationals.

"I've been surfing alright lately," he said.

"I didn't start the year that good, but things have been going pretty well."

As well as strong displays in local competitions, Grice has also won the Jeff Wilcox classic at Forster and the regional title at Ballina this year.