Sawtell make mark
It has been a terrific start to the season by the young competitors in Sawtell Surf Life Saving Club with some outstanding individual and team results being recorded.
The NSW Surf Premiership is a prestigious series of four competitions held at different locations around NSW.
This is where the very best surf lifesavers compete and the results provide a club and individual ranking order at the end of the four races.
Sawtell has had a small team of eight competitors - Courtney and Bonnie Hancock, Kayla Russell, Sara Tisdell, Sara Walker, Zoe Bale, Jessica Cradock and Callan Thomson who have contested three races in the series at Shell Harbour, North Narrabeen and South West Rocks.
Despite the travelling and relative size of their team when compared to some of the large Sydney-based clubs, Sawtell is currently holding down ninth position in the overall ranking order from 61 competing clubs competing.
They are the second ranked country club behind Warilla Barrack Point.
Unfortunately with only the one round of races remaining it appears impossible for Sawtell to make up enough points to challenge them for the $3000 in prize money which will be awarded to the leading country club.
The State interbranch championships involve the best surf lifesavers from the 11 branches from around NSW who compete in a series of individual and team events to decide the best branch.
While the North Coast team didn't perform as well as expected, in the overall results there were some outstanding individual efforts, particularly from the Sawtell representatives.
As a result of their performances both Bonnie Hancock and Kayla Russell were selected in the NSW representative team to contest the InterState Championships at South Maroubra later this month.
Bonnie was also appointed the junior captain of the team, a special honour for her and the Sawtell club.
Following her success at the Australian Championships at Kurrawa last year when she won the under-16 ironwoman title, Sawtell's Courtney Hancock has been selected to represent Country NSW on a tour of New Zealand.
This will be a 15-day tour of the North Island which includes a series of five carnivals.
There have been two branch carnivals conducted this season at North Beach and Woolgoolga where Sawtell has convincingly won the points score.
The major carnivals in the surf season are all coming up in the early months of the year.
NSW Country Championships will be held at Pembula on the South Coast, the NSW State titles are scheduled for Umina on the Central Coast and the Australian Championships will be held at Kurrawa on the Gold Coast.
Sawtell will be well represented at each of these events and if enthusiasm, dedication and energy have any say in the results then our young competitors should come back big winners.