Individually they’re stars, together they’re unstoppable
ALONE they're great, but together they are a force to be reckoned with.
A group of Coffs Coast girls banded together recently to take out a major team surfing event in a victory which has seen them dubbed a 'golden generation' by local surf icon Lee Winkler.
The girls headed to Kirra for the prestigious Junior Teams Challenge, an event clubs from all over Australia compete in.
The tournament is broken down into under-14, under-16, under-18 and over-25, with points added up at the end of the competition to determine a grand champion.
Thanks to incredible performances from all members, this year's winner was the Coffs Harbour Boardriders Club.
Wooli gun Carly Shanahan was also awarded surfer of the event.
Winkler said he noticed something special in this group when they joined forces in 2018.
"They came fourth in this event last year and I said to them after it if they stick together and continue to grow as a team they'll win it in the coming years. I didn't think it would be 12 months later," Winkler said.
The former professional surfer said the girls complement each other with their varying styles and noted what separates them from other teams is their intelligence.
"Some have a surf life saving background and are physical and strong in the water," he said.
"The swell was high and rough on the Sunday and a lot of the clubs were a bit hesitant. Our girls weren't afraid to take it on."
"They all surfed smart throughout the event and listened to the coaches, because of that they came away with success. I'm so proud of all of them."
The top coach also didn't hesitate to agree they are a golden generation of local female surfers.
He said for a group of girls with some age differences more than 10 years to gel so quickly was special.
"They're still very young, they were probably the youngest team in the comp, so to be the youngest and win it shows how promising they are. There's a lot to look forward to with this group.
"They're really supportive and great friends which is so important. Friendships last a lifetime but competitions don't."
To show the quality of opposition they beat at Kirra, the second placed Snapper Rocks team featured a former WSL surfer and a competitor who just won a world series qualifying event. Now Winkler's eyes are firmly fixed on assisting the group pick up even bigger scalps over the coming years.
"Hopefully we can get them into some adult events so they can test their skills against the best at that level."
A combined Woolgoolga and Sawtell team came fifth in the Kirra Junior Teams Challenge.