The 2014 Queensland Junior Surf Life Saving Championships ended in a thriller today with Northcliffe taking out the event by the narrowest of margins.
The Gold Coast club finished on 210 points to claim overall honours by just one point from Maroochydore on 209 points. Currumbin rounded out the podium, finishing the three-day competition on 168 points.
The rough surf conditions which disrupted events on Saturday deteriorated further overnight, prompting officials to move the third and final day of competition to the calmer waters of Currumbin Creek.
Northcliffe and Maroochydore entered the final day of competition in a close tussle, and it was clear the Championships would go down to the wire with both clubs collecting gold medals in the morning events.
For Maroochydore, it was Grace Kaihau who took out the under-14 ironwoman while Northcliffe’s Mitchell Coombes claimed gold in the under-14 ironman.
A double win in the male and female under-14 surf board relays saw Maroochydore eyeing off an historic victory, but a raft of consistent performances from Northcliffe was enough for the Gold Coast club to seal the overall win.
The final day of competition saw state titles heading to all corners of the state.
Emu Park picked up several medals with Matilda Phelan winning gold in the under-14 female surf race and bronze in the ironwoman, while club-mate Joshua Williams took out the under-12 male surf race.
Eimeo youngster Meg Harris proved she’ll be one to look out for when she took out the under-12 ironwoman final.
Sunshine Beach was also a dominant force in the board relays, winning under-12 male event and both male and female events in the under-13 age division.
Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) surf sports manager Stuart Hogben said the decision to suspend events yesterday and, ultimately, shift the competition away from Kirra Beach had been the correct call.
“We obviously would have preferred the competition to continue as planned at Kirra, but you can’t control Mother Nature,” he said.
“The safety and well-being of our young competitors has been our first priority throughout the entire Championships, and that was the basis of our decision to move today’s events to Currumbin Creek.
“We were able to get through some of the water events yesterday, but the conditions worsened overnight and again this morning and we certainly weren’t willing to take any risks when it came to competitor safety,” he said.
The annual championships saw more than 1,500 nippers, aged 11-14, from all over Queensland line up across three days of competition.
“The Queensland Junior Surf Life Saving Championships is the pinnacle sporting event for our junior members,” Mr Hogben said.
“The calibre of athletes this year has been incredible, and the participation and sportsmanship we’ve seen from all the kids has been astounding,” he said.
For the overall club point score, please click here.
For the handicap club point score, please click here.
A full list of results can be found online here: http://sportqld.srv01.carnival.sls.com.au/eventmgr/results/report/public/248/1