The 2014 Stramit NSW Country Surf Life Saving Championships is set to kick off next Friday at the new venue of Mollymook Beach on the state’s South Coast.
With close to 1200 competitors already registered to take part, the Country Championships will run from Friday 17 January to Sunday 19 January 2014.
The championships is a unique event only open to clubs outside metropolitan areas giving country athletes another chance to compete at the highest level to not only continue their preparation for the State and National titles, but also to help drive their club to supremacy in the junior, senior and overall point scores.
The NSW Country Championships is the only event on the surf sport calendar to feature a full range of events including surfboats, as well as all age groups from U8s through to Masters, within a three-day surf carnival.
President of Surf Life Saving NSW, Tony Haven, says it’s fantastic to bring such a major surf life saving event to the South Coast again.
‘We’re really excited to be bringing the Stramit NSW Country Surf Life Saving Championships to Mollymook’, he said. ‘It’s the most significant event we’ve held on the South Coast for a number of years and the perfect platform for our country athletes to reach exciting new levels of performance on the beach and in the water.
‘It is a big time of the year for the state’s surf sports athletes and with the strong support of a very proactive Shoalhaven council, Mollymook SLSC and Stramit the 2014 country champs is looking to be a fantastic showcase of our sport’, he said.
Northern NSW clubs dominated the event in 2013 and with 2011, 2012 and 2013 Champions Byron Bay SLSC again fielding a strong roster including NSW State Team athletes Josh Brown and Ela Heiniger, Byron will once again be the club to beat in Mollymook.
‘Country is one of the best Carnivals of the year! I have been training really hard for Country; it’s a big achievement to go well there and a big stepping stone towards State Champs and then Aussies’, said Ela Heiniger.
‘My goals this year are to do well in the team events. The team spirit for Byron Bay is always great and all the clubs are very competitive in a good natured way. The younger kids look up to the older kids so you want to act as a mentor and role model and do well for them as well as yourself.’
However this year, South Coast clubs are primed for a big showing with a number of clubs taking advantage of the close proximity of the event to field enormous teams of all ages including Mollymook, Broulee, Moruya, Shellharbour and Warilla Barrack Point.
NSW Gold Medallist, Ben Carberry, (Warilla Barrack Point) says a lot of the South Coast athletes are relishing the chance to compete on home turf.
‘The atmosphere at the Country Champs is awesome. It’s so exciting to be staying local this year and it is a chance to prove ourselves’, said Carberry.
2014 Stramit NSW Country Championships Facts and Figures:
Over 1150 athletes currently registered to compete at the event
Over 230 events will be contested, with almost 700 medals on offer
33 surf clubs from Cudgen Headland to Pambula will battle it out for the Club Championship
The event will bring more than 5000 people to the Shoalhaven region
2014 Stramit NSW Country Championships Media Information:
The Stramit NSW Country Championships run from Friday 17 January to Sunday 19 January 2013
Juniors, Seniors, Masters and Surf Boats events will all feature
Daily wrap and results press releases will be forwarded at the end of each today, with a fully compiled list of all results sent out at the conclusion of the carnival
Day 1 Start Times – Friday 17 January: Water Areas 8:00am; Beach Area 3:00pm
Day 2 Start Times – Saturday 18 January: Water Areas 8:00am; Beach Area 8:00am; Surf Boats 8:00am
Day 3 Start Times – Sunday 19 January: Water Areas 8:15am; Beach Area 7:45am; March Past 9:15am
The carnival will run to the late-afternoon on the first two days, but is expected to conclude shortly after lunch time on Sunday
Championships Timetable and other information is available on the Country Championships Event Page.