Big start to the year in sport
LISMORE tennis player Brendan Moore created history when he won the Ballina New Year Open for a record third time.
He came up against a familiar face in the final and was too strong for Queenslander Brad Clews winning 6-2 6-4.
Moore won the event back-to-back in 2011 and 2012 and now runs a coaching business at Tweed Heads after several years playing overseas.
LENNOX Head teenager Jay Mackenzie was selected to represent NSW in the Australian boys amateur and interstate team series.
A quarter-final appearance in the Golf NSW amateur matchplay championships last month and a string of other good performances around Christmas and New Year paved the way for his spot.
Byron Bay surfer Matt Wilkinson announced his arrival on the professional scene by winning the first event of the year at the Quiksilver Pro on the Gold Coast.
It was a double celebration for the Far North Coast with Tyler Wright winning the Roxy Pro to kick-start her year where she would go on to win the world title.
Meanwhile, Wilkinson proved it was no fluke by winning the Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach, Victoria two weeks later.
CUDGEN continued its impressive run by winning back-to-back premierships in Far North Coast LJ Hooker League cricket.
In a clean sweep, they finished the season as one-day and two-day champions beating Marist Brothers and Lennox Head at Reg Dalton Oval, Kingscliff.
They hammered home the win in convincing fashion at the two-day final when Lennox capitulated on the second day when bowled out for only 102 chasing 259.
DODGER Devils had a convincing 9-0 win against Workers Condors in the Far North Coast Division 1 Softball grand final.
They scored eight runs in the first innings and finished the season with the minor and major premierships.
LENNOX Head nipper Niamh Sharpe won a gold medal in the under-9 board race at the New South Wales Surf Life Saving Championships at Umina on the Central Coast.
She also won a silver in the surf race, breaking a five-year medal drought for her club in the process.
Niamh made finals in every event she participated in at what was her first competition at that level.
BRISBANE jockey Tegan Harrison won the $30,000 Iris Nielsen Handicap (1400m) on Hula Girl at the Ballina Jockey Club.
Harrison, who started at Ballina before moving to the Gold Coast, first won the Iris Nielsen race on Epic Terra in 2013.
She was one of only two female jockeys this year, in the race which used to be restricted to female riders only until 2014.
The annual race honours former Northern Rivers jockey Iris Nielsen who died after a race fall at Lismore in 1988.
FORMER Far North Coast surf lifesaver Brodie Moir finished the Kellogg's Nutri-Grain Ironwoman series in third place after the final two rounds in Cronulla.
It was a big season for Moir with the field increasing to 18 competitors across six rounds.