FNC claims pole in titles

A STERLING team performance has seen the Lennox Head-Alstonville Surf Life Saving Club claim its first NSW Country Championship at the weekend.

Far North Coast clubs dominated the event at South West Rocks, with Byron Bay finishing runner-up and Cudgen Headland fourth.

With an extensive team of youngsters, Lennox Head-Alstonville coach Lou Wilson was always confident of claming the junior title, but praised the stamina of the rest of his squad for getting them over the line in the overall count.

“This was an amazing effort, a real team achievement,” Wilson said.

“There was no focus on individual results, we simply entered as many events as we could and it paid dividends; we got across the line.”

The team usually provides only one or two masters competitors but this year there were a dozen which resulted in an accrual of points better than in the past.

“It’s a key to have a team of masters involved,” he said.

“The young kids see the older competitors giving their all and it really stirs them on. I couldn’t be prouder of the team.”

Although the focus was on the team, there were some individual achievements that cannot be overlooked.

Some competitors challenged for events in three age divisions in order to pile on the points, with Nathan Gray the standout.

The 17-year-old won six gold medals including the open men’s surf race, open flags and under-19 ironman; his haul also included six silver medals.

Team-mate Michael Barnett was only slightly overshadowed, bringing home five gold medals and seven silver including victory in the under-17 surf board race.

In the girls, 14-year-old Alana McGoldrick was the standout performer, dominating her age division to take out the three most coveted events – the surf swim race, surf board race and iron woman.

Coach Wilson will give his squad a few days off on returning home before preparing for the 2010 NSW State Championships which begin in seven weeks at Newcastle club Swansea-Belmont.

Tutt in top 20

BYRON BAY paddler Kurt Tutt has started 2010 with another top 20 finish in ‘The Doctor’, the annual ocean race off the coast of Perth.

Tutt came 13th in the race, two places ahead of Olympic gold medallist Kenny Wallace and 3m09s behind the winner, South African Dawid Mocke, who completed the course in 1 hour 12 minutes 33 seconds.

Second behind Mocke was Australian Jeremy Cotter, who came in 15 seconds off the pace.

While Tutt’s 13th placing at the weekend was seven places behind his 2009 result in the same event, he was just 16 seconds behind 10th- placed Dean Gardner.

The Doctor, named after the Fremantle sea breeze, attracts paddlers and elite kayakers from within Australia and around the world, including Europe, the US, South Africa and Hawaii.

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