Hundreds of nippers like Ballina’s Giovanni Beaumont will take part in the State Age Championships at Kingscliff. Marc Stapelberg
Hundreds of nippers like Ballina’s Giovanni Beaumont will take part in the State Age Championships at Kingscliff. Marc Stapelberg

Hannah in golden form for carnival

HANNAH Sculley's performances in the Junior (Nippers) Surf Life Saving Branch Championships at Yamba over the weekend were so good she even outshone the boys.

Hannah won the under-13 ironwoman gold but she can lay claim to being the best ironperson for that age group on the Far North Coast.

That is because the final included the best under-13 boys whose placings were recorded separately.

The 13-year-old also won the female board and swim events at Turners Beach.

Sculley will be one of Lennox Head-Alstonville's top athletes going into the State Age Surf Life Saving Championships which start at Kingscliff today and finish on Sunday.

"They joined together the boys and girls at Yamba and I won with a bit of space between me and the second-place getter," she said.

"I like the challenge of going up against the boys."

Hannah will contest the same events at Kingscliff and she has won the board event at state level for three of the past four years.

"I want another board gold, I aim to finish in the top six in the ironwoman and I've never made the finals in the swim so that's what I'm going for this time," she said.

Other athletes expected to go well for Lennox-Alstonville SLSC will include Samantha Corbett and Eliza Armstrong in the under-14 board and India Brown and Stephen Moore in the under-13 board and iron events.

Byron Bay finished the second best Northern Rivers club behind Lennox at last year's State Age Championships and club officials will hope for at least a repeat performance this year. "We were extremely happy with how we went last year," Byron's junior activities coordinator Joanne Kay said.

Among the standouts will be the under-11 board relay team of Moby McMullen, Clay Buckley and Curtis Cloake.

The girls' under-12 swim team of Sinead Gorman, Ava Buckley, Isabelle McMullen and Darcy Balcon is also expected to push for a medal.

For Ballina Lighthouse and Lismore, Isabella Jones carries the hopes of this small State Age Championships team - she will participate in the under-14 board, swim and ironwoman.

Isabella won the under-14 swim event at the branch championships.

Brunswick will send the smallest contingent to Kingscliff with just four competitors.

Last year in the beach sprint, under-9 Beau Carter won his club its first state age gold medal in a long time and he will return this year to contest the flags, sprint and board.

And hosts Cudgen will go into their home event confident after being crowned NSW Country champion at the same event last year. The club finished 13th overall.

Luke Chaffer (U14), Josh Quinn (U13) and Emily Quinn (U12) will lead the charge for the hosts in the water events.

The championships will be split between two sections of the Kingscliff Beach.

The beach events, with twilight finals on Saturday, will be staged near the breakwall as will the eight and nine years wades.

All other water events will be held about two-kilometers north of the clubhouse.

The beach has been eroroded by heavy seas and floods in the past months.

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