Sports highlights of the year
FIVE Far North Coast hockey players returned home with gold medals after competing in the Masters World Cup in Canberra.
They were David Brown, Scott Hamilton, Grant Smith, Helen Rankin-Jarvie and Janelle Pitman.
GOLD Coast surfer Joel Tilley won the annual Byron Bay Malibu Classic at Wategos Beach.
The Ben King Memorial Surf Classic was held in June and was won by Dale Lovelock.
Clayton conquers Bay
ALSTONVILLE professional triathlete Clayton Fettell won the Byron Bay Triathlon for the second time.
Fettell finished almost five minutes clear of his nearest rival with a time of 1 hour 43 minutes and 18 seconds.
The 30-year-old won the race for the first time in 2014 and has competed all over the world.
SIBLINGS Bayley and Maddison Armstrong won the open men and women's division at the annual Byron Bay Property Sales Ocean Swim Classic.
A total of 937 swimmers took part this year with the main 2km swim from Wategos Beach to Main Beach.
More than $720,000 has been raised for charity and local organisations since it started 29 years ago.
Damen the Cockatoo
WOLLONGBAR-Alstonville five-eighth Ben Damen was selected in the New South Wales Country Cockatoos rugby union team for a third straight year.
Pioneers teammate Jerry Faifaise made the initial squad before Damen went on to play in the final team who took on the Australian Under-20s.
Singing in the Hills
SYDNEY team Hills took out the Little League Baseball Championship with a 7-3 win over Central Coast at Albert Park, Lismore.
It was the second year Lismore had hosted the event.
Hills went on to represent Australia at the Little League World Series in the United States.
Our Country Bulls
THREE Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League players were selected to play for the Country Bulls after stand-out performances at the New South Wales Country Rugby League Championships.
Centre Guy Lanston, hooker Zac Beecher and lock Jack Durheim played for the Bulls against Western Australia in Perth.
Beecher is still aged in his teens and was a late call-up for the side in the rugby league championships.
Southies win again
SOUTH Lismore Bowling Club claimed the No 1 pennant for the second straight year after finishing 8.5 points clear of second-placed Ballina.
Southies were the only ones to take the flag in two grades with the No 6s also winning. The No 4 women's team also went to the state finals after winning the Region 1 play-off in Coffs Harbour.