Port kids ready for surf as­sault

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - Madi­son Wil­liams

AF­TER months of hard work and train­ing, the finest crop of Port Dou­glas nip­pers will race for state glory when they head south to com­pete in Surf Life Sav­ing Queens­land’s Youth State Cham­pi­onships on the Gold Coast this month.

The Port Dou­glas nip­pers will join forces with other lo­cal surf clubs to com­pete un­der an over­ar­ch­ing Far North Queens­land ban­ner.

Port Dou­glas, El­lis Beach, Cairns, Mis­sion Beach and Etty Bay nip­pers will also join the ranks, form­ing a col­lec­tive of 60 top ju­nior life­savers.

It has been a long jour­ney this year for the team who, over the past four months, has un­der­taken a mod­i­fied train­ing reg­i­men be­cause of sum­mer beach clo­sures.

“There aren’t many waves up here and swim­ming in the ocean can be a real chal­lenge at this time of year with croc­o­diles, box jel­ly­fish and irukandji lim­it­ing all op­tions to spend valu­able time on and in the wa­ter,” said the team’s man­ager Colin Cameron.

But he said it would take a lot more than that to stop them from join­ing 1500 nip­pers from across the state aged 11-15.

“The kids are so ex­cited to com­pete on the surf beaches of south­ern Queens­land,” he said.

Mr Cameron said the ju­niors were hop­ing to re­peat feats from last year’s cham­pi­onships where they took one sil­ver and a bronze medal.

The 2016 Queens­land Ju­nior Surf Life Sav­ing Cham­pi­onships will be held from March 11-13 at North Burleigh on the Gold Coast.

The cham­pi­onships fea­ture a wide va­ri­ety of surf life­sav­ing dis­ci­plines in­clud­ing surf res- cue and re­sus­ci­ta­tion, surf races, board races, beach sprints, beach flags, surf swims and beach re­lays.

SLSQ surf sports man­ager Stu­art Hog­ben said it was pleas­ing to see strong rep­re­sen­ta­tion from FNQ.

“The surf and swell they’ll face on the Gold Coast will be a fair bit dif­fer­ent to the calmer con­di­tions they’re used to train­ing in, but the team’s tak­ing it all in their stride and I’m sure they’ll be ready to go come race day,” he said.

“I’ve got no doubt they’ll be giv­ing their south­ern coun­ter­parts a run for their money,” he said.

Port Dou­glas nip­pers are head­ing to the Gold Coast to com­pete in Surf Life Sav­ing Queens­land’s (SLSQ) Youth State Cham­pi­onships.

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