Surf sports celebrate 50th anniversary on Park Beach Coffs Coast Sport Property/Sports/Opinion - popup ad Sport by News Of The Area - Modern Media - November 30, 2023 Coffs Harbour’s U19 Female surf boat crew. Alexis French, Abbey Sams, Andie Kennedy and Darcy O’Rorke (out of shot). Photo: ndaMedia THE 50th anniversary of surf sports took centre stage at Park Beach last weekend, drawing in 400 competitive surf boat rowers, 100 surf sports paddlers, and 50 coastal rowers. Competitors battled it out for top honours in their respective events during a thrilling weekend of surf competitions. A collaborative effort between the Coffs Harbour Surf Life Saving Club, Australian Surf Boat Rowers League (ASRL), NSW Rowing, the North Coast Branch of Surf Life Saving Australia, and a dedicated team of volunteers made this two-day event possible. Cudgen Headland dominated the surf sports arena with an impressive 121 points, clinching the top spot in the point-score. The host club, Coffs Harbour, secured second place, while Woolgoolga, another North Coast club, finished in a commendable third position. The action kicked off on Saturday morning with double ski races, where Coffs Harbour’s dynamic duo, Aaron Beavis and Abbey Lawler, secured a solid second place. The day reached its pinnacle with a mixed open board relay, won by the formidable team from Cudgen Headland. Every race was fiercely contested, and some of the nation’s premier athletes claimed victory in their respective events. Coffs Harbour’s youth team consistently excelled, with some age group wins and commendable placings. Payton Lawler and Lucy Wilde made a mark by finishing first and third in the U19 Female ski event. In the boat arena, clubs faced the challenges of wind and a longer course at high tide over two days. Legs burned and lungs heaved as competitors raced non-stop into the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean and back. Port Kembla A Teams emerged victorious in the Open Female and Male boat categories. North Cronulla and Palm Beach claimed first place in the Reserve Men and Women’s events. Burleigh and Collaroy triumphed in the Male and Female U23 divisions, while Coogee and Batemans Bay secured the top spots in the U19 Male and Female races. Coffs Harbour crews displayed grit to make finals appearances, with the U19 Female crew finishing a commendable fourth and the reserve Men’s crew also securing the fourth position, narrowly missing out on medals. At the Jetty precinct, the coastal rowing Beach Sprint races unfolded in perfect conditions. Palm Beach Surf Club’s Rachel Balcomb and Sydney University Boat Club’s Marcus Della Marta emerged victorious in the Women’s and Men’s sprint finals respectively, showcasing their prowess on the sand. Saturday evening brought everyone together at the Surf Club Restaurant and Bar for a well-deserved chance to relax, catch up, and recap the day’s events. The weekend’s festivities, in conjunction with the club’s 100 years of life-saving, are now firmly back on the surf sports calendar and are anticipated to grow further in 2024. The club extends its gratitude to all competitors, officials, and members who contributed to making the carnival a resounding success. By David WIGLEY Marcus Della Marta in Coastal Rowing action. Photo: ndaMedia. The U17 to Open Female Single Ski Race starts. Photo: ndaMedia.