Swansea Belmont Surf Live Saving Club was represented at the recent Molokai 2 Oahu Paddleboard World Championships in Hawaii by a three-man team that claimed a divisional world title.
Club members Nick Stoddart, 15, Saxon Coates, 15, and Ethan Coates, 17, won the Stock Prone 3 Man Team Division at the championships, which was contested by men and women from more than 20 countries.
The trio were the youngest team in their division and and some of the youngest to compete at the event.
So impressive was their race, the boys came second in overall team results and finished in front of Hawaiian professional surfer John John Florence’s team.
Competitors in the annual 52km race cross the Ka’iwi Channel, also known as the Moloka’i Channel and Channel of Bones. They face strong currents as they navigate the fast downwind-route over one of the most powerful channels in the world.
As a team, the boys took turns in the water during the race with the two who were not in the water trailing close behind in a support boat.
“It was pretty tricky actually,” Nick Stoddart said.
“The conditions weren’t as they were expected, but it was still good fun over there.
“There was a lot of water moving around and it was hard to get your own rhythm going. It was a lot different to anything I’d ever paddled in.”
The boys prepared for the race with senior competitor Stewart McLachlan, conducting training paddles between Redhead and Swansea.
The race is an open event and requires no qualification, but the boys had to submit applications to be approved to enter the race.
Having won state and national junior honours, it was no surprise that their credentials stacked up and they were given approval.
“In a couple of years time I want to go back and do it on my own,” Nick said.
AFL trio’s day at Princess Park
Three AFL players from the Hunter played at the old Princess Park in Melbourne on Sunday when the NSW/ACT Under-17s Rams team faced Vic Metro in the AFL’s Futures Series.
Reed van Huisstede, Aidan Watling and Ky McGrath all played for the Rams in what was the third round of the Futures Series. The side was beaten by Vic Metro, falling 91-80 in a close result.
All three boys are in the Swans Academy and train in Sydney once a week, in addition to local training with the Swans satellite program.
Rollings makes Australian side
Souths hockey player Sebastian Rollings will wear the green and gold later this year after being selected in the Australian All Schools team.
The Hunter Valley Grammar School student played for NSW in the School Sport Australia Championships last week on the Gold Coast.