COOKS HILL Surf Life Saving Club made history by winning the overall title at the NSW Age Surf Life Saving Championships at Blacksmiths at the weekend.
The victory is understood to be the first overall title for Cooks Hill and the first for a Hunter club in some time.
Cooks Hill beat Newport by just three points to reach top spot and claim the win.
The club was helped over the line by some stellar performances, particularly from its Under 9's competitors.
Sid Burns won both the individual board and swim, the board relay with Angus Jackson and Taj Williams, and helped the U/9 surf team to second place.
Sid Forbes won the U/13 board race, Alexander Walker won the U/12 surf race and the U/11 team took out the mixed cameron relay.
The girls won the U/9, U/11 and U/13 surf teams events, and Lily Egan (U/10), Daisy Breasley (U/11) and Andie Widseth (U/12) won golds in their surf races.
Isabella Campbell picked up silver in the U/14s.
Cooks Hill's win follows their third-place finish at last year's championships, also held at Blacksmiths.
Cooks Hill SLSC junior competition manager, Michael Clancy, said the club was extremely proud of its competitors.
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“It’s been absolutely fantastic and a completely new era for Cooks Hill," he said.
"We’ve been rebuilding for probably eight to 10 years and this is the culmination of it."
Mr Clancy said the dedication shown to training by the club's younger competitors was "amazing".
“Our guys are out there four or five times a week in the surf," he said. "The young ones in particular, the nines and tens stepped up.
“You look at all the different sports kids can get involved in and this is by far the most comprehensive, all-round sport kids can do.
"The emotional resilience it teaches kids, to get back up every single time, despite the conditions, is untold in developing kids and their ability to compete and perform as individuals and in society."
Swansea-Belmont Surf Life Saving Club, which had the home-beach advantage, enjoyed a rise up the ranks to fourth after finishing 10th in 2018.
The club won the U/9 and U/11 surf teams as well as the U/13 board relay. It also ran second in the U/13 board rescue thanks to Ethan Hamilton and Tye Worell.
Cambell Connelly and Billy Foran won the U/11 board rescue, Kaitlin Rees the U/11 board race and Zara Foran both the U/13 ironwoman and surf race.
Samuel Govender led the way on the sand, winning the U/11 beach flags and sprint, while his younger brother Denzel claimed bronze in the U/9 beach flags.
Nate Ward won the the U/11s one kilometre beach run, matched by Ryder Griffith in U/12s and a second for Ty Leadbeatter in U/13s.
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