North Curl Curl Surf Life Saving Club is a relatively small club, even in the context of these our northern beaches.
Yet at the national titles on the Gold Coast recently, the club recorded nothing-short-of-outstanding results, particularly at youth level.
Indeed they created history.
Consider: In 2021 they won four medals. This year North Curl Curl won 22 medals and finished third overall behind Queensland powerhouses North Burleigh and Maroochydore.
And in overall water competition, competing against surf clubs with vastly more members, North Curl Curl beat them all. North Curl Curl won the job lot.
“We had so many fantastic results across the board,” North Curl Curl president Glenn Slater said.
“It was so pleasing to see how all our teams stepped up to support each other.
“It resulted in a number of unexpected medals.”
Among those was Dominique Melbourn who won gold in the U/15 female surf race.
The club’s U/15 male swim team – Sam Higgs, Braith Howieson, Zac Wasley and Archie Ferguson – took home a bronze medal.
As reported in Friday’s Champion, a star of the show was Zara Kasprowicz who won gold in U/14 female iron person, U/14 female surf race, U/13/14 female board rescue (with Pipi te Pania) and U/14/15 female swim team (with Melbourn, ti Pania and Olivia Clues).
Kasprowicz also won silver in the U/13/14 female Cameron relay (with te Pania, Casey Lopes and Holly Smith)
Pipi te Pania had an outstanding meet with three gold medals (U/14 female board race, U/13/14 female board rescue and U/14/15 female swim team) and three silver medals (U/14 female iron person, U/14/15 female board relay and U/13/14 Cameron relay).
She also won a bronze medal as part of the U/14 female surf race.
Luke Higgs, too, had a brilliant meet winning two individual gold medals in the U/14 male iron person and U/14 male 2km ocean swim and two team gold medals in the U/13/14 swim team (with Sam Davis, Sam Chaffer and Will Jeffrey) and U/13/14 Cameron relay (with Davis, Archie Ferguson and Danny King).
Higgs also placed second in the U/14 male surf race.
President Slater said the club has “invested in our youth for many years with the ultimate aim to create the best surf life savers to patrol our beach that we can”.
North Curl Curl runs an inclusive surf sports programs, according to Slater, featuring top coaches such as Michael Clues (a former professional iron man), Ross Chaffer (an Olympic kayaker from Sydney 2000), Sean Davis (former Australian surf life saving team captain) and Andrew Dennehy (a 20 year veteran lifeguard described as “a classic waterman”).
“They’re all very experienced and were top competitors at their peaks.
“And today our kids are absolutely thriving under their tutelage,” Slater said.