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Junior Surf Sports

Strive for Your Best

Surf Sports is a great way for Nippers to stay fit and increase their skill level, while also being a proud representative of their Club.

Beginning in the U8’s age group, the number and distance of events increases as they progress through the Junior program until the U14’s season is completed.

The North Coast Branch Juniors have a range of Carnivals across the season that provide great opportunities for interclub competition. The Branch Championships is the premier event followed by the Country, State and Aussie Championships.

Carnivals are generally held on Sundays with an arrival time of 6.45am for a 7.45am start. Finish time can be anywhere from 1pm to 4pm. This is dependent upon many factors such as competitor numbers, surf conditions, tide and weather.

Beach Sprint and Beach Relay (U8-U14)

Competitors race on a straight sand course of 70 metres to the finishing line. Up to ten competitors per race can start with the winner being the first person whose chest crosses the line.

In the beach relay, teams of four competitors run on lap each, exchanging a baton (usually a small length of garden hose) at the end of each leg. The final runner of a team over the finish line wins.

Beach Flags (U8-U14)

This event tests a competitor’s speed, reflexes and agility on the sand. The beach flags event requires competitors to lay on their stomachs with heads down and facing away from a series of “flags” (short pieces of garden hose) placed in the sand. On the sound of a whistle competitors stand up, turn and race to collect one of the flags. The number of flags available will generally be one less than the number of competitors involved though in some instances, if there a large number of participants, more than one person may be eliminated at a time. The competitor(s) who fail to obtain a baton are eliminated. The process repeats until there is a single winner.

Wade Race and Wade Relay Race (U8-U10)

Competitors run out to an allocated turning mark at knee depth water and then the competitors may either wade, duck dive or swim along the beach to another marker before returning to the beach to run to the finish line. The race is completed once the fourth and final team member finishes the wading course and runs up the beach to the finish line.

Surf Race and Surf Teams Race (U9-U14)

The Surf Race involves swimmers starting on the beach and then running, wading and swimming about 170 meters to sea to round a set of buoys and then return to the beach. The event concludes with a run finish to the flags placed on the beach.

The Surf Teams Race consists of four members, all of whom must complete the same course as the Surf Race. Points are allocated in order of finish placing. The team with the lowest point score is declared the winner. A modified course is used for Under 8 and 10’s.

Board Race and Board Relay (U9-U14)

From the beach (standing start) each competitor enters the water with their racing board, paddles around three buoys and returns to the finish line which is 15m up the beach from the water’s edge. The winner is judged by the first competitor to cross the finish line on their feet and in contact with their board.

The relay event is the same format, contested in teams of three.

Board Rescue (U11-U14)

This two-person event comprises of a surf swimmer (patient) and a surf board paddler (rescuer). The race commences with the swimmer swimming to their allocated buoy and then signalling back to the beach for their board paddler to come out and collect them. Once the paddler reaches the swimmer, the two competitors paddle their board back to the beach and cross the finish line.

Ironman / Ironwoman (U11-U14)

First introduced in 1966, possibly the most iconic event of the modern era is the ironman race. Combining board, ski, swimming and running for an individual competitor, the event is also considered the toughest of the carnival program. Depending on the conditions, the race can take between 10 and 20 minutes to complete.

The Iron person events are conducted over a course consisting of two legs, including a swim and board. The event also includes a sprint from the end of the first leg to the start of the second. The race concludes with a beach sprint to the finish line. The order of the legs may vary and is decided by draw prior to the event.

Cameron Relay (U9-U14)

This is a relay event which is a relay equivalent of the Ironman/Ironwoman. Teams of four competitors comprising of a surf board paddler, surf swimmer and two runners compete in this relay. The order of the water legs are drawn by ballot. The first competitor enters the water, rounds the buoys and returns to shore where they tag the first runner. The first runner rounds turning flags and tags the next competitor who round the buoys and tags the last runner. The last runner runs to the finish line.

Buchanan Relay (U8-U10)

This six-person relay event comprises of two U8’s (1 wade + 1 runner), two U9’s (1 board paddler + 1 swimmer) and two U10’s (1 swimmer + 1 runner). To finish, a competitor rounds one green/yellow turning flag passes the other green/ yellow flag on the shoreward side and finishes between the two green finish flags.


March Past

March Past is one of Surf Life Saving’s original events and represents the traditional discipline of a surf lifesaver. Teams, often dressed in full length club swimming costumes, march in time to music around a set course carrying a surf reel, line and belt and follow their standard (flag) bearer. Teams march in formation, following commands, and they are judged on factors such timing, arm and leg swing, space and dressing, body carriage and presentation.


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