by Julie Irvine
Minnie Water-Wooli nippers have kicked off the season in a big way with a 46-strong contingent finishing up with 38 top-six placings at the first carnival of the season.
The conditions at Coffs Jetty were calm, with 0.5m swell and a slow northerly current.
It was the perfect day for team Minnie, and while we are a small club we certainly have a big heart and that was on display on the day.
In the U9s, Claudia Brown took out her first win in the beach sprints, and Jack Lougher led the charge with his convincing win in U13M beach sprint.
The under-13 age group was dominant in the minor placings of each event.
Henry Derrick was quick on his feet receiving a second place in beach flags, backed up by Jack Lougher who took out fourth and Taj O'Mahony fifth in the knockout rounds.
Taj also managed a third in the U13M sprint, and earning his fourth place in U13M board, with Jack close behind in fifth.
New to nippers and in her first carnival, Tanika Crispin took out some major placings in her age category, earning second in board, third in ocean swim, and third in the ironwoman.
Not far behind, Molly Dungey showed her training is paying off, earning fourth in U13F board and sixth in the ironwomen. Sister Bessie was also strong as she took out fifth in board and ironwoman and a sixth in U13F flags.
In U8M, Tom Palmer was quick on his feet in the beach flags events earning a fourth, while Archie Steele slipped behind in the knockout at fifth. Archie powered around in the wade, earning his first fourth place.
The U9 board trio had an amazing race, working together around the course and Eliana Jackson took a convincing fourth, while Annabele Dungey was fifth and Claudia Brown sixth. Annabele showed her strength in the water with a fifth place in the ocean swim, while Jack Cheney charged his way in U9M beach sprint to sixth place.
Shanae Crispin had a very successful day in the U10 female classes, earning third in her ocean swim, fourth on the board and fourth in beach flags. Joslyn Brown had a challenging day in the U11 female classes, earning a confident third place in the ocean swim, fourth in board and fifth in beach sprint. Joslyn put the action back in the water, collecting fourth in her ironwoman.
Riley Wondergem was ecstatic with his fifth place in U11M flags, while Sophie Hinterholz was proud of her sixth placing in ironwoman.
Nippers president Angela Hinterholzl said the club was proud to be represented by what was the biggest group of Minnie nippers to compete at branch level.
"It is exciting to see a lot of new and upcoming competitors taking these placings,” she said. "We are delighted by these results and we are proud that they are being recognised with these achievements.”
Overall, Sawtell SLSC were the standout performers on the day, earning their top spot on the ladder followed by Coffs Harbour and Woolgoolga. Minnie finished fifth.