Bowie and River Robinson, winners of the Regional Premier's Spelling Bee Challenge, and will now compete in the junior and senior final in Sydney.
Bowie and River Robinson, winners of the Regional Premier's Spelling Bee Challenge, and will now compete in the junior and senior final in Sydney. Adam Hourigan

Super siblings share spelling spoils

FOR the last three years, Yamba Public School's River Robinson has dominated the region when it comes to spelling.

From his first attempt at year 3 to last year in year 5, he's strived for spelling superiority, and is one of the best of more than 194,000 eligible wordsmiths.

So he admits there was always a bit of pressure to make a clean sweep of the titles, in his final year at primary school.

Little did he know that it'd come from somewhere close to home.

Younger brother Bowie, in year 4, was named the winner of the junior section, and River said that while watching he forgot about his nerves for a while.

"I think I was more nervous for him, I was so happy to see him win," River said.

"It put the pressure back on me."

Bowie took out the title spelling "perpetual" from words they hadn't practised, while River completed his full set, nailing "algebraic" to take the win from within the prescribed word list.

And it seems the secret of their combined success this year is another 'S' word - soccer.

"They both play as part of the Liverpool International Academy football side in Lismore, and train four nights a week, so they do words in the car, and it's a long drive each way," mother Buffy Williams-Robinson said.

The pair will head to Sydney to compete at the state Premier's Spelling Bee Challenge, and River, who has placed fourth, eighth and fourth is keen to pass on his knowledge to his little brother.

"I tell him once you do your first word, just get into and calm down, and go slow," River said.

Bowie watched River compete last year, and remembered being part of the vast crowd and said it'd be good to have River there supporting him.

After three times near the top of the tree, River admitted he'd like to take out the title to round out his spelling career.

But, the pair also gave a cheeky grin when asked if they wanted to beat the other.

"I think there is a bit of friendly competition, but they really do support each other," Mrs Williams-Robinson said.

"River had a bit of a tear in his eye when Bowie won he was so proud. We all were. We never expected them to do so well."