By Mark Heenan
A few thousand people packed Ocean Grove main beach for the season opening Life Saving Victoria state junior and surf carnivals.
Big surf and challenging conditions confronted Nippers from across the state on the first Saturday of summer.
Around 120-plus Ocean Grove SLSC juniors took part in the home state carnival.
Ocean Grove SLSC junior activities manager Darren Ball spoke proudly of local Nippers.
“The first carnival for the season, the first Nipper carnival (Grove) for two years and some very trying conditions,” Ball said in a club statement.
“It was tough out there, but everyone had a crack and it was fantastic to see all kids still having fun and competing at their best.”
Fifteen OGSLSC competitors were Under 8s and competed in the first ever junior state carnival.
OGSLSC won the Under 13 Aqua Cameron with Luke Bird, Will Deverall, Rauri Davison and Caden Walsh.
The Under 13s saw Will Deverall finished second in the Iron and Board, while Luke Bird came second.
The local quartet of Hugo Walsh, Jerry Kelly, who won the individual board, Alex Morgan and Koby Carlesso won the Under 12s Aqua Cameron.
The Under 13s girls Iron saw Cookie Robinson finish fifth, Matilda Richards came sixth and Dana Sellars finish eighth.
Matilda Richards came third and Cookie Robinson finished fifth in Under 13s girls Board, while Kayla Forward came fifth in the Under 12s girls Board.
ON Sunday 8 December, Ocean Grove had around 70 senior competitors who competed in the opening state Senior/Youth and Rescue and Resuscitation carnival of 2019/20.
Calmer conditions were on hand for senior competitors, compared with heavy surf a day earlier.
Highlights included Ocean Grove’s first place with the Under 17s Womens Ski Relay team of Lexie McNaughton, Taia Young and Jemima Asher.
Tim Hannan, Lestyn Knapp and Drew Honey won the Under 17s Mens Ski Relay event.