NSW Schools Continue to Support Future Surfing Champions at High School State Titles

Published on 28/07/2022

MAROUBRA | EORA, NSW / AUS (Wednesday 20th July 2022) – The Ocean & Earth High School State Titles wrapped up in the Illawarra today following the six-day Junior State Titles. The tag-team style competition was held at Sandon Point in a continued run of 2-3 foot waves in the region.

St Lukes Grammar (Junior Boys), Northern Beaches Secondary College (Senior Boys), Narrabeen Sports High (Junior Girls) and Illawarra Sports High (Senior Girls) will represent NSW at the Australian Junior Titles in November at North Stradbroke Island, QLD after taking out their respective divisions today.

It was the locals from Illawarra Sports High who got off to an early start with a very strong team of Mannix Squires and Lennix Smith in the Senior Boys. Smith nailed a near-perfect 9.9 for his school team before sisters Zahlia and Shyla Short continued the success. The girls took out the Senior Girls (Under 19’s) division after great consistency and teamwork throughout the day.

“Sandon is one of my favourite places to surf and surfing it with just three other people in fun conditions was the best, not to mention having fun with all my schoolmates and the support of our teacher Lats,” said Zahlia Short.

“Surfing can sometimes feel like such a solo event that when you bring a team element to it and have the support of your team it is a different kind of exciting. One of the most fun days and great to see how well all the schools are doing supporting kids who want to compete and progress in the sport,” she said.

Illawarra Sports High is one of a handful of NSW schools that has developed a talented Surfing Program. Surfing Program Coordinator, Geoff Latimer commented on the success of their school team today.

“We’re so happy and impressed with the surfers’ team work today. It was great to see their hard work and dedication paying off. We’re super proud of there efforts and everyone’s results.”

He said the school believes all students should be supported no matter what athletic passion they want to pursue while working towards completing education.

While the Senior Boys teams were all over the change-over and put in a solid effort, unfortunately the Illawarra High team couldn’t hold their lead and the Northern Beaches Secondary College team took the lead with two excellent eight-point waves scored.

Northern Beaches Regional Titles winner Sol Gruendling showed good team work with St Lukes Grammar school-mate Sullivan Tucker. The pair did their best to stay on top of the scores and transitions throughout the day and finished the Junior Boys finals just ahead of the Illawarra Grammar School team.

“It’s cool to be in a team and have your friends supporting you, it’s such a different vibe especially after the individual State Titles. Working towards the same goal and cheering for each other sharing the pressure made it a super fun event,” said Gruendling.

The Ocean & Earth High School State Titles signs off to end a huge week of junior high-performance surfing in the Illawarra.


Junior Boys
1st – St Lukes Grammar (Sol Gruendling & Sullivan Tucker)
2nd – Illawarra Grammar (Sammy Lowe & Joe Somerville)
3rd – Narrabeen Sports High
4th – Linisfarne Anglican Grammar

Senior Boys
1st – Northern Beaches Secondary College Freshwater (Winter Vincent & Xavier Bryce)
2nd – TLSC Tumbi Umbi (Hughie Vaughan & Clae Grubisa)
3rd – Illawarra Sports High
4th – St Lukes Grammar

Junior Girls
1st – Narrabeen Sports High (Ruby Trew & Annalise Wong)
2nd – Kiama High School
3rd – Cronulla High
4th – Reddam House
5th – St Josephs Catholic College

Senior Girls
1st – Illawarra Sports High (Shyla & Zahlia Short)
2nd – Narrabeen Sports High (Sydney Chevalier & Isabella Higgs)
3rd – Warilla High School (Oceanna Rogers & Jada Thomas)
4th – Pymble Ladies College

Competing schools: 

Cronulla High, Newcastle Grammar, Lindisfarne Anglican Grammar, TIGS Illawarra Grammar, St Lukes Grammar, TLSC Tumbi Umbi, South Sydney High, Narrabeen Sports High, Kingcumber High, Carrol College, De La Salle Catholic College Cronulla, Reddam House, Kiama High School, St Josephs Catholic College, Warilla High School, Pymble Ladies College

About the format of the team’s event:

  • Both surfers need to compete within the 20 minute heat 
  • Unlimited waves can be ridden
  • The top wave will be counted per surfer for a heat total out of 20 points. 
  • There is no Priority 
  • Straight Elimination format
  • If at a beach break, the second surfer will need to wait on the beach for the first surfer to return and tag their team mate in
  • If at a point break, the second surfer will need to wait in a designated spot in the water. Surfer one will raise both hands once they are complete with their last wave. once this signal is made, the second surfer can begin paddling into the line up and begin catching waves.


Thanks to JGR Images for the photos at this event.

NSW High School State Titles Gallery

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