Four off to Country titles

LOWER North Coast will travel to Mollymook Beach on the State's south coast this weekend for the Stramit NSW Surf Life Saving Country Championships.

With close to 1200 competitors already registered to take part, the Stramit NSW Country Championships will run from today until Sunday.

The Lower North Coast will be represented by Claire Horn, Connor Shakespeare, Mitchell Hamilton and Emily Nash from Cape Hawke SLSC and Kim Winter from Forster SLSC.

Cape Hawke team manager, Kim Hamilton says although the team is small in number, all four athletes are well accomplished in their respective events.

"All our competitors represented the Lower North Coast at the recent NSW Interbranch Championships and we are looking forward to competing down in Mollymook for the first time," Kim said.

"We love the Country Championships and they have just got better and better as the years have progressed. Our two boys Connor and Mitchell have been training with Sydney coach, Peter 'Cuz' Kirkwood and are looking to take out their respective surf races," she added.

Claire Horn will aim to continue her success at Country level in the beach events after taking out the title of under 13 beach sprint and beach flags champion in 2013.

The Stramit NSW Country Championships is a unique event only open to clubs outside metropolitan areas, it gives country athletes the chance to compete at the highest level to continue their preparation for the State and national titles and also to help drive their club to supremacy in the junior, senior and overall point scores.

Surf Life Saving NSW president, Tony Haven, says it's fantastic to bring such a major surf lifesaving event to the South Coast again.

"We're really excited to be bringing the Stramit NSW Country Surf Life Saving Championships to Mollymook.

"It's the most significant event we've held on the South Coast for a number of years and the perfect platform for our country athletes to reach exciting new levels of performance on the beach and in the water,'' he said.

"It is a big time of the year for the state's surf sports athletes and with the strong support of a very proactive Shoalhaven council, Mollymook Surf Club and Stramit the 2014 country champs is looking to be a fantastic showcase of our sport."