Surfers Paradise stars shine as Northcliffe take out State Championships

March 17, 2024

Northcliffe have taken out the 2024 Queensland Surf Life Saving Championships in one closet pointscores in recent history, however it was a day to savour for Surfers Paradise who took out some of the biggest events of the weekend.

Ali Day and Lucy Derbyshire won the Open Ironman and Ironwoman crowns for Surfers Paradise with club mates Mitchell Stitt winning the Open Male Board Race too.

Callum Brennan produced a phenomenal display of bodysurfing to take Currumbin from third to first in the fourth leg of the Open Male Taplin Relay which set the stage for a specular win on the back of victory in the Lifesaver Relay in the first event of the day. Northcliffe were victorious in the Open Female Taplin Relay.

While the water events were moved from Kurrawa to North Kirra earlier this week due to the forecast, conditions on Sunday culminated in some fantastic competition as a full program of events was completed.

In the end Northcliffe topped the overall pointscore on 382 points, just 13 clear of Maroochydore (369pts) with Burleigh Heads Mowbray Park (327) in third. Forrest Beach finished 11th overall on the on the back of a strong beach events team, while other leading regional clubs included Emu Park (16th) and Picnic Bay (22nd)


A state title seemed a world away for Lucy Derbyshire when she was forced to withdraw from the Nutri-Grain Series earlier this year due to serious illness, however she produced a result to savour by claiming the Open Ironwoman title.

A powerful final leg saw Derbyshire draw clear of Claudia Rose-Slaven (second, Burleigh Heads Mowbray Park) to take the crown, while Harriet Brown (Northcliffe) finished third.

“It felt really good that whole race; It’s the first time in a while where I felt that I could push my transitions and then still feel good in the water so I’m so stoked,” said Derbyshire.

“This might not be a big win for some people but it feels amazing to be back and out the front. I wouldn’t be able to do it without my amazing sponsors, family and mentor, coach and friend Zayne Hammill.”

Earlier, Charlotte Cross (Burleigh Heads Mowbray Park) beat a star-studded field to take out the Board Final, the most significant win of her career she said.

Northcliffe took out the other two Open Female individual events with Lana Rogers winning the Board Final while Hannah Sculley claimed the Ski. It was Sculley’s third gold medal of the weekend after winning the Board Relay and Mixed Taplin Relay. Georgia Miller was third in the Surf Race and Ski, adding to three golds in Saturday’s team events.

Rogers later teamed with Brown and Emily Doyle to win the Open Female Taplin Relay.

The Open Ironman could have been taken out by any of the field, with simply making the final a great achievement given the depth of the field.

Zach Morris (Northcliffe) looked a strong chance of defending his crown throughout the board and swim, however it was two former club mates from the NSW south coast who found themselves sharing a wave in the final ski leg before Ali Day (Surfers Paradise) out sprinted Ski gold medallist Ben Carberry (Burleigh Heads Mowbray Park) to claim his fourth State Title.

“It was pretty funny – I grew up with that kid I was racing [Carberry] and I said if it’s not me then I hope you win it,” said Day. “I grew up with Ben, I know him so well, he’s such a close family friend.

“We grew up together, train together so coming in on that wave I almost smiled a few times because what do you do? You’re riding in on a wave with a mate, but I’m stoked to get the win. Our club (Surfers Paradise) has been going so well this weekend and I felt like I needed to add to the party so it’s good to get a win for the club.

Day’s club mate Mitchell Stitt earlier won the Open Male Board Race and Callum Brennan added the state Surf Race title to his Rescue Tube Rescue gold on Saturday, beating home Zach Morris who took home three golds yesterday.

Brennan then produced a swim leg that will live on famously at his club as he took Currumbin into a lead, which they never surrendered, to win the Open Male Taplin Relay.


After claiming all four individual Under 17 events last year, Jasmine Rayward (Burleigh Heads Mowbray Park) had another incredible State Championships this weekend. Going into Sunday, Rayward had claimed gold in the Beach Run Relay, Board Relay and Rescue Tube Rescue along with silver medals in the Belt, Board Rescue and Ski Relay.

On Super Sunday, Rayward took out the surf race before streaking away from the field to win the Ironwoman. Setting her race up in the Board leg, Rayward established an unassailable advantage in the swim and brought it home in the ski to cross the line ahead of Maroochydore’s Yve Warren who won the sprint up the beach to relegate Kalani Ives (Northcliffe) to third.

“It was a pretty big race,” said Rayward. “I’ve had a fair bit happening today but it’s really good when you can pull it all together and you can just race to your ability.

“During the board leg I was thinking this is going to be an interesting swim race, but it worked out oK and we didn’t get too hit.

“I always treat it like a close race. You don’t want to be that person who goes, I have a huge lead and don’t take the wave, and everyone goes past them. It’s just not a good look so I was like I’ll go, and I’ll be fine.”

Rayward rounded out her weekend with a silver medal in the U19 Taplin relay alongside sister Bianca and Charlotte Hart.

Earlier in the day, Grace Giblett (Surfers Paradise) won the Board Race while France’s Nikita Nijssen-Seran (Northcliffe), the 2022 World Championships bronze medallist in Board Rescue won the Ski.

Ethan Callaghan (Burleigh Heads Mowbray Park) had an incredible day to claim two individual events, denying Jake Morris (Northcliffe) the chance to defend his U19 Ironman crown. The pair have gone head-to-head all season long, with Callaghan edging out Morris in the Next Gen Series earlier this year.

After establishing a strong lead in the swim, Morris tried his best to mow him down in the ski but had to settle for second ahead of Riley Brennan (Currumbin).

“I was focussed on this one and I’m super stoked to get the job done,” said Callaghan. “I knew I had to make a strong finish and was good to get on the wave by myself.

“I saw him [Jake Morris] behind me, and I knew I had to go. There so many people that could have won that race so I’m super stoked I got it done.”

Callaghan had earlier shown exceptional bodysurfing skills to claim the Surf Race ahead of Riley Brennan, the victory coming off he back of his Surf Teams victory yesterday. He also took silver in the Ski behind Alex Woodhouse (Maroochydore), while Morris’ Ironman silver was in addition to Ski bronze and Taplin gold today.

Earlier this weekend Morris took team victories in the U19 and Open Ski Relays and the U19 Board Relay, which followed his Under 19 Double Ski gold.

In one of the best finishes of the day, Burleigh Heads Mowbray Park swept the podium in the U19 Board, with Taj Andrews beating home Darby Meyer and Fletcher Warn.

Bianca Rayward had a magnificent carnival, taking home a swag of medals across the age groups and even on the beach.

She opened the meet by partnering with sister Jasmine to win the U19 Beach Run Relay and added to that the Under 19 Surf Belt Board Relay as well as the U19 and Open Rescue Tube Rescue gold medals. Individually, she won the Surf Race and was second in the Ironwoman behind Sienna Bush (North Burleigh). She rounded out her carnival with U19 Taplin silver.

Bush herself had a standout three days, winning the Beach Run and Beach Run Relay on Friday, the Board Relay on Saturday before taking gold in today’s Board final and claiming bronze in the Surf Race.

Alexandra Headland’s Zoe Woods won the Board to add to her Surf Teams Gold, and also finished second in the surf race.

Tugun’s Allie Hughes paddled a tremendous Ski Final to claim her first gold medal.

In the men’s competition, Sunshine Beach’s Dylan Wilson was a standout, winning the Belt on Saturday before taking back-to-back golds today run the Surf Race and then the Ironman. Dylan Howlell (Burleigh Heads Mowbray Park) was triumphant in the Board with Alexandra Headland’s Alec Stewart taking out the ski.

Mermaid Beach have claimed the Open Male Surf Boat state title, beating home Currumbin and Alexandra Headland in the final. Currumbin took gold and silver in the Open Female Surf Boat final ahead of Surfers Paradise.

In Open Male Reserve Boat, Currumbin beat Mermaid Beach and Maroochydore while in the Female Reserve, Maroochydore came out on top ahead of Currumbin and Noosa Heads.

Northcliffe beat home Maroochydore in both the male and female Under 23 finals, Dicky Beach won the Under 19 Female gold medal while Marcoola claimed the U19 Male event.

In yesterday’s Mixed Surf Boat Relay, Maroochydore beat home a trio of Currumbin crews to take the gold medal.

Alexandra Headland once again took out the Open March Past while Burleigh Heads Mowbray Park won the U23s and scored silver in the Opens.

In the R&R area, Alexandra Headland were again dominant, claiming gold in the Open Mixed 6 Person, gold and silver in the Open Mixed 5 Person and gold in the Open Male 5 Person. Burleigh Heads Mowbray Park took first and third in the two-person with Picnic Bay taking silver.

The 2024 Queensland Youth Surf Life Saving Championships take place from 22-24 March at Burleigh.