Competitions

NIPPER CARNIVALS

The Victorian Junior Surf Carnival season begins in December and culminates with the Junior State Championships in March each year. There are many events that may be contested at each carnival, although programs will vary at each event.

Nipper carnivals provide an opportunity for Nippers to further develop their “surf skills” and offer a range of beach & water based individual & team events. Nippers require their “Competition Competency Certificate” to compete in ocean based events. Participation in carnivals is encouraged but is not compulsory.

Individual Events

  • Surf Race
  • Wading Race
  • Surf Board Race
  • Ironman/Ironwoman
  • Beach Sprint
  • Beach Flags

Team Events

  • Surf Teams
  • Wade Relay
  • Beach Relay
  • Board Relay
  • Aqua Cameron Relay
  • 2 person rescue and resuscitation

*** For more information on the above events, see the Beach Carnival Events descriptions at the end of this page.

Competition Prerequisites

The Competition Evaluation is a National pre-requisite to participate in Lifesaving Sport carnivals in Australia. These evaluations should be programmed as part of the first few weeks of a Nippers program.

Below is a list of distances Nippers must attempt in the Competition skills evaluation:

Age Group Distance & Requirements
Under 8 NA (this age group only competes in beach and wade events)
Under 9 Minimum 150m open water swim in 12 minutes
Under 10 Minimum 150m open water swim in 11 minutes
Under 11 Minimum 288m open water swim in 12 minutes
Under 12 Minimum 288m open water swim in 10 minutes
Under 13 Minimum 288m open water swim in 9 minutes
Under 14 Minimum 288m open water swim in 9 minutes

If the Nipper can complete the above distance for their age group, they are eligible to compete in all competition events in their age group (excluding State Championships). The Competition Skills Evaluation is mandatory for all age groups (except Under 8s) to compete in any event.

The following events are scheduled during the Nipper calendar:

Fairhaven/Lorne Nipper Carnival

This is a much anticipated annual event that provides an induction to carnivals for Nippers from the Fairhaven & Lorne SLSC’s. It is scheduled during the Nipper calendar, but is run separately to the Nipper sessions & involves both individual & team events.

Torquay (Cosy Corner) Nipper Carnival

This Nipper Carnival is open to all Victorian SLSC’s & provides an opportunity for Nippers to experience competition conditions. We ask that you advise your AGM during the Nipper season if you think that your child may like to compete in this event, which takes place during the fortnight Nipper Program in January.

SurfCoast Regional Championships

This Nipper Carnival is open to all Life Saving Victoria Clubs on the surf coast & provides an opportunity for Nippers to further their experience of competition conditions. It provides a qualifying opportunity for clubs within the Surfcoast region to progress to State Championships.

State Championships

This will be held at Warnambool SLSC on March 10/11th 2018.

Club Championships

A session of our Nipper Program is allocated to Club Championships. To be eligible to be a Fairhaven SLSC Age Group Champion the nipper must be:

  • a current member of Fairhaven SLSC
  • competing in the appropriate age level (cannot go up or down an age level)
  • have participated in at least 50% of the Nipper Program for that season


*** Beach Carnival Events

Event Description
Beach Flags Beach Flags is a traditional event that has existed since the very beginning of Lifesaving. It involves a group of lifesavers competing for flags (pieces of hose-pipe). An athlete is ‘knocked-out’ each time and eventually there is a run off between two lifesavers. The one who wins the flag, wins the event.
Beach Sprint Beach Sprint involves a sprint over a distance of 70 metres.
Beach Relay Beach Relay is held on the sand and consists of a team of four competitors and a rubber piece of hose. Members 1 & 3 are stationed at one end of the lanes whilst members 2 & 4 are at the other. The object is to successfully complete the race without dropping the baton and exchanging within the set boundaries.
Wade Race Wade Race is a skill designed to teach lifesavers the art of proficient running into the surf. The skills they learn enables them to lift their legs high and swing out over the waves to enhance their ability to increase the response time in entering the  water in the case of a rescue. Competitors begin on the beach start line and on the starters signal enter the water and either wade, dive and or swim around three Life savers usually standing waste deep in the water and then run to the finishing line on the beach.
Wade Relay Wade Relay involves teams of four who conduct a tag style of race over the same course as the wade race. 
Board Race Board Race uses a nipper or Malibu board. It also involves negotiating the break and then following a set course of buoys. You then return to shore surfing the waves back to the beach. First over the line is the winner. The board race requires balance, strength and endurance.
Board Relay Board Relay consists of three paddlers completing the board course as above in a tag system. The first team to successfully pass all the buoys and cross the finish line will be declared the winner.
Surf Race Surf Race involves swimming around a course of buoys placed out in the ocean and swimming to shore
Iron Nipper Iron Nipper   This event trains lifesavers with the ultimate endurance ability.   It consists of a board paddle, a swim (or a wade for younger age groups) and a run to the finish line.  The carnival referee will determine the order of events on the day.
Aqua Cameron Relay Aqua Cameron relay is an event where 4 members complete the legs of the Iron Person race. Three of the members will either swim, wade or board paddle while the fourth member will run and tag each member after each leg of the race.
March Past Team March past team  – a team of 11 marchers from each life saving club carries a reel and club flag, marching to music around a set course and are judged on their timing, marching ability, overall appearance and presentation.
Belt & Reel Race Belt and Reel race is a beach event and involves two competitors (one runner and one reeler) and an approved life saving reel.  (U12 and above)
Board Rescue Board Rescue – each team consists of two competitors, a swimmer and a board paddler.  On the starters signal the swimmer enters the water and swims to their allocated buoy and signals to the  board paddler to “rescue them”. When the board paddler has picked up the swimmer, the two competitors paddle to the beach where they must cross the finish line.