SANTA was all class and very jolly despite being dumped by the swell as he arrived at the beach on the back of a jet ski for the Brunswick Heads Surf Club end-of-year nippers party.
Water logged and clearing the salty, sandy water from his beard Santa wasted no time in asking up to 120 children if they had been good or bad during the year, and handed out presents.
Christmas in Australia, you beauty!
Each year Santa takes a different type of transport to get to the Brunswick SLSC.
As a swell of five-foot sets rolled in on a choppy and windy sea yesterday, he was probably thinking flying reindeers were a better bet. Last year's arrival on the back of a Harley Davidson motorbike was also looking safe.
But no matter, he and his driver rounded the Brunswick bar and raced into shore negotiating the worst of the swell, only to come unstuck when his craft went side-on in the inshore white water section.
The crowd let out a cheer and even bigger one when he resurfaced and proceeded to shore. Santa's appearance and a barbeque were a great way to finish the year, Sharon Wearne secretary of the Brunswick Heads SLSC Juniors said.
There was close to 120 children at the meeting yesterday out of a full junior membership of 240, she said.
The nippers were a very important part of any surf club she said.
They start from under 6 years and the focus is on having fun and familiarising kids with the ocean, she said.
"Whether it is wading or bodyboards, it is all about building up surf skills," she said.
After moving through the juniors, children can sign on to join beach patrols when they are 14-years-old, she said.
The Brunswick nippers were as strong as ever, after a big influx of members this year.
Management structures at the club were all running smoothly and "word had been getting around", she said.
Success was also showing in the performance of the nippers after two members, Brianna Clarkson and Oliver Harnell, had been selected to go to Sydney for a development camp.
Just one boy and girl were chosen from the North Coast Branch that covers nine clubs from Yamba to Fingal, and both were from Brunswick, she said.
Having Santa turn up at the beach was a great way to get all the kids in the same spot, according to parent Steve Webb.
Mr Webb was relatively new to the world of surf life saving after growing up in inland Australia, but his son loved being a member of nippers.
The benefits were clear to see, he said.
"He gets a lot out of it; it is giving him confidence. Every week, he gets more confident in the ocean."
Northern Star - 15th Dec 2014