HUNTER athletes put the rest of the country on notice after a string of strong performances at the NSW State Championships at Umina Beach.
The event was exceptional for Swansea-Belmont, which finished sixth overall, with 125 points after the three days of competition.
Redhead was the next-best placed Hunter club in 14th position with 80 points, followed by Catherine Hill Bay in 21st on 30 points, Caves Beach in 31st on seven points, Merewether in 36th on three points and Newcastle in 37th on two points.
Redhead's Stewart McLachlan proved he was up to the challenge of defending his Australian Open board title by powering to an impressive victory in one-foot conditions.
The lay-down paddler left his competitors in his wake as he finished with a one-wave lead in a comfortable win.
The Swansea-Belmont pair of Renee Gregory and Hannah Trypas also proved it would be a tough challenge for anyone to take their Australian under-19 board rescue crown off them, as they competed up an age group in the open category to take out the board rescue event.