epa05670298 Sam Brazel from Australia hits during the UBS Hong Kong Open in Hong Kong, China, 11 December 2016.  EPA/JEROME FAVRE
epa05670298 Sam Brazel from Australia hits during the UBS Hong Kong Open in Hong Kong, China, 11 December 2016. EPA/JEROME FAVRE JEROME FAVRE

Sportsmen and women of 2016

Cudgen crowned

THE defending premiers look to be going from strength to strength this season after taking out the inaugural Far North Coast LJ Hooker LeagueTwenty20 premiership in October.

The addition of former NSW Sheffield Shield spin bowler Anthony Kershler has only added more depth to the side.

Kiwis win Sevens

NEW Zealand team Melville, from the Hamilton region on the North Island, put on a dominant display at the annual Byron Bay Rugby Sevens.

It was their second year at the tournament and they easily accounted for Fijian outfit Nadro Navosa 33-0 in the final.

Russell revved up

Goonellabah driver David Russell had a big October on the race track at Bathurst, Gold Coast and New Zealand.

Russell had top 10 finishes with his Nissan Motorsport team in the Bathurst 1000 and on the Gold Coast two weeks later.

He went on to win the Hampton Downs 101 Australian GT Endurance Championship as a co-driver with Roger Lago.

Wright stuff

FORMER Lennox Head surfer Tyler Wright capped an emotional year by winning her maiden world title at the Roxy Pro in France.

Wright lost her uncle last year while older brother Owen Wright has been out of competition in 2016 after a head injury in Hawaii in December.

She won the first event of the year on the Gold Coast and was in the box seat heading into France after winning another three events in the lead-up.

Powering on

GOONELLABAH soccer player Kaiden Powell was selected in the Australian indigenous team in November after standout performances during the national championships at Nowra.

Powell has moved to Newcastle to play with Broadmeadow Magic in the National Premier League.

History maker

FORMER Alstonville cricketer Georgia Redmayne scored 116 runs and picked up player-of-the-match honours against Western Australia in a Women's National Cricket League game.

The century in November followed on from when she became the first female player to score a hundred for Tasmania in a thrilling final-ball win against the Australian Capital Territory the previous month.

Rock and roll

NORTHERN Rivers Rock made the final of the Cricket NSW Regional Bash Twenty20 at the SCG in December.

It was also a big finish to the year for the Tweed players in the team who won the McDonald's Country Cup cricket knockout for the first time when they beat Tamworth at Grafton.

Brazel's big win

LISMORE golfer Sam Brazel won the first major professional tournament of his career when he won the Hong Kong open in December.

He took home a prize purse of $442,128 and gained automatic entry into the European Tour events for the next two years.

Mono riding high

FAR North Coast surfer Mark "Mono" Stewart won back-to-back titles at the ISA Stance World Adaptive Championships in the United States.

Stewart grew up at Mullumbimby and lost his right leg to cancer when he was 16 years old.