FINALLY: On his fourth consecutive trip to the state finals, River Robinson of Yamba Public School was named the best primary school speller in the state, taking out the senior Premiers Spelling Bee challenge.
FINALLY: On his fourth consecutive trip to the state finals, River Robinson of Yamba Public School was named the best primary school speller in the state, taking out the senior Premiers Spelling Bee challenge. Adam Hourigan

WINNER: Our state super speller siblings

RIVER Robinson has spelt thousands of words, read the dictionary for days and driven his brother crazy in the car on the way to soccer training practising for the Premier's Spelling Bee.

Now, he's knocked over the one word he hadn't before.

W-I-N-N-E-R.

The Year 6 student from Yamba Public conquered the Premier's Spelling Bee state final at his fourth consecutive visit to the finals, after finishing fourth, eighth and third over his last three tries.

On stage in Sydney, this time he took the title after spelling for five and a half hours, beating out more than 170,000 students across the state to be crowned champion.

"It was exciting, it was relief, it was just so good,” he said back at his home school.

Some of the words River admitted he'd never seen spelt before, such as chrysanthemum, and proscenium, his final word of the championship.

"It was the hardest one ever. Normally when we get to the 'unseen' words there's only four of us left, but this year there was 25.

"I just go through all the combos of how the sounds can be spelt and I go from what looks right.”

River was recognised as the first person in the history of the competition to make the state finals for all four years he was eligible, and also gave the competition another first.

DYNAMIC DUO: Yamba Public student River Robinson, who won the Senior Premier's Spelling Bee challenge at the state finals last week, with younger brother Bowie, who finished 25th in the state.
DYNAMIC DUO: Yamba Public student River Robinson, who won the Senior Premier's Spelling Bee challenge at the state finals last week, with younger brother Bowie, who finished 25th in the state. Adam Hourigan

He was part of the first sibling pair to make the competition in the same year, with his brother Bowie in Year 4 also reaching the state junior finals.

And after watching River slog it away for five hours to take the title, Bowie went straight on stage, and made it to the second round of unseen words, placing equal 25th in the state out of the 50 finalists there.

”He did so well, I was really proud of him,” River said.

River said he wanted to pay tribute to his teachers at Yamba Public School, who had pushed him every step of the way, with each of his teacher giving him more skills to take the top title.



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