Media Story Highlights from Interbranch

Catch up on some of the highlights from Interbranch with this selection of stories sent to media throughout NSW.

Sydney a Close Second at Interbranch Champs

The Sydney Northern Beaches Branch has managed to hang on to the NSW Interbranch Title for 2012 over main challenger Sydney Branch, at Black Head Beach near Forster this weekend.

Some tough conditions tested the surf skills of the Branch’s top surf sports competitors and made for some very close finishes.

The Sydney Branch had some great success in the Junior Events with up and coming Under 12 competitors Leo Nosatti from North Cronulla SLSC and Summer Walker from Bronte SLSC both taking out their swim event, securing second in the Ironperson event and third in the Board.

“This has been a really big experience and loads of fun,” said Leo.

“I am competing with the best kids and enjoying doing what I love. I want to be the best I can be and hopefully be the next Shannon Eckstein,” he added.

Summer Walker also enjoyed her first experience at the NSW Interbranch Championships.

“I didn’t know what to expect but this has been so fun and competitive. All the kids who compete at State are here and it’s been great catching up with my friends from all over NSW,” said Summer.

Central Coast Branch Third At Interbranch Championships

Central Coast athletes have ensured a top three placing for the branch at the 2012 NSW Surf Life Saving Interbranch Championships at Black Head Beach on the NSW Lower North Coast this weekend.

Athletes showed outstanding skill in very testing conditions.

Young Central Coast competitor Karlee Nurthen from Terrigal SLSC had a very impressive weekend.

Sixteen-year-old Nurthen convincingly took out the Open Ironwoman Event and secured second place in the Open Board behind team mate Lauren Stone and ahead of Kellogg’s Nutri Grain Ironwomen contenders Candice Falzon, Devon Halligan and Tara Coleman.

“It just felt so good being on the starting line with Kellogg’s Nutri Grain competitors like Devon Halligan and Candice Falzon. My adrenaline was just pumping and when I knew Hannah (Minogue) wasn’t going to catch me I was so excited.

“It just confirmed that training hard has really paid off,” said Nurthen.

Training for Karlee consists of six swim sessions a week, three board sessions, two iron and ski sessions and a run every day.

Fellow Central Coast competitor Macy Callaghan also stood out, winning the U12 board and ironperson events and coming second in the swim.

“My very first Interbranch Championships have been so fun. There has been some really tough competition and it’s good to meet new friends. My ultimate goal at the moment is to win another State Title,” said Callaghan.

Far North Coast Takes On The Surf And The Sand

The Far North Coast Branch competitors have done their branch proud at the 2012 NSW Surf Life Saving Interbranch Championships at Black Head Beach near Forster.

Head Coach, Scott McCartney, said the team have been racing really well and getting some good results.

“It has been a really strong effort from the whole team this weekend,” said McCartney.

Under 14 up-and-coming competitor and Junior Branch Captain, Hannah Sculley, had a successful weekend winning the Ironperson and securing third in the board event.

“I have had a good weekend. I knew I was up there with them in the Ironperson but I didn’t think I could win. Now I am really excited for State Champs,” said Sculley.

“Carnivals like the Interbranch Championships are good to see how you are going against your competition at this time of the season and then you know where you need to train harder and improve,” she added.

Luke Chaffer from Cudgen Headland was second in the U15 Ironman and third in the Surf race and Ballina’s Mahli Borham came third in the U13 Female Flags.

The Bear Is Back…Again!

Far South Coast competitors have done their Branch proud at the 2012 NSW Surf Life Saving Interbranch Championships at Black Head Beach near Forster.

Not even the long 12-hour drive deterred the Branch from fielded a growing and competitive team for the third consecutive year at the Championships.

Far South Coast Branch Director of Surf Sports, Melissa Meaker, said she was incredibly proud of the team, which has been built from the bottom up over the past couple of years.

“For us it is all about having a go and bonding as a team. It can be overwhelming for the kids to see the bigger branches with all their coaches and gear, things we don’t have down the Far South Coast, but the kids have done really well this weekend.”

The seven clubs in the Far South Coast Branch span across an area of 200 kilometres and due to the water temperature, the team had been unable to train together prior to the Interbranch Championships.

Under 15 competitor Grace Knox and Under 19 competitor Tom Pritchard both secured third place in the Beach Sprint event on Day One.

“It’s been an eye opener to compete up here and for many of my team mates this is the biggest carnival they have ever been to,” said Pritchard.

“The Branch has really come a long way and bonded through this experience,” he added.

Hunter Competitors Take On The Best Of The Best

Hunter competitors helped the Branch secure fourth place at the 2012 NSW Surf Life Saving Interbranch Championships at Black Head Beach near Forster this weekend.

Athletes demonstrated their skills in some very testing conditions and Assistant Team Manager Grahame Lott said the Hunter team has had a great weekend.

“We are very proud of the whole team who have been the best we have had in a long time in terms of their camaraderie and participation. The older kids have been great at mentoring our younger ones and the team has really bonded,” said Lott.

“Steve Knight (Team Manager) and I have been building this team for a long time as we have previously struggled to get any Under 19 or Open competitors,” he added.

The Hunter’s beach event competitors did the best the Branch has ever done at NSW Interbranch Championships and the goal for the team is to continue to reduce the gap between themselves and the Central Coast with the aim of taking out third place.

Under 14 competitor Lily Costello had an impressive weekend, securing first spot in the Board and Swim and second in the Board Rescue with team mate Jessica McPeak.

Lily said, “It’s been a good weekend. We have been up here training since Wednesday and we have got some great results. It’s good to see how I am going against my friends in my age group and prepare for the State Titles.”

Illawarra Athletes Dominates On The Sand

Blistering performances by Illawarra competitors at the 2012 NSW Surf Life Saving Interbranch Championships at Black Head near Forster this weekend had people wondering if there’s something in the Wollongong water.

Head Beach Coach for the Illawarra, Daniel Robberds, was thrilled with the success of the Branch’s beach event competitors.

“The team has really thrived this weekend, especially in the relay events. I was really confident we would have a couple of first places but some others were a nice surprise. A lot of them have improved out of sight,” said Robberds.

The Illawarra Branch convincingly took out both the Junior and Senior Beach Relays. They also dominated the Beach Sprint events with Under 19 competitor Alana Humphries and Under 17 competitor Daniel McKellar both securing first place.

Second place was snatched by the Illawarra a number of times with Ashley Dribbus and Ben Hamill in the U12 events, Brock Scrivener in the U13, Yvette Avery in the U14, Mikayla Hill and Tristan Sailor in the U15, Tom Dewey in the U19 and Blake Drysdale in the Opens.

Ilawarra athletes also featured in the Beach Flags with Payton Williams, Ben Hamill, Brock Scrivener, Tristan Sailor and Blake Drysdale all taking out first place in their respective age groups.

Blake Drysdale is certainly heading in the right direction and has the Opens Beach Flags at Aussies in his sights.

“Today I was up against the world champion Jake Lynch in Beach Flags and I knew it would be a hard hit out. I really wanted to beat him, that was my aim and I am stoked,” said Drysdale.

“The whole team has done really well and our coach Daniel Robberds deserves to be applauded,” he added.

Carroll Carries Mid North Coast Hopes

The Mid North Coast has done their Branch proud at the 2012 NSW Surf Life Saving Interbranch Championships at Black Head SLSC on the NSW Lower North Coast.

Top performance of the weekend was by Under 13 rising superstar Ryan Carroll, who took out first in the board, swim and ironperson events on Day One.

Ryan is unbeaten in every water event he has contested for 2012 at carnivals including the Lennox Head Endurance Championships, Cudgen Classic, Hugo Smyth Memorial and Swansea Belmont Endurance.

Ryan says he is incredibly passionate about the sport and really wants to succeed.

“I feel like I’m destined to do this and my goal is to get up with the big boys in the Kellogg’s Nutri Grain series,” said Ryan.

The Mid North Coast has never had a first, second or third placing in the swim or ironperson at the NSW Interbranch Championships before Ryan.

Head Coach Dave Rickwood is excited by Ryan’s huge potential.

Other Mid North Coast results include Mitchell Evans, second in the U12 Beach Flags and Troy Wilkinson third in the U15 Beach Sprint.

South Coast Top Performing Country Branch

The South Coast Branch has been crowned the top country branch again at the 2012 NSW Surf Life Saving Interbranch Championships at Black Head near Forster this weekend.

Some tough conditions tested the skills of the Branch’s top surf sports competitors and made for some very close finishes.

South Coast Team Captain and water competitor Hayden White had to show his versatility and be all things to all people by competing in the water and beach events. White secured first place in the Open Ski event and second in the Open Ironperson and competed in the Open Beach Flags event.

“Interbranch is a great carnival to go to as a team. You get to know everyone in your Branch and there isn’t as much pressure, the atmosphere is much more enjoyable,” said White.

“I’m now focusing on the Trans-Tasman Tour to New Zealand in the New Year and competing at the 2013 State and Aussie Titles,” he added.

Under 17 competitor Kalani Starling was also impressive over the weekend taking out first place in the Ironperson.

“It’s been difficult, the competition is tough but I have been training hard and the Ironperson was the one I really wanted to win,” said Starling.

Sun 9 Dec 2012