North Coast Athletes Impress At Interbranch

Representative surf athletes from the North Coast and Far North Coast teams enjoyed a bright start to summer over the weekend as they showcased their skills at the 2016 NSW Interbranch Championships held at The Lakes SLSC on the NSW Central Coast.

In the overall point score after two days of competition, Sydney Branch claimed back the Interbranch Title ahead of Sydney Northern Beaches with host Branch Central Coast rounding out the podium.

There was more joy in the Country Standings where Far North Coast were crowned champions the fourth consecutive year (fifth overall). North Coast Branch finished fourth in the Country tally (ninth overall) but in encouraging signs for the future were only five points behind Mid North Coast in the overall standing.

Luke Chaffer (Cudgen Headland) was a standout performer for the Far North Coast, winning the Open Male Surf Race which was the first event of the Championships and got his team off to the perfect start. He continued his form throughout the competition to claim second in the Open Ironman, and third in the Open Male Board Race.

Cudgen Headland athletes were dominant in the water events with Olissa Onley cruising past the finish line in first place in the U13 Female Board Race and Lily O’Sullivan finishing second in the U13 Ironwoman.

Young Nathan Mackenzie flew the flag for Lennox Head-Alstonville in the U14 events with a second and third place in the Board and Ironman.

On the beach, Brad Hunt (Byron Bay) was pipped at the post in the Youth Beach Sprint to claim silver while Cabarita Beach athletes Cahrizma Macdonald, Claudia Crawford and Reef Sommerville all had top three finishes.

“It’s an awesome carnival and we always look forward to travelling down and representing the Far North Coast,” said Far North Coast Coach and Open athlete Scott McCartney.

“We really set our sights high as a Country Branch and look to improve each year and aim for the top three positions overall but unfortunately we couldn’t achieve that this year.”

North Coast Branch also produced a host of solid results with Kate Murray (Sawtell) claiming bronze in the U15 Female Board Race and fellow club mate Aiden Blaxland finishing fourth in the U13 Ironman.

In the Open division, Tahlia Kollen (Urunga) finished strongly in the Ironwoman to secure a top five spot and Jack Pavey (Coffs Harbour) crossed the line sixth in the Ski race.

On the beach, Bellinger Valley-North Beach sprinter, Max Shaw made it to the top four in the U15 Beach Flags while Riley Dalton (Woolgoolga) finished fifth in the Open Beach Flags.

“The kids have enjoyed themselves and have done incredibly well especially with the standard of the competition,” said North Coast Branch Coach Darren O’Reilly.

“Interbranch is fantastic for our local athletes who aren’t able to train as much as others around NSW and it is a great indicator of where they’re at in the sport.”

The 2017 NSW Interbranch Championships will be held at Stockton SLSC on 9 and 10 December which was announced at the presentation ceremony on Sunday afternoon.

Full list of results and photos at www.surflifesaving.com.au/interbranch.

Photo: Angus McPhail and Nadi Canning with Championship Referee, Wayne Druery.

Tue 13 Dec 2016