Podium Finish For Central Coast

Central Coast has again shown they have some of the best surf athletes in NSW with another outstanding performance at the 2016 Interbranch Championships over the weekend at The Lakes SLSC.

Sydney (1162) claimed the Interbranch Title ahead of Sydney Northern Beaches who were only 16 points behind. The hosts finished third place on the podium with 1,044 points.

Boosted by the inclusions of Australian representatives Jemma Smith (Umina) and Tim Schofield (Terrigal) who were each named as captain, the strong team of 40 athletes enjoyed a sensational final day of competition winning 10 out of the completed 24 team events, which was the most of any Branch.

They outclassed the field in the Open Male and Female Rescue Tube Rescue, Open Mixed Ski Relay and Open Male Taplin Relay, and were also very dominant in the Youth and U15 events, winning the U15 Mixed Board Relay and Cameron Relay and Youth Mixed Board and Ski Relays.

Individually Jemma Smith cruised to victory in the Open Female Ski, Swim and Iron while Tim Schofield pushed through the big conditions to take out the Open Male Ski and Iron.

Lachlan Braddish (Umina) had a memorable competition winning the U15 Male Surf and Iron events while his elder brother, Harry, blitzed on the sand taking out the Youth Male Beach Sprint and Flags.

Although disappointed to finish in third place for the seventh consecutive year, Tim Schofield believes the tide may be finally turning their way and that cracking that elusive top-two position remains an achievable goal.

“It’s a painful way to end the day but it’s a good way,” said Tim Schofield moments after winning the Open Ironman.

“For the last two years as a team we’ve been speaking about really pushing Sydney and Sydney Northern Beaches and it’s only a matter of time until we crack second position,” Tim Schofield said.

The team were very happy to host the Interbranch Championships on their home beach believing it helped them to their successful final day of competition.

“There’s so much more support when you’re on your home beach and it gives the team a bit more confidence when on the start line,” Jemma Smith said.

For the younger athletes of the team, knowing that they have the experience of Jemma Smith leading the team could help them as they strive to their carve their own names in the sport.

It’s a responsibility that one of the break-out stars of 2016 takes seriously.

“I try to be the best role model I can be for the younger members of the team and we have a lot of talent coming through so I’m just trying to guide them in the right direction,” Jemma Smith said.

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: Jemma Smith at the 2016 Interbranch Championships.

Tue 13 Dec 2016