Surf Athletes Impress At Interbranch

The best talent from Mid and Lower North Coast Branches were on show last weekend at the 2016 NSW Interbranch Championships held at The Lakes SLSC.

Mid North Coast Branch moved up one position on last year’s results to finish eighth while the small Lower North Coast team produced some promising results and claimed 11th spot.

Sydney were crowned Interbranch Champions, only 16 points ahead of their northern rivals Sydney Northern Beaches. While Central Coast, Hunter and Far North Coast rounded out the top five.

A similar story for both Mid and Lower North Coast Branches as they took advantage of the drafting available as part of the Interbranch Titles which ultimately helped them in the pointscore and exposed them to mentoring from experienced athletes.

Port Macquarie Youngsters lead the Mid North Coast team with Finn Askew finishing second and third in the U15 Male Surf and Iron respectively. On the beach, Jaydn Rossiter took silver in the U13 Beach Flags and Ava Sinclair made the top four in the U14 Beach Flags.

Also on the sand, Mia Bales (Wauchope-Bonny Hills) put in solid performances in the U13 Sprint and Flags to finish third and fifth respectively.

“Usually our Branch has a pretty small team and we don’t often have the opportunity to fill teams, so being able to use the draft and having some of our kids stay in region we’re building for the future,” said Mid North Coast Coach Melinda Cockshutt.

Lower North Coast drafted NSW Champion sprinter and former Sydney Northern Beaches Captain, Michael Kember who won the Open Beach Sprint and placed second in the Open Beach Flags.

Team Manager, Cathy van Kampen believes the draft is a great way for the smaller Branches to compete at most of the events at Interbranch.

“This is the first year we used the drafting rule and we’re really happy to have those athletes on our team, not just for the results but as a mentor to our local juniors coming through,” Cathy van Kampen said.

“We’ve only brought a small team and they’re all having lots of fun and trying their hardest which I is all we can ask for.”

Forster’s Alicia Williams finished third in the U15 Female Beach Flags and was the highest achieving Lower North Coast athlete. The U15 results continued with Claire van Kampen (Cape Hawke) rounding out the top six in the Female Surf Race.

“They’re a fantastic bunch and I can’t thank them enough. I know that they’ve got a lot of juniors coming through so hopefully in the years to come they’ll be a force,” said drafted athlete Michael Kember.

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.

Tue 13 Dec 2016