Sydney Northern Beaches are Interbranch Champions

Sydney Northern Beaches have regained the Interbranch Championship in style after holding off rivals Sydney with a determined display on a pulsating day two of action to conclude the 2014 Championships.

Competition was once again moved to Swansea Belmont after conditions at Catherine Hill Bay weren’t suitable for competition. The move was achieved with a minimum of fuss, and competitors were greeted with consistent wave sets, blue skies, and some red-hot competition.

There was little between the two Sydney branches throughout the two-day carnival as they traded points in most events. At various stages across the weekend, just half a point separated the rivals.

Indeed it wasn’t until the final few events that Sydney Northern Beaches were able to pull away and claim the title pushing last year’s champions into the silver medal position. Central Coast finished third, and hosts Hunter took out fourth place.

Northern Beaches Captain Katie Williams credited the team spirit amongst the group for playing a major part in the branch regaining the title.

“It’s fantastic to take the title, and we’ve had a great weekend at Interbranch. The team came together well.

“We all took the attitude that the title was there to be won, and used that mentality throughout the carnival, and I think that really helped especially in the team events today,” Williams said.

“Everybody gave it their all and did their best, and that’s all you can really ask for,” she said.

Williams and male sprinter Jake Lynch also from the Sydney Northern Beaches branch both won the open sprint double, which played a key role in the ultimate margin, but it was a team effort from all the competitors that eventually sealed the victory.

For the regional branches the Interbranch titles were again a chance to test themselves against their metropolitan rivals before next month’s Country Championships. Far North Coast dominated the point-score, taking home the Country Cup for the second consecutive year after finishing fifth overall. South Coast and the Mid North Coast rounded out the minor placings in the country point-score.

Surf lifesaving NSW Sports Manager Shane Knight was delighted with the success of the carnival, and praised everyone involved with the event especially for being so understanding during the venue switch.

“I’d like to thank Catherine Hill Bay SLSC, Swansea Belmont, and the Hunter Branch for being such wonderful hosts. While we would have liked to complete the carnival at Catherine Hill Bay, the reality of surf sports means that safety must always come first.

“Congratulations to Sydney Northern Beaches for taking out the title, to all the other branches thank you for participating in the right spirit,” Mr Knight said.

“There have been some memorable performances, and we hope all the branches come back and do it all again next year.”

Final Interbranch Pointscore:

Sydney Northern Beaches 1382
Sydney 1363.5
Central Coast 1265.5
Hunter 1182
Far North Coast 1053.3
Illawarra 768
South Coast 650
Mid North Coast 491
North Coast 453
Far South Coast 290
Lower North Coast 138.5

Sun 14 Dec 2014