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They may be two of the smaller branches in Surf Life Saving, but the teams from the Mid North Coast and Lower North Coast still had plenty to smile about at last weekend’s Interbranch Championship.

Thanks to Black Head SLSC having hosting rights, the two branch representative teams had the shortest distance to travel while they also took full advantage of the draft which allowed them to select athletes from out-of-area to fill their team commitments.

Finn Askew from the Mid North Coast performed well to take out the gold in what was a competitive field.

The Tacking Point competitor enjoyed a successful competition which also included a 5th place finish in the Youth Male Board Race and 3rd in the Ski while brother Harry Askew (Port Macquarie) finished a highly creditable 4th in the U14 Ironman.

On the beach, Port Macquarie’s Fleur Sherlock showed impressive form to finish 3rd in the U14 Female Flags and backed it up with a 6th place finish in the Sprint.

The Mid North Coast athletes combined impressively in the team events showcasing a real spirit of togetherness which augurs well for the future.

The Male Open RescueTube Rescue Team and U12 Male and Female Surf Teams performed particularly strongly only narrowly missing the podium.

Another strong performer was Alexandra Rampoldi the North Cronulla speedster (and triplet) proved to be an astute pick-up in the draft.

After missing selection in the Sydney squad she contested the Open Female Beach Sprint and Beach Flag events.

In a tight tussle in the Final of the Flags she managed to defeat her sister Leah and take out maximum points for the Mid North Coast while in the Sprint she finished second overall.

Mid North Coast Team Manager Mel Cockshutt said there were encouraging signs for the future of surf sport within the region.

“The whole team performed incredibly well with everyone finishing at least mid-pack to contribute valuable points rather than relying on the performances of one or two athletes.

“It’s the most number of points accrued in at least 6 years and there is a lot of excitement among the kids up here for Interbranch going forward. I think we will go close to fielding our own team next year without having to rely on draft athletes so it’s encouraging signs for the Mid North Coast,” she said.

Hosts Black Head were delighted to bring the action to their area for the first time in 6 years and hope that it will inspire the next generation of athletes.

“We had 400 competitors over the 2 days which was made a bit harder because of the stronger winds and bit of chop,” said Black Head President Bruce White.

 “We are a small club in a small branch so we enjoy the chance to get involved in the competitive side of surf sport. Running Interbranch is a great chance to host elite level athletes from around NSW,” he said.

Overall Pointscore

  • Sydney Northern Beaches 1198

  • Sydney 1185

  • Hunter 1055

  • Central Coast 1000

  • Far North Coast 834

  • Illawarra 722

  • South Coast 675

  • Mid North Coast 545

  • North Coast 467

  • Far South Coast 311

  • Lower North Coast 267

Wednesday 12 December 2018