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The gap is closing – that’s the message surf lifesavers from the Far North Coast sent out to the rest of the field at the 2017 Interbranch Championship held at Stockton last weekend.

It was a solid performance from the Far North Coast who finished fifth overall trialling Central Coast by just 37 points sty the conclusion of the annual two-day challenge.

There were a number of memorable results for the Far North Coast team.

It was a clean-sweep for Lilly O’Sullivan in the water events for the U14s when she won the Board, Surf Race, and Ironwoman events, while Luke Chaffer took home two third place finishes in the Open Ironman and Ski races.

Cleary the Far North Coast team is very close, a fact remarked on by many of the athletes in attendance.

“Because we come from so far away and stay together there’s a good vibe around the group. I think one of the strengths is there is lots of mentoring from the older athletes they love giving back and sharing their knowledge,” said Anthea Warne.

“Far North Coast is a great branch and I love hanging out as a team and getting the chance to represent my area with all these great competitors, “said Lilly O’Sullivan.

Male Captain Luke Chaffer said being crowned the top country branch was a just reward for all the hard work everyone associated with the team has put in.

“I’m really stoked to get that Country title and we are getting closer and closer to the city clubs,” Chaffer said.

The captain and his teammates certainly earned a lot of attention throughout the weekend courtesy of their interesting hairstyles created at the group’s accommodation. Perhaps a barber will be added to the management next season.

“There’s a lot of encouraging signs if we all keep training hard and come back together next year hopefully those results will keep on getting better,” added Mahli Brown who captained the female team.

Meanwhile North Coast also performed strongly finishing eighth overall. Woolgoolga’s Timothy Della (Youth Male Beach Sprint– 5th), and Jak Snowling (U12 – Beach Flags 4th) both had enjoyable carnivals.

The NSW Director of Surf Sport, Don van Keimpema, thanked the Stockton club and the Hunter Branch for hosting the Championships this year and congratulated all the athletes, team managers, coaches and officials for their efforts.

“We’re hoping to build this event to be one of the premier events in the state. The team environment we had this weekend was absolutely fantastic,” he said.

NSW selectors will convene later this week to finalise the team that will contest the 2018 Interstate Championships in South Australia with an announcement expected in the coming days.

Additionally following the conclusion of the event, the venue for the 2018 Interbranch Championship was officially confirmed as Black Head SLSC on the Lower North Coast to be held next December. 


Friday 15 December 2017