The NSW Surf Life Saving team has taken out the Interstate Championships for the fourth time in a row, showing that there is still great depth of talent among surf competitors in NSW.

Despite several athletes in the team who were backing up after a massive weekend of racing in the Super Surf Teams League and the Nutri-grain Iron Series, and a late withdrawal of key Open’s superstar Lizzie Welborn due to injury, the Blues were relentless in their pursuit of the other states in race after race.

Maroubra Beach was at its summer best for the challenge, bringing the country’s top surf athletes together to compete in individual and team events in the water disciplines and in beach sprints, relays and flags. While arch rivals Queensland narrowly won the younger Pathway division and the Open contest, NSW emerged victorious overall to retain the trophy.

Great performances across the entire team contributed to the win, with no single athlete or event determining the outcome.

Team Manager Greg Pierce said he was very proud, particularly as 30 of the young athletes were in the representative team for the first time.

“It was a new experience for them and they did exceptionally well. They are great kids, pleasure to look after, they did everything right, they deserved to win.”

Despite the exodus of some key NSW athletes to Queensland recently, he says there is still a depth of talent, particularly among the younger Pathways and Youth competitors.

“We were confident the athletes we have would do the job, and it was great to see some of them backing up from the weekend. And we saw some incredible performances from the other states too, it was a great day, great carnival,” said Pierce.

Head coach Jimmy Walker was loving the win, particularly as it was coming down to the wire in the point score with only a handful of races to go.

“It’s so good when the whole team comes together and works together. We have good depth, good talent and good humans. Seeing 14-year-olds racing with Nutri-grain athletes, it’s great.

“Whether it’s the club down the road or another state, for us today, it’s Queensland and today we did it again. But we’ll go and race in another event, and we’re all mates again,” said Walker.

Jackson Borg was a man on a mission and after racing all weekend in the grueling Nutri-grain series rounds, he could have been forgiven for taking his foot off the accelerator, but he said he wanted to give the team his best effort.

“Everyone has rallied together and is just racing for each other, not as individuals. I’m just running each finish as fast I can, we’re racing as a whole state.”

With many of the younger competitors looking up to athletes like Borg, he responded “it’s a great honour to hear some of the young guys say that.

“I really love racing in the state team, putting on the sky-blue cap, I wouldn’t trade it for the world,” said Borg.

SLSNSW President, George Shales OAM said he was proud of the team’s performance.

“On behalf of the organisation I would like to extend my congratulations to the NSW Interstate team on successfully defending their title at Maroubra this year,” he said.

“Our Pathways, Youth and Open athletes carried themselves with great distinction on the day and it was a pleasure to see their maturity and camaraderie translate to success in the ocean and on the sand.”

SLSNSW Director of Surf Sports, Don van Keimpema echoed George’s comments.

“We are really proud of the group this year and the way the coaching staff to team management prepared this squad for what was a jam-packed slate of events on the day,” he said.

“There was a real attitude of teamwork and supporting one another over individual results which is something we’ve worked on for many years. I look forward to seeing the benefits of this approach for years to come.”

2023 Australian Surf Lifesaving Interstate Championships Overall Points

NSW – 255

QLD – 243

WA – 166

VIC – 148

SA – 130

TAS – 65

NSW Wins

IRONMAN

Pathways: Noah Maggs

Youth: Conner Maggs

Open: Noah Steiner

MALE BEACH SPRINT

Pathways: Luke Newrick

Youth: Luke Avati

FEMALE FLAGS

Youth: Ruby Gray

Open: Alex Rampoldi

MALE FLAGS

Open: Sam Zustovich

FEMALE SURF

Youth: Olivia Clues

MALE SURF

Youth: Conner Maggs

FEMALE BOARD

Youth: Lani Waller

FEMALE SKI

Open: Jemma Smith

MALE SKI

Youth: Ethan Hamilton

Open: Jackson Borg

BEACH RELAY

Pathways

Youth

SURF RELAY

Pathways

Youth

Open

BOARD RELAY

Pathways

SKI RELAY

Youth

6/8 PERSON RELAY

Pathways

Open

Full results https://sls.com.au/interstates/

Monday 16 January 2023

Interstate 2023 Beach
Jemma Smith Interstate 2023
Alex Rampoldi Interstate 2023
Interstate 2023 ocean