Sydney Northern Beaches (SNB) has claimed the Interbranch title for the second year after two days of tough competition at Black Head SLSC on the state’s Lower North Coast.
With just 13 points separating them from close rivals Sydney Branch, it came down to the final couple of races to determine which team would take home the trophy.
A great win in the final race of the day, the Open Female Taplin Relay, sealed the deal for the super excited Sydney Northern Beaches team.
The Hunter Branch also backed up their third position on the podium for another year after some stellar performances in the water and on the sand to hold off close rivals Central Coast.
Far North Coast Branch finished on top of the Country pointscore, retaining their fifth place in the 11 branch competition.
SNB’s strength shone through in the teams events on Sunday with comprehensive wins in the Open Board Relay, the Youth Mixed Ski Relay and the U14 Cameron event.
Sydney Branch team was just as committed and came across the line first in the Youth Female Taplin, the Female Board Rescue Relay and the U12 Cameron.
Hunter athletes backed up last year’s win in the U15 Cameron Relay and also took out the U13 Cameron and the Youth Male Taplin relay.
In her debut as Team Captain for the Sydney Northern Beaches branch, Maddie Spencer was super proud of the efforts of all the athletes in the extremely windy, choppy conditions.
“The conditions are horrendous. It’s really tricky out there on the craft, it’s even hard to see to swim,” she said.
“It’s been great though, everyone has supported each other. We all pulled together today as we knew it was super close and we knew we had to do the job. Everyone on the team has been amazing, worked together, supported each other, it’s been a real team effort.”
The host branch put in a solid effort on home turf and other north coast branches recorded some good results. The Mid North Coast won the Youth Male Surf Race and came third in the U15 Male Board and the Youth Male Ski Race and Ski Teams.
On the sand, the Mid North Coast picked up first in the Open Female Flags and second in the Open Female Sprint and third in the U14 Female Flags.
Hunter athletes were clocking up points across all disciplines but it was the team’s support of each other and their former team mate Jess Collins which was most visible. The entire team were sporting swimmers covered in giant sunflowers as a show of support for Jess who is recovering after a terrible neck injury early this year. Her brother Daniel Collins said everyone bonded really well for the Championships.
“Interbranch is a really good stepping stone for the younger kids to get experience and represent more than just their club. It exposes them to a team environment, away from their parents and they have to rely more on themselves and their team mates,” said Collins.
Far North Coast competitor Anthea Warne, still on a high after coming second in the Board Rescue Relay with her teammates, agreed the Championships were awesome for high performance development.
“Personally Interbranch is my favourite competition of the year. This is my seventh championships and I wouldn’t miss it for the world.”
The NSW Director of Surf Sport, Don van Keimpema, thanked the Black Head SLSC volunteers and work party for hosting a great weekend of racing 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.
He said the performances this weekend had impressed the state selectors and the NSW Team will be announced soon.
- 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
Full results and the final pointscore can be viewed on the 2018 NSW Interbranch event page.
Sunday 9 December 2018