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A comprehensive team effort along with a powerful culture among the group is being credit for ending a three-year trophy drought for NSW at the 2018 Interstate Championships held at South Australia’s Moana Beach last week.

The Blues (280 points) took out the one-day competition over fierce rivals Queensland (271) by just a 9 point margin. Western Australia (192 points) also stood on the podium while hosts South Australia (154) rounded out the top four positions in the overall standings.

After flying into the South Australian capital and being confronted with scorching heat and a flat surf the squad could have been forgiven for thinking that the conditions were once again going to go against them and that the competition was going to turn into a real physical battle rather than a tactical one.

That they didn’t lose focus was a credit to their entire coaching staff led by Jim Walker who was leading the team in his second Interstate campaign.

“The leadership of Steve (Marley), Jimmy (Walker), Beno, and Dan Robberds was unreal,” enthused team captain Mitchell Trim.

“The weather was very hot down there which really played a role over the few days but the coaching staff played a brilliant role in setting the tone of the camp and everyone bought into what we were out to achieve.”

Fielding a squad containing both up and comers and some very experienced athletes proved to be the perfect recipe. The Youth team blitzed the field to open up a 13 point margin on the Queenslanders which ultimately proved to be crucial during the tense final races.

Pleasingly the gamble to choose beach specific athletes also paid off with those on the sand enjoying some success including the all-important power play.

“Our open team just had to try and replicate what the younger guys laid down for us. The highlight was the positive energy regarding the weather – It could have gone two ways,  we could have mentally talked ourselves into being hot but instead used that as ammo against other states,” said Mitchell Trim.

“It was great that the Queenslanders shook our hands on the water’s edge at the conclusion of the carnival. We all raced super hard but at the end of the day we respected all the other states as they did for us. That’s what surf sport is all about with the competition being played out in the right spirit.”

Head coach Jim Walker said that it was impossible to single out any one performance.

“Everyone did everything we asked of them and more. That’s all you can ask for as a coach. We were a champion team not a team of champions, and it is fantastic that they all got rewarded for their efforts with the overall title,” he said.  

It was also a successful maiden outing for NSW Country at Interstate where the young team was able to test themselves against the best Australia has to offer.

The Open team finished with 88 points good enough for fourth place overall in their division returning home with a number of memorable results.

Claudia Crawford, Jordan White, Maddie Bakker, Hayley Smith teamed up to scorch across the sands and win the Open Female Beach Sprint Relay, while Angus MacPhail and Josh Jones also tasted gold when they combined in the Board Rescue. Steine Lofts (Mollymook) also had a successful time in Adelaide picking up third in the Open Flag event.

Twelve lucky athletes were ultimately selected for this historic squad with athletes having to be registered for a club outside the Hunter-Illawarra corridor and be an open competitor to be eligible for selection.

For further information and to see the overall pointscore from this SLSA event, please click here

2018 Interstate Open Team

  • Max Brooks (Newport SLSC)

  • Daniel Collins (Redhead SLSC)

  • Jake Lynch (Newport SLSC)

  • Mitchell Trim (Newport SLSC)

  • Hayden White (Branch of Origin)

  • Kirsty Higgison (Branch of Origin)

  • Alexandra Rampoldi (North Cronulla SLSC)

  • Laura Shorter (Newport SLSC)

  • Jemma Smith (Umina SLSC)

  • Lizzie Welborn (North Bondi SLSC)

  • Rachel Wood (Umina SLSC)

NSW 2018 Interstate Youth Team

  • Hayden Copping (Redhead SLSC)

  • Jake Evans (Elouera SLSC)

  • Noah Havard (North Bondi SLSC)

  • Isaac Smith (Newport SLSC)

  • Jaymee Smith (Wanda SLSC)

  • Sam Zustovich (Mollymook SLSC)

  • Grace Gurr (Newport SLSC)

  • Ngaire Hadfield (Cronulla SLSC)

  • Chloe Mannix-Power (Cronulla SLSC)

  • Nicola Owen (Redhead SLSC)

  • Naomi Scott (Manly LSC)

  • Anthea Warne (Cudgen Headland SLSC)

Team Management

Head Coach – Jim Walker (North Bondi)

Assistant Coach – Damien Benson (Avoca Beach)

Assistant Coach – Daniel Robberds (Mollymook)

Team Manager – Stephen Marley (Catherine Hill Bay)

2018 NSW Country Team:

  • Jayden Allen (Warilla – Barrack Point SLSC)

  • Madeleine Baker (Warilla – Barrack Point SLSC)

  • Brooke Cavanagh (Warilla – Barrack Point SLSC)

  • Luke Chaffer (Cudgen Headland SLSC)

  • Claudia Crawford (Cudgen Headland SLSC)

  • Joshua Jones (Cudgen Headland)

  • Steine Lofts (Mollymook SLSC)

  • Angus Macphail (Cudgen Headland)

  • Jayden Mandall (Cudgen Headland SLSC)

  • Hayley Smith (Cudgen Headland SLSC)

  • Sarah Wilson (Cudgen Headland SLSC)

  • Jordan White (Warilla – Barrack Point SLSC)

Team Management

Head Coach – Scott McCartney – Cudgen Headland

Assistant Coach – Jarrad Cain – Cudgen Headland

Team Manager – Alan Beveridge – Warilla Barrack Point

Assistant Manager – Joanne Prior – Warilla Barrack Point