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The preparations are almost complete and now it’s a waiting game for those surf lifesavers selected to pull on the blue cap with the 2018 Interstate Challenge just a day away.

After flying into the South Australian capital on Wednesday, the NSW side quickly got down to business and will undertake a final familiarisation session at Moana Beach today before resting up ahead of the major representative competition.

Top of the agenda is beating Queensland and regaining the title for the first time since 2015.

It’s something that the Blues are certainly keen on achieving with new captain Mitchell Trim confident that this talented team has the ability to get the job done.

“We’ve got a really good quality team who are all in really good nick coming into the competition, and of course our goal is to beat the Queenslanders,” said Trim.

Boasting a team with experienced campaigners such as Daniel Collins, Jemma Smith, Lizzie Welborn, and Jake Lynch it’s the potential of the youngsters which has everyone around the squad buzzing.

“I think back to a couple of years ago when I was one of the youngest in the team and now to see the new athletes coming through it gives you a lot of confidence in the sport going forward,” said Mitchell Trim.

“There’s a few superstars rising through the ranks in that youth team and I think it’s going to be a very competitive weekend. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter what cap you have on everyone is going for the win so it’s going to be a great day of racing.”

There is one change to the NSW side with Blake Drysdale a late scratching after suffering an injury, and with a forecast for heat, the athletes are mentally preparing for a hard slog in the surf.

“I think fitness is going to be the deciding factor. Most of us haven’t raced at the beach before which is not an issue as it’s always exciting to go to a new location. From what we’ve heard there won’t be a lot of assistance coming home so it will be a test of our endurance,” said Trim.

Friday’s Championship also marks a historic first for NSW with the inaugural Country team also entering the event.

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

NSW Country have been a dominant force at the biennale Trans-Tasman Series winning three successive titles including in 2017 against their rivals Northern (New Zealand) and Central Coast (NSW) Branch. 

Five athletes (Madeleine Baker, Luke Chaffer, Claudia Crawford, Joshua Jones, and Angus Macphail) were all part of that team that won in New Zealand last January and are looking forward to pulling on their NSW Country cap once more, and taking on the best surf lifesavers from around Australia.

The 2018 Interstates Championships will take place at Moana Beach, South Australia on Friday January 19. Competition commences at 8:00am ACDT (8:30 AEDT)

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


Thursday 18 January 2018