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Bragging rights and medals will be on the line at Queenscliff Beach on Sydney’s Northern Beaches this weekend as crews prepare to do battle at the 2019 Best of the Best Surf Boat Interbranch Championships.

Over 200 talented athletes will swap club caps for branch caps in this representative hit-out that brings the best surf boat competitors together for an exciting day of competition.

Points will be at a premium throughout the event with every race counting towards the final tally and the chance to be crowned champion.

In a sign of the growing strength of the sport 7 branches will be fielding teams across the event with male and female races conducted in the U19, U23, Open Reserve, and Open Divisions.

Additionally the competition will conclude with a surf boat relay, which is always a highlight as it demonstrates a team’s strength across the divisions in an event where the lead always changes.

By virtue of a shorter travelling distance and running well established surf boat series the branch team of Hunter, Central Coast, Sydney, and Sydney Northern Beaches will field a team in every division.

Illawarra, Far South Coast, and Mid North Coast will also be competing with the latter two taking advantage of the draft rule to allow them to enter the competition in more races.

NSW Surf Sports Manager Rob Pidgeon believes the stage is set for a competitive carnival.

“We’re delighted that the Interbranch Competition will again take place this season and would like to thank Queenscliff SLSC and the organising committee for their hard work as hosts.

“This event has been strategically scheduled to follow the Queenscliff Open Boat Carnival (which doubles as a State Selection Event) on Saturday as a way to streamline the calendar, to ensure that crews get the best out of a weekend of surf boat rowing.”

“We believe that the surf boat community will come together for a great competition which is a culmination of our desire and vision to streamline the sport and offer more opportunities for high class racing in all divisions,” Mr Pidgeon said.

Most competitors will be in action at the forthcoming State and Australian Championships with this weekend’s race an opportunity to iron-out the kinks before a packed end to the season in March and April.

The long range forecast moderate swell around 2-3 foot on Sunday and event organisers are hoping for favourable conditions.

The 2019 Best of the Best Surf Boat Interbranch Championships takes place this Sunday 20 January at Queenscliff Beach with the first races slated to get underway from 8am AEDT


Thursday 15 January 2019