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Despite a spirited fight from Central Coast Branch, including consecutive All-Age Board Relay wins to close out the carnival, Sydney Branch has claimed its second straight Interbranch Championship title, this time at Fingal Bay Beach.

Having finished outside the podium places last year at Shelly Beach – a home Championships – Central Coast posed a far bigger threat this time around in one of the stories of the weekend, unseating Sydney Northern Beaches in a showcase of the up-and-coming surf sports athletes being produced by the region.

It was to be Sydney Branch’s carnival however, leading, though nervously at stages, from start to finish courtesy of consistent strong results from their legion of U12-U17 competitors.

Interestingly, the Branch snapped a curious historical anomaly in the process – Sydney had not won an Interbranch Championships outside the Central Coast for more than two decades, dating back to 2002.

That victory came on a stretch of sand not half an hour down the coastline, at Stockton Beach.

“There’s a lot that goes into it,” Sydney Branch Team Captain, Mikaela Mead said.

“Our beach athletes have been training on the sand every afternoon.”

“For water we’ve been in the pool six times and week and at the beach a few more times around that, it’s not been easy,” Co-Captain, Kai Thatcher added.

“There was a lot of teamwork involved, everyone believed in one another and got around each other.”

2023 Interbranch FB Gallery

Far North Coast finished on top of the Country point score once again but did so by improving one place on last year to finish in fourth. It was a fantastic weekend for athletes from the northernmost parts of NSW, helped heavily by inspiring showings across the Mixed Board Relay age categories and their overall capability in the U12 events.

In moving up the leader board, the falling Branch was the hosts, Hunter, who were unable to capitalise on their podium finish in 2022. Despite a much-improved Sunday showing, the Branch would finish the Championships in fifth.

Just as they did last year, Illawarra was able to hold off neighbours, South Coast in the mid-placings battle, while Lower North Coast, who was unable to field a team in 2022, produced some commendable results across the weekend in their return to the Championships.

“Surf Life Saving is a massive family so it’s great to see mates from up and down the coast, but also the relationships building of these young athletes who are meeting for the first time here at under 12s and will continue those friendships throughout the rest of their journey,” Sectional Referee, Matt Egan said.

“Over the weekend I saw a mixture of great athletes from down south right the way up to the far north.

“The points mightn’t show that, but we’ve seen a great deal of competition from competitors right across the coastline and it’s been great to see.”


Sydney – 818

Central Coast – 741

Sydney Northern Beaches – 703

Far North Coast – 666

Hunter – 658

Illawarra – 449

South Coast – 430

North Coast – 344

Far South Coast – 222

Mid North Coast – 211

Lower North Coast – 109

Monday 4 December 2023