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March 3, 2021

Country Cup secured for Far North Coast Branch

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New South Wales team captain Ela Heiniger. Photo Stephen Chu.
New South Wales team captain Ela Heiniger. Photo Stephen Chu.

After two days of intense competition at the 2015 Interbranch Carnival at Cape Hawke, Forster, the Far North Coast’s best surf athletes could afford to relax. They had after all just secured the country cup for a third year straight.

After two days of intense competition at the 2015 Interbranch Carnival at Cape Hawke, Forster, the Far North Coast’s best surf athletes could afford to relax. They had after all just secured the country cup for a third year straight.

While Sydney Northern Beaches claimed overall honours defending the title they regained last year ahead of Sydney and Central Coast, the Far North Coast Branch continues to narrow the gap over their metropolitan rivals finishing a highly credible fifth.

Although his focus is more on his blossoming coaching career these days, veteran open competitor Scott McCartney still enjoys having a hit-out at Interbranch.

‘The reason I’m still going around is to mainly keep the culture in the sport and if I can help the younger athletes with their racing then that’s what I’m here for,’ said McCartney. ‘We have a good team and we have a lot of support from the management group as well.’

McCartney said that the great unknown this year were the changes to the competition format and that the ‘wildcard’ system where competitors earned double points for one nominated event per branch turned up some interesting strategies.

Branch Beach coach Adam Mills was pleased with the performance of his charges on the sand, believing it will give them confidence ahead of February’s Championships.

‘We’ve got some really good results,’ he said. ‘There has been a mix of firsts and seconds and also very consistent thirds and fourths on the beach while we’ve had some surprise results in the water, which is great to see.’

Under-17 competitor Josh Quinn (Cudgen-Headland SLSC) said the spirit in the team made for an enjoyable championship. ‘The team events on the final day make Interbranch much more exciting with the team spirit at a high throughout the whole day,’ said Quinn. ‘Being the best country team is always a goal of ours coming into this weekend and I think that’s three years in a row now so we’re very happy.’

Following the conclusion of the carnival there was more joy for two Far North Coast athletes. Byron Bay’s Ela Heiniger was named captain of the NSW youth interstate team, while clubmate Jy Timperley was named in the male youth team.

Both athletes will go into camp with the state side next month before contesting the 2016 Interstate Titles to be held in Victoria.

2015 Interbranch Championships Final Pointscore

Sydney Northern Beaches – 1242
Sydney – 1172
Central Coast – 1106
Hunter – 1014
Far North Coast – 884
Illawarra – 809
North Coast – 626
South Coast – 595
Mid North Coast – 526
Far South Coast – 438
Lower North Coast – 191.


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