Interbranch Surf champs off to flying start

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Defending Interbranch champions Sydney are fighting a tough battle to retain their title at the conclusion of the first day of the championships on Saturday.

Sydney Northern Beaches who last held the title in 2012 are virtually tied with Sydney. Central Coast and Hunter round out the top four.

Day 1 got underway in windy conditions at Catherine Hill Bay SLSC with the beach sprint. Defying the strong headwinds there were a number of brilliant runs including an unexpected win by North Coast’s Liam Nesbitt in the U14 Men’s A Final.

Sydney Northern Beaches had a strong start to the carnival claiming both Open Sprint titles through Katie Williams and Jake Lynch.

While it was hoped that the surf conditions would improve enough to hold the events at Catherine Hill Bay, a persistent wind caused a large swell, and it was decided that for safety reasons that the water events would be held at Blacksmiths Beach, Swansea.

There were a number of strong performances in the water led by Hunter’s Allira Richardson who took out the Women’s Open Board and Ironwoman events in her Interbranch Championships return.

Surf Lifesaving sports manager Shane Knight said he was delighted with the progress of the carnival, and how the teams responded to the challenge of relocating the water events.

“It has been a fantastic start to the carnival, and we’ve certainly seen some very strong performances both on the beach and in the water.

“Obviously no one likes relocating events mid-carnival but safety always come first, which all the teams respected,” Mr Knight said.

“Everybody pitched in, and we were able to start the water events at Blacksmiths on schedule which was a great achievement.”

The Interbranch Championships will conclude tomorrow Sunday 14 December with events kicking-off at Catherine Hill Bay SLSC.

The NSW team will be announced following the conclusion of the carnival.

Interbranch Point-Score Day 1

Sydney Northern Beaches 840 Sydney 838.5 Central Coast 750 Hunter 722.5 Far North Coast 652 Illawarra 458 South Coast 412 Mid North Coast 314 North Coast 300 Far South Coast 166.5 Lower North Coast 89.5

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