FNC athletes lead way for three-peat
Elite athletes from Tweed have helped bring down New Zealand on their home soil and deliver NSW Country their third consecutive Trans- Tasman championship.
The 20-strong team including 11 Far North Coast Branch (FNC) athletes took on their surf and beach counterparts from New Zealand's Northern Region and the Central Coast in a three-meet series win at the beaches of Waipu, Pakapuna and Omaha over the last week.
Far North Coast athletes scooped individual awards to win five of six Athlete of the Day Awards.
Anthea Warne (Cudgen) and Brad Hunt (Byron) were round one winners, Josh Jones (Cudgen) won in round two while Luke Chaffer and Nadi Canning (both Cudgen) were recognised in the final round on Tuesday.
Warne and beach sprinter Claudia Crawford (Cabarita) helped set up the series' win in round one, driving Country to a strong series lead on 44 points, ahead of Northern Region and Central Coast, both on 32.
Warne, 15, finished first in the female ironwoman race, while Crawford claimed first in beach sprints and second in flags.
FNC branch manager Belinda Pye said the pair had the talent to forge successful careers in surf sports.
"They're the babies of the age group but they're still winning which is a testament to their abilities,” Pye said.
"They're both humble girls that will go on to have a career in surf life saving.”
Country extended their lead in round two to 37.5 points ahead of Northern Region on 36 and Central Coast 33.5.
They dominated round three with 43 points, ending the series with nine points (three points for winning each meeting) while Central Coast and Northern Region finishing joint on 4.5 points.
Of the 11 FNC athletes selected for Country, six were from the Cudgen Headland club.