FNC retains Country crown
FAR North Coast (FNC) has retained their title as the best country surf lifesaving region in the state.
Led by head coach and Northern Lifeguard Co-ordinator Scott McCartney and captained by Cudgen Headland SLSC short-course ironwoman star Nadi Canning, the Far North side finished fifth overall at the 2016 Interbranch Championships on the Central Coast on the weekend.
The side, made up of athletes stretching from the Tweed to as far south as Coffs Harbour, finished on 928 points, 105 points clear of their nearest country rival, Illawarra, in sixth.
Far North got off to a great start in the championships with a commanding early performance to sit on 752 points at the end of day one's individual events.
Far North Branch beach team manager Belinda Pye said the excellent day one result set the side up for their country championship defence.
"We'd (seen) very strong results on the beach and in the water and by the end of day one, we were holding that fifth spot convincingly,” Pye said.
"They had the country cup in their sights at the end of day one.”
FNC also competed strongly on day two during teams' events, with the side maintaining fifth behind powerhouse metropolitan clubs Sydney (1162), Sydney Northern Beaches (1146), Central Coast (1044) and Hunter (1035).
Pye said a feature of the teams' performances was their willingness to support each other while ushering through the next generation of stars.
"They were very supportive of each other and that's a key ingredient to success,” she said.
"It was the best beach team they've had in a long time but overall the whole team was successful right the way through.
"If we continue getting these strong results, the future is bright.”
Cudgen Headland's Luke Chaffer took out the Open Male Surf Race, while Olissa Onley claimed top spot in the under-13s board race. Yamba's Kalani Ives won the under-12s Ironwoman race.
In teams' events, FNC claimed titles in the under-12s Female Surf Teams, Open Male's Surf Teams, under-13s Female and Male Board Teams, Open Ironman Teams and in the Under-13s Mixed Board Relay.
For a full list of results, visit: https://www.surflifesaving.com.au/event/2016-interbranch-championships/2016-interbranch-results-and-pointscore.pdf