Lower North Coast Branch representative team members will take on some of the best surf athletes in Australia in this weekend’s NSW Inter-branch Championships to be hosted by Black Head Surf Club.
The LNC branch is the smallest in the State.
“In terms of size we’re as big as most of the other branches, but we only have six clubs,’’ branch coach Kevin Boag said.
“And a couple of those aren’t pushing competition at this stage.’’
However, Boag said the team has been training strongly for the past three months.
“And most of them are in swimming squads, so they train in the pool for most of the year. They start their board training when it heats up a bit in September or October,’’ he added.
Three clubs, Black Head, Forster and Cape Hawke will provide the nucleus of the branch team. Boag expects Clare Van Kampen from Cape Hawke, Brandan Lee from Forster and Isaac Boag from Black Head to perform strongly in their age divisions in the surf events. Julian Fitzgerald and Annelise Romer from Forster will be the main hopes on the beach.
“This is going to be a great experience, especially for the younger kids,’’ Boag said.
A former Forster member, Ethan Whiteman, who now competes at Newcastle club Cooks Hill will come into the team as part of the Branch of Origin program.
Whiteman is a strong ocean swimmer.
“We’ve drafted in four other members from other branches because we had trouble filling the gaps,’’ Boag added.
He said the branch is looking to the future and said carnival such as the State inter-branch will help lift surf lifesaving’s profile in the area.
Traditional heavyweights Sydney, Sydney Northern Beaches and Central Coast would be expected to dominate the two day championship.
Individual events will be decided on Saturday with teams in action on the Sunday.
Boag admits he’s doesn’t think Black Head will be providing ideal conditions for competition.
“I’m pretty sure an ugly nor-easter will hit us hard over the two days,’’ he said.