A highly successful tour of New Zealand ended in the best possible fashion for the NSW Country Surf Life Saving team who were crowned Trans-Tasman Champions this week sealing their third consecutive title in the process.
A 20-strong team contested the three-meet biennial series against surf athletes from Northern Region (New Zealand) and the Central Coast with the athletes in fine form at the beaches of Waipu Cove, Takpuna and Omaha during the competition.
The team got off to a flying start on the first day of competition (January 6) finishing with 44 points ahead of Northern Region and Central Coast both on 32 and enjoyed plenty of success on the sand and in the surf.
Good judges were impressed with the second day of competition at Takapuna saying it was the closest finish that they had witnessed in some time. Those comments proved prophetic with Northern NSW holding on to win the round with 37.5 points ahead of Northern Region on 36 and Central Coast 33.5.
The defending champions saved their best performance for the series finale blitzing the field in the team and water events to finish with 43 points. They ended the three-meet series with 9 points on the overall standings (3 points for winning each meeting) while Central Coast and Northern Region couldn’t be split finishing the competition with 4.5 points.
NSW Country Coach Alan Beveridge was delighted to be coming home with the extra weight in the team’s kit.
“It’s been a wonderful competition and was a real team effort over the three days of competition. Every single member of this team can feel rightly proud of their contribution to this success,” Beveridge said from New Zealand on Wednesday.
“What has been most pleasing from a coaching perspective has been how well the team came together. Once we got over here everyone switched on and was really supportive of each other and this good environment really came out during the competition.”
The coach said the blending of youth and experience proved to be a positive and that this was reflected in the “best performers of the day” awards which was voted on by all members of the team.
“The awards were spread around and everyone had a say but what was pleasing was that it was the younger athletes as well as our experienced campaigners who were receiving the accolades from their teammates,” Beveridge said.
Josh Jones, Tahlia Kollen (Round 1), Bradley Hunt, Anthea Warne (Round 2) and Luke Chaffer and team captain Nadine Canning (Round 3) were all recognised by their teammates for their exceptional efforts.
Surf Life Saving NSW Surf Sports Manager Rob Pidgeon said it was fantastic result for the Country team.
“I would like to offer my congratulations to everyone involved with the team including all the athletes, coaching staff, and supporters. It wasn’t an easy competition by any means and the gap is closing every year with all rounds closely fought.
“Our athletes get a lot out of these tours as it gives them a taste of that competition at a higher level and goals to work toward. I am sure that this will give them all a boost in their confidence as we move deeper into the summer surf sport season,” Mr Pidgeon said.
2017 NSW Country Team
Jedd Mitchell (Coffs Harbour SLSC)
Will Jones (Byron Bay SLSC)
Shaylla Young (Cudgen Headland SLSC)
Luke Chaffer (Cudgen Headland SLSC)
Angus Macphail (Cudgen Headland SLSC)
Nadine Canning (Cudgen Headland SLSC)
Brett Willims (Warilla-Barrack Point SLSC)
Matthew Sperring (Warilla-Barrack Point SLSC)
Jack Carberry (Warilla-Barrack Point SLSC)
Jordan White (Warilla-Barrack Point SLSC)
Maddison Prior (Warilla-Barrack Point SLSC)
Tahlia Kollen (Sawtell SLSC)
Caitlin Callahan (Byron Bay SLSC)
Jy Timperley (Byron Bay SLSC)
Anthea Warne (Cudgen Headland SLSC)
Bradley Hunt (Byron Bay SLSC)
Madeleine Bakker (Warilla-Barrack Point SLSC)
Joshua Jones (Cudgen Headland SLSC)
Claudia Crawford (Cabarita Beach SLSC)
Jayde Bagnall (Warilla-Barrack Point SLSC)
Alan Beveridge – Head Coach
Dennis Allan – Team Manager
Scott McCartney – Assistant Coach
Jo-Ann Prior – Team Chaperone
Tim Piper – SLSNSW Sports Development Officer