New South Wales make it a three-peat on the Sunshine Coast at the 2020 Interstate Championships
New South Wales surf lifesavers have successfully defended their crown at the Australian Interstate Championships, edging out home side Queensland by just six points.
In an epic State of Origin battle, it went down to the final races to determine who would be crowned the 2020 Champions, with NSW having enough points to finish top of the podium.
Teams from Queensland, NSW, Victoria, Western Australia and South Australia all lined up today battling the small but tricky conditions dished up at Alexandra Headlands on the Sunshine Coast. After 92 races, more than 180 competitors from across Australia battled it out in the youth and open divisions for State glory.
“It was always going to be hard to come up to Queensland and try and go three in a row… but we did really good.
“We didn’t have a lot go our way this morning and then again this afternoon we got DQ (disqualified) in a race, so everyone dug deep and did a really good job.
“The beachies were unreal with the sprint relays and the flags… they really carried us through. They were the difference for us.
“We chose two beachies… we haven’t lost a beach relay in two years and that’s maximum points. Our flagers are really good too,” he said.
A host of Nutri-Grain IronMen and IronWomen as well as representatives from the Super Surf Teams League competition flooded the start lines of Interstates 2020 making it a thrilling day of incredible surf sport action.
The Ironman and Ironwoman was star studded line up as Nutri-Grain IronMen and IronWomen represented their states.
Sunshine Coast locals Tiarnee Massie and Tayla Halliday took out first and second in the youth ironwoman, taking home the top points for QLD.
The open field saw four Nutri-Grain Ironwomen battle it out for the top points, with Tiarrne Raymond and Hannah Sculley making it two from two for the Queensland Cyclones.
The youth Ironman was a battle between New South Wales’ Zach Morris and Queensland’s Adam Palmer, with Morris edging out Palmer in the final board leg.
Fresh off the Nutri-Grain Ironman/Ironwoman series, Aussie Ironman Champion Max Brooks dominated in the Open Ironman with Dan Collins crossing the line to take the top points for New South Wales.
New South Wales took out the Mixed Ski Relays in both the Youth and Open races with Jemma Smith and NSW Captain Mitchell Trim beating out Western Australia and Queensland.
Corey Fletcher and Olivia Heaton snagged the win for Queensland in the Open Mixed Board Relay with NSW Lizzie Welborn giving Fletcher a run for his money for the top spot.
Queensland took out three of the final four races of the day, with the Cyclones claiming both the Youth and Open Female Taplin races and the Open Male Taplin but it wasn’t enough to edge out New South Wales for the final score.
“I’m really happy to get one, that’s my favourite event and that was the one I really wanted to win.
“That was one of my better races of the year. When everything goes to plan and is executed well then you feel good.
“I think coming back to the Sunshine Coast after a couple of years on the Gold Coast and just being back with my family and my other close friends gave me a bit more confidence and made me a bit more comfortable.
“I was pretty excited when I got that swim wave that pushed me in front, but Board is my weakest leg and that was the last one. There’s some little tricky rips and waves out there so I had to make sure I got out the back clean, still kept that lead and made sure I finished it off,” she said.
It kick starts a busy weekend of racing for Raymond, who will also line up in the Nutri-Grain IronX on Monday, the newest and richest one day event on the Surf Sports calendar.
Reigning Australian Ironman Champion, Max Brooks, delivered a strong performance in the Open Ironman just under three months out from the Aussies.
“We had the final round of the Nutri-Grain Iron Series last week which was good to wrap up. I was really happy with how I raced, I didn’t get the result I wanted but that’s the sport and the competition was really tough this year.
“Moving into Interstates it’s nice to put the blue cap on and race as part of a team. It’s a very individual sport throughout the Nutri-Grain Iron Series so it’s nice to be in a team environment and really bonding as a team,” he said.
Overall point score: 1.New South Wales (251); 2. Queensland (245); 3. Western Australia (167); 4. New South Wales Country (125); 5. South Australia (122); 6. Victoria (103)
Open point score: 1.New South Wales (122); 2. Queensland (121); 3. Western Australia (85); 4. New South Wales Country (67); 5. South Australia (60); 6. Victoria (51)
Youth point score: 1.New South Wales (129); 2. Queensland (124); 3. Western Australia (82); 4. South Australia (62); 5. New South Wales Country (58); 6. Victoria (52)
For full Interstates 2020 results please click here
Full gallery of the day’s racing here.