by Craig Law
LAST weekend saw the Queensland Inter-Branch Carnival take place on the Gold Coast with some amazing performances on show across this prestigious two-day event.
The Inter-Branch Carnival is based on a team's format consisting of pool, surf and beach events which are contested by the four representative teams selected from the Sunshine Coast, South Coast, Point Danger and Queensland Country lifesaving
With each branch selecting the best U13-17 competitors from across Queensland, it certainly makes for an action-packed two days of racing with some of surf lifesaving's future stars on show.
Friday evening saw proceedings kick off at the Miami Aquatic Centre as the pool rescue component of the carnival got under way, and it was the South Coast team that took the early honours, and a well-earned 12-point lead into what shaped as a very tough second day of racing, with the conditions at Nobbys Beach set to test the competitors.
As expected, Day two saw the surf carnival relocated from Nobbys Beach to Bilinga due to rough conditions.
This minor interruption did little to affect Sunshine Coast juggernaut, as it went on to completely dominate their opposition across both the surf and beach events, and take the overall point score by a whopping 151 points. The Sunshine Beach club certainly shares a proud history with this event, having had a number of club members selected
over the past 10 years, with another 11 members again earning representative honours in this all conquering team.
In the U13s, debutante Scarlett Olver had an amazing carnival with some impressive swimming across both days.
Team mates Tommy Price and Matthew Lewis also made the most of their representative debuts, with Tommy taking out the board race, and Matthew claiming top three finishes in both the iron and surf races.
Killian Carrel also enjoyed a representative debut to remember, combining with his U14 team mates to win the iron, surf and board team events, while both Abbie Tolano and Francesca McKinley were simply outstanding, with Abbie claiming top three places in the iron, surf and board races, and Francesca picked up a second in the surf race, and third in the iron event.
U15 team members Sam O'Connor and Hamish Farquharson-Selby also delivered some strong performances, with their team also claiming multiple victories in both the pool and in the surf events, while Zac Bromage who enjoyed his four straight selection for the branch, contributed strongly to his team's overall domination of the U17 team events.
The U17 girls team was the most devastating showing some scintillating form.
They claimed victory in every event they contested in both the surf, and on the beach.
Ruby Nolan and Katie Gleeson certainly set the gold standard for their younger teammates to follow, with Ruby continuing her outstanding recent "Oceans 6” form, while Katie claimed victory in the sprint and flags event, and then lead her relay teams to multiple victories.
The win saw the Sunshine Coast Branch Team claim an unprecedented 10th consecutive title, which certainly solidifies its claim to being the best lifesaving branch in not only Queensland, but Australia.
The Sunshine Beach club was also represented in the coaching ranks with Brock Redwood continuing as pool rescue coach, while assistant beach coach Pauline Gleeson had a representative coaching debut to remember, with her beach team winning every relay on offer.
Craig Law once again continued in his role of team manager for a seventh straight year.
He will soon take the reins of the Queensland Youth Team for the Inter-State Champs to be held in Sydney next January.