Drew Bebendorf finishing strong in his board race at the North Australian Championships at Mackay in October.
Drew Bebendorf finishing strong in his board race at the North Australian Championships at Mackay in October. Rebecca Devine GLA061218NIPPERS

Coach Andrew and Drew are pumped for Inter-branch comp

SURF LIFE SAVING: The cream of Tannum Sands Junior Surf Lifesaving has risen to the top as they form part of the Queensland Country Team heading south to Alexandra Headland tomorrow and Saturday to compete at the State Inter-branch Championships.

L-R: Brady Blake, Taj Andrews, Drew Bebendorf, Rhiannon Copsey, Jake Devine, Tanna Hayward-Gill, Abby-Rose Churchward, and Kane Martin make up the ocean squad.Front L-R: Lily McClure, Francesca Daboul, Charli Harrison and Millie Hinz with Ben Dollery (absent) make up the beachies contingent.
L-R: Brady Blake, Taj Andrews, Drew Bebendorf, Rhiannon Copsey, Jake Devine, Tanna Hayward-Gill, Abby-Rose Churchward, and Kane Martin make up the ocean squad.Front L-R: Lily McClure, Francesca Daboul, Charli Harrison and Millie Hinz with Ben Dollery (absent) make up the beachies contingent. Rebecca Devine GLA061218NIPPERS

With blustery conditions forecast in the wake of the tropical low off the North Queensland coast, these nippers will have their skills tested as they take on the swell and their competition from Point Danger, Sunshine Coast and South Coast Branches.

Tannum Sands Ocean coach John Andrews has been named head coach of the Queensland Country team.

"It's an honour to be part of this team and I am proud of the large representation by our Tannum nippers," he said.

"The team was selected based on the results from the North Australian Championships held in Mackay in October and is made up of four water and two beach athletes, both male and female, from each age group. Tannum makes up almost one-quarter of the team.

"The other athletes making up the Queensland Country Team are from various clubs from Cairns to Hervey Bay.

"None of us really get much surf at our regular beaches, so this weekend's conditions might test a few out.

"Of course, safety of the competitors is paramount and the officials will risk assess the surf conditions on the day and make a call on whether the carnival will be moved to a more protected location or carry on, but either way it will be a great weekend.

In his fourth Queensland Country Team selection, under-17s Drew Bebendorf aims to just do his best.

"I have been training pretty hard in the pool and in the ocean, probably seven or eight times a week both before and after school and on the weekends," he said.

"My favourite race is the board and I hope to do well in that."

While the races are individual events, points are allocated-based on their combined overall positions across the line, with first to get one point, two points for second and three points for third.

The team with the lowest points total from their four competitors combined wins that race so it is a team effort and indicates the overall strength of the team rather than a single stand out competitor.

The competition begins with Pool Rescue at the Kawana Aquatic Centre tomorrow afternoon and continues in the ocean and on the beach on Saturday.



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