Co-captain Daniel Collins said Hunter will rely on their strong age division competitors to lead the push when they try to repeat their drought-breaking performance from last year at the NSW Interbranch titles at Black Head this weekend.
Hunter were third last year at Stockton to stand on the podium for the first time since 2000. This year, though, Collins, the NSW ironman champion, will lead a mostly young and inexperienced open contingent, which includes Redhead youth trio Nicola Owen, Claudia Yates and Amelia Ross and Swansea-Belmonts’s Nick Stoddart and Ethan Coates.
Owen, who last week won the women’s youth board world title in South Australia, is co-captain of the squad featuring under 12, 13, 14, 15 and youth competitors..
“I think the younger kids will be the carriers,” Collins said. “With the older guys, there’s not a whole lot of depth, but we’ve got a solid team and hopefully we can get on the podium again.”
The Hunter team will wear Sunflowers For Jess swimsuits in support of Collins’ sister, Jessica Collins, who is back home in Newcastle after suffering a serious spinal injury in May this year.