The Broulee Wombats caused an upset in the Open Women's division at the Surf Life Saving Interbranch Championships on Sunday.
Great conditions at Queenscliffe Beach greeted the competitors with challenging surf across the bank catching out crews heading to sea and on the way home.
The event brought together surf boat competitors from across the state with the larger branches fielding draft crews to fill gaps in the smaller regional teams. Team manager Sue Hunt was grateful Sydney clubs stepped in.
"Most smaller branches from across the state don't compete because they can't get enough crews from their own area, however Far South Coast Branch embraces the opportunity to draft some very competitive crews," she said.
"This is introduces crews, usually from really small clubs, to the concept of working as part of a larger team."
This year's draft crews were from North Cronulla, Maroubra and Newport.
"They take the day to mix with crews they've never met, working as one team, supporting their new team mates, and enjoying some light-hearted banter," Hunt said.
In an upset in the Open Women's division, a gutsy effort from the Broulee Wombats brought the favourites from Palm Beach undone to claim equal first place after three rounds of racing.
Sweep Rob Pollock was impressed.
"Considering the lack of preparation and bushfire emergency, the girls' effort was phenomenal," he said.
"We have really been focusing on the George Bass Marathon and haven't had much time with sprint training.
"To come away equal first with a side that has been dominating the elite Ocean Thunder Series brings us revelation and joy that we can compete at such a level.
Two Pambula rowers, Emma Prowse and Ash Braden make up the Broulee team with Claudia Ferguson, Rebecca Petersen and sweep Rob Pollock.
"We have a diverse and interesting mix of women who all have their own strengths to bring to the crew and we combine as a good racing unit under the Broulee surf club banner," Pollock said.
Two Broulee Capitals reserve crews also competed but finished outside the placings. North Cronulla sweep Brook Fleming was honoured to compete with Far South Coast crews: "With everything they've been through recently it shows how much the sport and representing their region means to them all - a huge effort just to show up."
For the third year in a row, Sydney Northern Beaches Branch proved too strong for the rest of the state and took home the overall trophy.