Sawtell Relay Girls Shine For North Coast At Open Champs

A small but dedicated group of life savers from the North Coast travelled to the 2015 NSW Surf Life Saving Open Championships held at Ocean Beach-Umina on the state’s Central Coast.

Sawtell’s highly talented water trio of Tahlia Kollen, Sophia McConnachie and Lauren Dam combined to win four medals between them at last weekend’s NSW Surf Life Saving Open Championships at Ocean Beach-Umina.

Kollen and McConnachie finished second in the U17 Board Rescue, before they teamed up with Dam to take silver in the U19 Board Relay and bronze in the U19 Taplin Relay. Dam and Kollen teamed up together to also take silver in the U19 Board Rescue Event.

Dam wasn’t able to repeat her individual efforts from January’s Country Championships where she won four individual gold medals with her best finish at the State Championships a fourth place in what was a highly competitive U19 Board Race won by Newport’s Georgia Miller.

Fellow club-mate Ky Kinsela also just missed out on an individual medal when he finished fourth in the U15 swim.

Branch rivals Coffs Harbour also returned with some medals from their time at the championships. Lachlan O’Reilly took gold in the inaugural Open 2km Ocean Swim while Jedd Mitchell claimed silver in the U17 Beach Flags.

Mitchell’s brother Jonah went agonisingly close to finishing amongst the medals in the U17 2km Beach Run but couldn’t quite get there, crossing the line in fourth place. Sean O’Reilly (U15 Rescue Tube Rescue) and Lilli Smyth (Open 2km Beach Run) were also finalists in their respective events.

“Congratulations to the winning Newport club,” said NSW Surf Life Saving sports manager Shane Knight following the championships.

“We’ve had a great three days of competition here at Ocean Beach-Umina, again a wonderful host.

“The standard of competition has been extremely high and it was a fitting celebration to honour the centenary of the founding of surf sports.”

Final Point-Score:

Newport SLSC 419
Manly LSC 340
Wanda SLSC 172
North Cronulla SLSC 169
Avoca Beach SLSC 150
Helensburgh-Stanwell Park SLSC 147
Elouera SLSC 132
Collaroy SLSC 120
Umina SLSC 115
Redhead SLSC 105

Photgraph: Tahlia Kollen and Sophia McConnachie in action in the Board Rescue at the 2015 NSW Surf Life Saving Championships.

Credit: Stephen Chu

Fri 20 Mar 2015