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Newport Surf Life Saving Club athletes, Jackson Borg and Lizzie Welborn have picked up their best Kellogg’s Nutri Grain Iron Series result for the season, finishing second and third respectively in Round 4 of the Series at Maroubra Beach.

What shaped up as an excellent weekend for NSW with victory in the Interstate Ocean Championships for the fifth straight year on Thursday 11 January would finish with a bang on Sunday, as Borg and Welborn made crucial headway in the race to finish inside the top 10 overall, positions which ensure automatic qualification for the next Series.

Saturday and Sunday 13-14 January set up as two equally gruelling days of competition for the nation’s elite Iron athletes – first a Handicap format where results accumulated over two lead-in races dictated your start position for the Final, before the elimination-based Survival format played out in Round 4.

The latter played into Borg’s skillset – the 25-year-old took out the format last season, his first ever Round win – and once again he showed his talents, leading out of the water on the Ski and Swim legs before being overtaken by reigning Series champion, Matt Bevilacqua on the closing Board leg.

In finishing second, Borg jumped from 11th to 5th on the overall leaderboard with two rounds left to go.

For Welborn, her 3rd place finish in Round 4 moved her into the top 4, just six points behind Georgia Miller. Coming off her best ever finish of second overall last season, she will be eyeing strong results in Round 5 and 6 in Queensland next month to replicate the feat.

Welborn was never outside the first four past the finish post on Sunday, winning the opening elimination race.

Among NSW’s other competitors, Dan Collins was able to earn his first top 10 finish of the Series thus far – working his way through the Survival format into the final before finishing 8th on the day.

Conner Maggs was the best of the group on Saturday, finishing 6th overall and even grabbing a race win prior to the Handicap final.

Following the final race on Sunday, our athletes also showed that they are lifesavers first and foremost, rushing to the aid of 25 struggling swimmers caught in a flash rip current some 100 metres off-shore and 300 metres south of the competition area.

A group of 10 Nutri-Grain Iron athletes, other competitors and coaches, all qualified surf lifesavers, swung into action despite being in recovery mode, grabbing boards, rescue tubes and anything they could to swim out to rescue those in trouble.

They were able to secure the group beyond the break and wait for the competition Inflatable Rescue Boats (IRBs) to arrive and take them safely to shore.

All swimmers were returned safely to shore and treated by the Maroubra SLSC patrol, with no major injuries or incidents.

Monday 15 January 2024