Tannum Sands Mitchell McGarry emerges from the water.
Tannum Sands Mitchell McGarry emerges from the water. Troy Kippen

Tannum Sands SLSC punches above its weight in championships

TANNUM Sands Surf Life Saving Club has done Gladstone mighty proud with a brilliant second place at the Northern Australian Championships in Mackay.

Up against the might of the Cairns SLSC, that won its sixth successive championships, the local club competed well above its weight.

Team manager Tony Poli said it has been a long time since the TSSLSC has achieved such a feat.

"It's great as a club to come second overall and for us to do that at the start of the season and with Cairns coming up to the end of their season is a great effort," Poli said.

The boards at the ready for Saturday heats and relay finals.
The boards at the ready for Saturday heats and relay finals.

The Gladstone-based club had a total of 76 competitors with 40 from under-11 to under-14 and 36 in the more senior ranks which were under-15 to masters.

"It's been very successful from fifth last year to second is terrific," Poli added.

Cairns finished the championships on 1147 points followed by Tannum (1106 points).

Arcadian, Mackay and Yeppoon rounded out the top five.

Some of the TSSLSC athletes who starred on the weekend were Nicole Lowe in the 30-34 year age group beach flags discipline where she finished second in the grand final behind Kylie Worth.

Lowe did one better in the beach sprints event to top the list ahead of Emily Owen and Alesha Hotz.

In the iron woman category, Lowe again featured in that event to finish third behind Owen and Hotz.

There was more Tannum successes in other events where the juniors featured prominently.

Paige Robertson was third in the under-12 flags behind Emily Batten and Connie Southwood while talented swimmer Coby Richardson was strong in the under-12 male 1km swim.

Coby finished third in the race behind Murray Colbridge and Dane Larsen.

The hosts started well on Friday and it seemed that an upset was looming at the end of the carnival but Cairns surely began to ascend its authority across the board.

Mackay utilised its knowledge of the conditions to win the inflatable boat rescue.

The champions took out the pool rescue comp which kick-started its final run to claim a sixth championships.

None came better than the Cairns' senior athletes where they won that competition by over 100 points.

It was a massive weekend for Cairns veteran lifesaver James Marsh who bagged seven gold medals that included the 50-54 year ironman category along with surfboard and surf ski.

Others who showed class on the sand and water were Bundaberg's Emma Finnis who won gold medals in the open ironwoman, surf board, surf race, surf ski as well as claiming the famous Championship Lifesaver event.

The competitive juices continued to flow for Yeppoon's Matthew Cumming who displayed his class to win bling over the three days.

It included gold in the 30-35 ironman, surf board and race as well as taking out the 30-39 surf board rescue.

Poli said the success of the TSSLSC is the by-product of the nippers classes on Sunday morning at the club.

"They train from 8.30am through to about 10am," Poli said.

Other than the competitive nature of the championships, the core techniques of the many disciplines is the main aim.


Cairns 1147

Tannum Sands 1106

Arcadian 832

Mackay 499

Yeppoon 575.5