Lots of Aussie medals

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Lifesavers from Geelong and the Surf Coast did their clubs proud at the 2022 Australian Lifesaving Championships, with plenty of silverware and strong results.

Geelong-Surf Coast athletes have won five gold, two silver and three bronze medals in the water, lifesaving and surf boat disciplines, as well as over 40 Australian finals.

Anglesea Surf Life Saving Club were a triple threat in the rescue and resuscitation event, winning gold in the five-person women’s open, five-person mixed open and six-person mixed open events.

Lorne SLSC’s Tristan Read also won a gold medal in the men’s two-kilometre ocean swimming event for men 45-49.

Fairhaven SLSC’s Arno D’Andrea was his club’s only championship medalist and the region’s most successful beach athlete, winning bronze in the men’s under-17 beach sprint.

Other medalists included Sam Hume of Anglesea SLSC who took silver in the men’s 45-49 two kilometer race, Benjamin Lund of Jan Juc who took bronze in the swimming event in two-kilometre sea in the men’s 35-39 and Jude Enticott of Lorne SLSC who won a bronze medal in the men’s under-17 surf shortboard.

Torquay SLSC’s Sophie Thomas was also successful, making two open finals in the board and surf disciplines, racing through a field full of Ironwoman Series champions such as Georgia Miller, Harriet Brown and Lana Rogers.

The region also continued its history of strong presence in surf boat events, with women’s masters Lorne Again winning gold and men’s masters Jan Juc SLSC Rams winning silver in their respective divisions, and Anglesea SLSC Lightning qualifying for the women’s open final, finishing in sixth place.

It’s not just the athletes who have been successful, three local officials have received milestone service awards from Surf Life Saving Australia.

Rod Costa of Torquay SLSC was recognized for 40 years of service, Graham Rice – a member of Lorne SLSC and Kurrawa SLSC in Queensland – for 30 years of service and William Johnson of Torquay for 20 years of service.

Kate Simpson, General Manager of Education, Sport and Club Development at Life Saving Victoria, said she was very impressed with the efforts of all the athletes, officials, coaches, team leaders and other volunteers and Victoria supporters who attended the Aussies.

“As the largest event on the lifesaving sports calendar and comparable in size to the Commonwealth Games, it takes an incredible amount of work from our volunteers to get to the Aussies,” said- she declared.

“To see our Geelong-Surf Coast athletes so successful in the disciplines of water, beach, rescue and surf boat, balancing their chosen sport with volunteering to keep Victorians safe on our beaches, is incredibly impressive.”

Although summer is over, lifesaving sports continue, with the pool lifesaving season kicking off last month and the inflatable lifeboat racing season kicking off at the end of April.

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