Teenagers shine at Illawarra Branch Championships

Tough competition: Thirroul's Jason Cross and Ian Sakoff competing in the Illawarra Branch Championships on Sunday. Picture: Georgia Matts.
Tough competition: Thirroul's Jason Cross and Ian Sakoff competing in the Illawarra Branch Championships on Sunday. Picture: Georgia Matts.

Hundreds of surf lifesavers have descended on Bulli for the Illawarra Branch Championships on Sunday.

The competition is the biggest event on the Illawarra surf lifesaving calendar and Kevin Starling from Surf Lifesaving Illawarra was pleased with the way the event ran.

“It was very successful,” Starling said. “We had more competitors turn up than expected and some of the smaller clubs had good representation.”

The highlight of the meet was the ironman competition, with the gold medal decided in the sprint up the beach to the finish line. 

Bulli’s Lachlan O’Grady led for much of the race, however he faltered late to provide Jake Beaumont with a sniff of a come-from-behind victory. The Thirroul athlete stormed home to overtake O’Grady and claim the gold medal. Bulli’s Greg Miller finished in third. Beaumont also won the board race.

Michael Locke won the open ski race, with Adam Meredith of North Wollongong claiming the men’s swim.

Bulli flexed their muscle in the boat races, claiming the men’s opens, under 23s, and mixed veterans race. Wollongong City won the women’s open and U23 boat races.  

Teenager Kaimana Fittock delivered an impressive performance to claim the ironwoman event ahead of Thirroul’s Megan Fox. The Bulli product also took out the women’s open swim event. Fox won the women’s open ski event, with Zara Sharman of Bulli claiming the board race.

The sprint races were won by Corrimal’s Diego Alavarez and Coledale’s Davina Strauss, who both claimed the flags-sprint double.

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