The Australian Lifesaving Team have claimed victory in the National Open at the Lifesaving World Championship. The Trans-Tasman clash promised to be a tight, exhilarating race and it certainly delivered. With a home town advantage, the Australian team clawed back the points from New Zealand who held a 9 point advantage after the Pool competitions. Not even an injured captian in Harriet Brown, could stop the Aussie team claiming 502 points at Glenelg placing them 20 points ahead of the Kiwis for a total of 896.
Ironwoman Georgia Miller was the standout for Australia winning an impressive seven gold medals while Brown, suffering ligament damage, still managed to bring home a gold with Miller in the Board Rescue. Even pool star Prue Davies helped set up success in the swim leg of the relay with Matt Bevilacqua on the board, Miller on the ski and Jackson Symonds in the final run leg. Bevilacqua had to settle for third in the Oceanman event with Kendrick Louis taking out the top spot for Australia.
France also made a valiant effort in the Open Ocean. Trailing behind in fifth after the Pool competition France amassed a massive 210 points to leap frog both Germany and Italy for a podium finish. South Africa also pushed hard over the final weekend coming home with 302 Ocean points to place them in sixth with Great Britain, Spain, Japan and the Netherlands rounding out the top ten.
While New Zealand had to settle for second in the Open their Youth team claimed gold ahead of Australia. The Aussies had a 16 point lead heading into the weekend but the Kiwi team rallied to take out the top spot 14 points ahead.
Lochlainn O’Connor made a stand out performance for the Juinor Black Fins bringing home three of their five gold medals on the final day. For the Australians team captain Lani Pallister, managed to bring home not only golds in the 200m Obstacles and 4x50m Obstacle Relay with Keeley Booth, Anthea Warne and Naomi Scott, but also world records in the 100m Medley Rescue and the 200m Super Lifesaver.
With Nationals competition now over the Lifesaving World Championships will be heading into the final week of competition, with the Inter Club Ocean and Pool events beginning on Tuesday.