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Hot action at surf lifesaving titles

THE surf lifesaving action was once again at Blacksmith Beach Swansea/Belmont but it was time for the seniors to put on a show at the 2009 Allphones NSW Surf Life Saving Championships.

Sawtell SLSC had a squad of 16 competitors covering U15 through to the open-age divisions.

With an ocean that resembled a swimming pool and a steep shore dump, many of the water finals were down to speed, stamina and correct surf technique, all of which the Sawtell squad displayed in abundance.

The under-19 board relay team of Kayla Russell, Sarah Tisdell and Alex Barnes secured a great start for the club by securing a bronze medal on day one of competition.

Day two featured the board rescue events and once again the girls didn't disappoint with the team of Kayla Russell and Kyla Brogmus paddling their way into third place in the under-19 final.

Sarah Tisdell and Marlee Green were an unlucky fourth in the event after being in second place for most of the race.

Kayla and Kyla stepped up together in the open board rescue and were able to go one place better, taking out the silver medal. In the under 15 board relay Klaryse Dam, Chandla Stack and Leila Walker paddled brilliantly to take out fourth place in their final.

Sunday turned out to be Sawtell's golden day with finals in the board events.

Kayla Russell proved that her training regime had been spot on with wins in not only her under-19 age division but a gold medal in the open female board.

With some 4000 competitors at the NSW State Championships, to just make the final of an event is a fantastic achievement in itself and a real test of endurance after rounds of heats, quarter- and semi-finals.

Congratulations should go to Sarah Tisdell in the under 19 and open board finals, Leila Walker in the under 15 board and Jess Jensen, Alex Barnes and Marlee Green in their under 17 taplin relay in reaching the final stages of their events.

In what is considered to be the most competitive age division, under 17, Marlee Green showed she is definitely a competitor to watch out for in the future with a seventh placing in the Ironman and eighth in the under 17 swim.

Though not featuring in the medal haul this year, Klaryse Dam, Scott James, Lizzie and Alex McCullagh, Brad Peel, Jess Jensen, Morgan Stack and Martin Tisdell all worked tirelessly for the club and proved to be true ambassadors of their sport and a credit to North Coast Branch of Surf Life Saving.

Sawtell SLSC finished a very credible 22nd in the overall pointscore which features 74 NSW Clubs.