TOP CONTENDER: Mette Klinkers is favoured to perform strongly at next weekend's Beachside Radiology Coffs Coast Ocean Swims.
TOP CONTENDER: Mette Klinkers is favoured to perform strongly at next weekend's Beachside Radiology Coffs Coast Ocean Swims.

Young locals expected to dominate Ocean Swims

TWO of Coffs Harbour's stars of the pool and surf are expected to be among the first to exit the water at the Coffs Ocean Swims next weekend.

Seventeen-year-old Lachlan O'Reilly is in top form and looking to improve on his results from last year's event where he finished fifth overall in the 2km Ocean Swim and fourth in the 600m swim. He's entered both events again and is hoping for a podium finish.

Mette Klinkers, 14, is also looking to be among the fastest Coffs Coast Ocean Swims finishers on Sunday, April 3.

Mette was the second female across the line in the 600m event in last year's Coffs Ocean Swims at just 13 years of age. And, at the Yamba Ocean Swim in December, she was the fastest female in the 2km swim and fifth overall among a very competitive field.

Lachlan trains three times a week at the Coffs Harbour War Memorial Olympic Pool under the tutelage of swim coach Dean Laurence.

He is also a member of Coffs Harbour Surf Club and does up to four board training sessions a week preparing for the upcoming Australian Surf Life Saving Championships on the Sunshine Coast as well as the school state swimming championships in Sydney next month.

"Lachlan is very committed to his training and this is reflected in his excellent results in the pool and surf," Laurence said.

"He has been swimming with us for about 10 years and it has been a pleasure to watch his progress over the years."

Lachlan reached the finals in the swim, board, ironman, tube rescue, under-19 Taplin and the board relay in the recent State Surf Lifesaving Championships on the Central Coast. He is looking forward to competing on his "home turf" in next weekend's Ocean Swims.  

Mette currently swims up to four sessions a week at the Coffs Olympic Pool and is also a prominent surf life-saving competitor.

She achieved some outstanding results at the NSW Country Championships last month, finishing first in the under-15 Board Race, second in the Ironman event and fourth in the surf race. She will also be competing in the Australian Surf Lifesaving Championships in April.

"We have seen big improvements from Mette in the last 12 months," her coach said.

"She is very dedicated to her swimming and works hard in and out of the pool. She has a busy training schedule and also holds down a part time job and is very committed to her school studies. I am looking forward to seeing what she is capable of at the Ocean Swims next weekend."

The Coffs Harbour War Memorial Olympic Pool is a big supporter of the Ocean Swims and sponsors the junior events.

"We currently have children and adults training hard in the pool in readiness for the ocean swims on April 3, and we encourage people of all abilities to take part," Laurence said.

"The Coffs Ocean Swims are a perfect introduction to ocean swimming as they are held in the protected Jetty Beach."

Swimmers have the choice of the ANZ 600m Jetty swim, the Beachside Radiology 2km swim and the Coffs Harbour War Memorial Olympic Pool 150m and 300m junior Swims.

For more information and to enter visit: villagesports.com.au.



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