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The action heats up at SLSQ’s North Australian Championships

There have been plenty of spills, thrills and strong performances across the first two days of completion at the North Australian Championships.

More than 500 athletes, aged from under 11 through to opens and masters, have converged on Harbour Beach in Mackay for the annual championships involving clubs from Port Douglas down to Hervey Bay.

Competitors will line up across the three days in a wide range of surf lifesaving events including beach flags, sprints, surf ski, pool rescue, surf boats, inflatable rescue boat racing and the ironman and ironwoman disciplines.

Cairns Surf Life Saving Club are hoping to win their sixth consecutive title at the event, but it was Mackay who made the most of the local conditions early on, taking out the IRB competition ahead of Arcadian, with Townsville Picnic Bay finishing in third position.

Mackay was a constant threat across the high-octane racing, with the club recording wins in the Open Female IRB Mass Rescue, Open Female IRB Rescue Race, Open Female IRB Rescue Tube, Open Male IRB Mass Rescue and the Open Male IRB Rescue Race.

Meanwhile Townsville Picnic Bay claimed the honours in the Open Male IRB Rescue Tube, the Masters IRB Mass Rescue, the Masters IRB Rescue Race and the Masters IRB Teams Rescue. Arcadian recorded wins in the Masters IRB Rescue Tube and the Open IRB Teams Rescue.

However, it wasn’t long before Cairns bounced back, taking out the pool rescue competition ahead of Tannum Sands and Yeppoon.

Leading from the front was Cairns’ lifesaver, and Queensland representative, Lachlan Paterson who took home individual golds in the under-17 100m manikin tow with fins, 100m obstacle swim, 50m manikin carry and 100m manikin carry with fins.

However, there was also plenty of joy for other clubs in the pool. Bundaberg’s Emma Finnis proving a dominant force in the open division, taking out the 50m manikin carry, 100m manikin carry and the 100m manikin carry tow with fins. Meanwhile Elliott Heads’ Ryan Bennett prevailed in the open 200m obstacle swim, 50m manikin carry, 100m manikin carry with fins and the 100m manikin tow with fins.

Emu Park’s Jacob Spark, a member of the Australian Youth Lifesaving Team Rescue 2016 Target Squad, was also in strong form, taking out the under-15 100m obstacle swim and the 100m manikin tow with fins.

The competition was just as fierce on the sand and in the surf, with a number of clubs recording strong performances.

Mackay’s Claudia Finney completed a double in the beach flags, taking gold in both the under-17 and open finals, while club-mate Joel Haynes took out both the open male and under-19 beach flags events.

Emma Finnis backed up her strong performances in the pool, taking out the Open Female Champion Lifesaver event.

To view a full list of current results, please click here

To view the final results from the pool rescue competition, please click here.

The action continues tomorrow with the third and final day of comepetition.

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