by Craig Law
ONLY words like "amazing, awesome or scintillating" can best describe the performances of the Sunshine Beach at last weekend's State Youth Lifesaving Titles at Alexandra Headlands.
With three full days of tough competition against the best young lifesavers from across the state, Team Sunshine once again punched above its weight to finish in sixth place overall and giving club coach Josh Minogue plenty to smile about.
U/11 competitor Dylan Wilson showed he has a huge future in the sport despite being one of the unluckiest competitors across the weekend, after finishing just out of the medals in his iron, board and surf race events. Dylan was in medal contention in each event right up to the finish with only bad luck costing him each time, while team-mate Hamish Giles finished a very solid fifth in the beach sprint final.
In the U/12's, Summer "Super" Hooper had a carnival to remember taking out gold in the Ironwoman event, in what was an amazing achievement from this future star, along with two other Top 6 finishes in her board and surf races. Summer was then joined by Georgia McKinley, Izabella Lees and Bella Goddard to take out further gold in the cameron relay, along with two top six places in the board relay and surf teams events.
Brendan Otto performed strongly in his ironman final finishing in fifth place, while Augie Korac and Cailean Henry finished in sixth place in the Board Rescue.
U/13's Tommy Price continued his strong season with a hard earned fourth place in the Ironman, before he joining teammates Matty Lewis, Roko Knott, Nolan Carrel, Mitch Gleeson and Harvey Lawton to finish fourth and fifth in the surf teams and cameron relay respectively.
The U/14 Girls absolutely dominated their opposition, with Grace Otto taking out gold in the ironwomen and Francesca McKinley a silver in the surf race.
Abbie Tolano was just out of the medals with two fourth place finishes in the surf race and ironwomen also. The girls were then joined by Freya Wilson, Lily Gooderham, Lulu Korac, Gemma Smith-Welch, Genevieve Crow and Kate Scordalides to deliver golds in the surf teams and board relay, silver in the cameron relay and bronze in the board rescue, board relay and surf teams also.
Tom Auty certainly had his best ever career result with a hard earned bronze medal in the ironman, before combining with Killian Carrel, Nick Hooper and Tim Gottschalk to claim top six places in the both the board rescue and surf teams.
The gold medal haul then continued into the U/15's with Sam O'Connor and Hamish Selby taking out board rescue event, while Hamish also finished fifth the ironman event, and Liam Summers a hard earned fifth in the board final. The boys then finished fourth in the board relay, before Dane Gottschalk joined the team to add a top six finish in the surf teams.
Not to be outdone, Amelia Ross and Lily Gooderham then added another Silver to the haul in the Board Rescue, before combining with Tiffany Mackay, Jade Hooper and Abbie Tolano to for a fifth and sixth place in the surf teams and board relay events.