RISING Redhead star Nicola Owen hopes to recover quickly to begin preparations for the national titles after battling through illness to claim four gold and three silver medals at the NSW surf lifesaving open championships on the weekend.
Owen, 16, won the under-17 ironwoman and board and was part of Redhead’s victories in the age group’s single ski relay, with Amelia Ross, Claudia Yates and Kayla Hatcher, and the taplin relay, with Ross and Yates.
Despite her tender age and a limited preparation, Owen also contested the open women’s board race and finished second to Georgia Miller. She was also second in the board relay with Ross and Yates and second in the board rescue with Ross.
Owen, who was second in the ironwoman and third on the board last year at state, said she trained only once in the week before the three-day titles at Blacksmiths Beach because of illness.
“I’ve had the flu the past two weeks so I’m just trying to recover now and hopefully I can get in a couple of weeks of good training before Aussies,” Owen said.
Aussies will be held at Scarborough, Western Australia, from April 14-22.
Owen’s efforts helped Redhead finish equal seventh on the club pointscore with 144. Newport won with an amazing 553.
Hosts Swansea Belmont were the next best Hunter club, finishing 11th on 83.
Nicholas Stoddart was a standout for Swansea Belmont, winning the under-15 male board race as well as three gold medals and one silver in teams events. Saxon Coates was also part of the three teams golds and one silver.
Also for Swansea Belmont, Kyle Lehmann and Josh Murphy won the under-17 male board rescue and combined with Jack McGregor to claim the board relay.