Pallister and Sloman win ocean swim titles with fast legs
The Aussies 2km Ocean Swim was conducted at Burleigh Heads on Sunday morning, with 300 competitors from under 15s to 70+ Masters taking part.
The Ocean Swim is the only event part of the Aussies that is also open to the public, giving those on the ocean swim circuit a chance to experience the Australian Surf Life Saving Championships.
Some of the best surf and still water swimmers in the country were competing, with several hoping to represent Australia at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Lani Pallister from Alexandria Headlands and Kareena Lee from Noosa Heads were neck and neck towards the finish. They caught the same wave in to the beach with Pallister winning in a run up the beach.
Pallister is just 16 and has Olympic aspirations next year in the 400m, 800m and 1500m. She is coached by her mother Janelle Elford who was an Olympic swimmer and her father Rick a surf lifesaving champion.
Lee, a world championship representative, was aiming for a third consecutive title but she couldn’t chase down the junior star. Pallister went straight to the front knowing that the ocean swimming specialist would be chasing her down.
“I knew at the start it was going to be a very close race I could see her catching me throughout the race, Kareena has been really amazing,” Pallister, who will now turn her attention to the pool events, said.
Nicholas Sloman, who will also challenge for an open water spot for Tokyo 2020, made it three consecutive wins. He knew it would be another tough race against Bailey Amstrong (Northcliffe).
The 20-year-old got to the front early and held off a strong challenge from Armstrong
“The plan was to get out into clean water in a nice tempo and build on that throughout the race and hopefully have a lead coming in,” Sloman said.
It was actually really nice and glassy out there today. There was a little bit of chop coming back and a few nice runs. I knew that Bailey was on my feet the whole way. I got about 10 metres on him after the last buoy but we ended up getting the same wave to the beach I was surprised to have the legs up the beach!”
Sloman is chasing more titles in the swim events at the open championships at Broadbeach from Wednesday.