Warrnambool teens surge to top in Shipwreck Coast Swim Series

WARRNAMBOOL swimmers Ben Raymond and Meg Flaherty have added their names to the Shipwreck Coast Swim Series honour board. 

The teenagers claimed victories in the final leg of the three- stage event at Port Campbell on Saturday, paving the way for overall series success. 

Isaac Jones and Ebony Ebenwaldner, who won the first two legs, were unable to compete on Saturday, meaning they were ineligible for the overall series title. 

Raymond completed the Port Campbell swim in 15 minutes and 12 seconds, edging out runner-up Ryan Jennings (15:24) and third placegetter Kris McCartney (15:30). 

Raymond claimed the overall men’s title, completing the Warrnambool, Port Fairy and Port Campbell legs in a combined 49 minutes and 55 seconds. Thomas Spafford was second overall, with Jamin Baulch third. 

Flaherty was the overall female champion with a combined time of one hour and 49 seconds. Lainey Miller was second overall with Sandra Skilbeck in third. The Port Campbell podium was an exact copy of the women’s overall series podium. 

Flaherty was 15th across the line at Port Campbell, completing the course in 18 minutes and 20 seconds. She edged out Lainey Miller and Sandra Skilbeck in the women’s section. 

Flaherty, 15, said it was the first time she had taken a stage win in the female category and an overall series victory. 

“I’ve done the series for the past three years. I’ve won my age group a couple of times but I’ve never won a leg overall,” she said. 

“To win the series overall was a bit unexpected, but really exciting.”

The Warrnambool Swimming Club member said she found the choppy conditions at the back of the course challenging. 

“It was really hard to see the boys in front of me, which made it hard to find my way,” she said. 

Flaherty said open-water swimming was a nice change from the pool. 

“I like them both, but it’s nice to have a change and get out in the open,” she said. 

“It’s different and it adds extra challenge with the swell and currents.”

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