WARRNAMBOOL lifesaver Sophie Thomas streeted a field of 157 to win the Tony Ryan Memorial Swim on Saturday.
Thomas covered the 1200-metre course in just 14 minutes and 30 seconds, to win from Hamilton teenager Sebastian Christie-Crane, who recorded a time of 14 minutes and 46 seconds.
The stunning win at Warrnambool’s main beach was another step forward for Thomas after she was the first female and third overall in last year’s race. Saturday’s race was the second part of the Shipwreck Coast Swim Series.
The first leg was held in Port Fairy earlier this month, with the final leg to be held at Port Campbell on Sunday, February 3.
Thomas said she was thrilled to reach the finish line first.
“I have never beaten all the boys before, “ she said with a smile.
“I tried to time my swim and picked a stage where I thought I better try and kick away.
“I didn’t want to leave it to a sprint up the beach, their long legs would have gone past me.”
Thomas, 22, was recently selected in the Lifesaving Victoria state team.
The team will compete in the national championships in Sydney this week.
Warrnambool Surf Life Saving Club president Justin Houlihan said the club was excited for Sophie.
“We are rapt to have a member of our club win the swim,” Houlihan said.
“Sophie trains really hard and she is a very deserving winner.”