Minogue, Schofield lead way into finale

On board: Hannah Minogue has been a dominant force in the Sydney Water Series.

On board: Hannah Minogue has been a dominant force in the Sydney Water Series.

IT LOOMS as a victory lap for elite surf lifesaver Hannah Minogue, as the Sydney Water Series men’s competition reaches a thrilling conclusion on Saturday. 

Minogue, ranked fifth in the Summer of Surf competition which comes to North Wollongong in January, has dominated the Sydney Water series.

The Thirroul talent, now competing for Newport on Sydney’s northern beaches, sits atop the open women’s ironwoman standings with two wins. Minogue is three points clear and is also leading the board racing and remains in contention in the swim.

She has been a dominant force in her preferred surf ski event with wins in all three rounds, at Warilla, Fairy Meadow and Woonona. 

However, the men’s competition remains too close to call, with national surf lifesaving captain Tim Schofield, the Sydney Water Series event ambassador, in contention in all events. 

Bulli duo Michael Locke and Mali Taylor lead the Illawarra charge.

Locke is leading the ski pointscore, with Taylor (ironwoman) and Warilla’s Jayde Bagnall (ski) keeping Minogue honest.

“It will be a big finish to the series,” organiser Keith Caldwell said.

“The men’s events have been very close and the Illawarra clubs have been very successful, especially at the junior levels.

“We’ve had 900 entrants, which is a bit down on previous years, but unfortunately there have been scheduling clashes which have taken away some of the elite standard competitors.

“But it’s a really important series, because it’s a breeding ground into the inter-branch and Summer of Surf competitions, towards competing in the Nutri-Grain Ironman series.”

SYDNEY WATER SERIES

Round four (final round)

Shellharbour SLSC, Saturday (juniors from 8.30am, seniors from 12.30pm)

Open men

Ironman: Tim Schofield (Terrigal) 26, James De Vries (Shelly Beach) 24, Zac Van Dartel (Terrigal) 18.

Surf: James De Vries 22, Tim Schofield 19, Joel Aitken (Queenscliff) 19.

Board: Tim Schofield 21, James De Vries 16, Cody Gaddes (Cronulla) 14.

Ski: Michael Locke (Bulli) 25, Tim Schofield 21, Paul Buttel (Wanda) 15.

Open women

Ironwoman: Hannah Minogue (Newport) 20, Mali Taylor (Bulli) 17, Hailey Lane (North Cronulla) 17.

Surf: Hailey Lane 21, Rachel Wood (Umina) 20, Mali Taylor 18.

Board: Hannah Minogue 19, Alex Fleming (Cronulla) 15, Mimosa Henderson 14.

Ski: Hannah Minogue 30, Jayde Bagnall 18 (Warilla), Alex Fleming 12.

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