GALLERY: Tannum trumps at North Aussies Championships
SURF LIFE SAVING: Tannum Sands Surf Life Saving Club nippers took on the best in Australia and came out trumps in Mackay.
The young athletes may not have dragged the surf club to top spot, but they were dubbed winners in coach John Andrews' eyes at the 2018 North Australian Surf Life Saving Championships.
Cairns SLSC took out top spot on 1238.5 points followed by Tannum Sands on 847, but Tannum took out the Junior Trophy
It was also the manner how Andrews' troops went about it.
In fact 13 Tannum nippers have made the Queensland Country team plus two reserves and Andrews was named as the team's head coach.
The Queensland Country team will compete at the State Inter-branch Carnival on the Sunshine Coast in early December.
"It's now at a level that we expect and that we are a club to beat," he said.
"We have now had success for a number of years especially in the juniors and that is now the expectation of our club and that we are a dominant club.
"Cairns is always strong as they are at their peak coming into the end of their season, while we are just starting ours."
There were some superb individual efforts where brothers Jake and Kai Devine were crowned respected age champions in the under-15 and U12 age groups.
Team-mate Kane Martin achieved the same in the U13 grade.
"Kane, Jake and Kai all won on collective points in the pool, ocean and beach," Andrews said.
The coach said the standard in Mackay was as high as it has been.
"This year the competition was a lot harder and a bit more effort was needed to make the Queensland Country team," Andrews said.
"It's outstanding and last year we had 11 and I think less than that in 2016."
Andrews said to coach the young athletes at Queensland Country level has been made easier because of their commitment and professionalism.
He said it was like being selected in the Queensland rugby league State of Origin team.
"It's an honour and I don't have to do a lot of coaching because they're elite athletes," he said.
"My job is to help them with race plans and ocean race plans."
The event, which started on Friday, attracted more than 330 competitors across 24 clubs.
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U17: Tanna Hayward-Gill, Drew Bebendorf, Reserve - Jess Singh
U15: Jake Devine
U14: Rhiannon Copsey, Abby-Rose Churchward, Millie Hinz, Charli Harrison, Ben Dollery
U13: Taj Andrews, Kane Martin, Brady Blake, Lily McClure, Francesca Daboul, Reserve - Annali Philpott