SEASPRAY Surf Life Saving Club's Jessica Jackson now ranks among Australia's best beach flags competitors after reaching the final of the under 19 women's event at the national surf life saving championships.
Jackson, who is the current state under 19 female beach flags champion, placed eighth in the final held on Friday night under lights at Mooloolaba Beach on the Sunshine Coast.
Jackson and Hampton's Mia Spencer were the only two athletes from Victoria to make the final.
Isabellah Walker from Cronulla, Sydney, won the gold medal, Liana Channon representing Grange, Adelaide, secured the silver and local Mia McWilliam of Alexandra Headland took the bronze.
"I was very happy to reach my second Aussies flags final, especially after just missing out on the under 17 final in 2019," Jackson said of her result.
"The atmosphere of competing in a final on a Friday night under lights was awesome.
"To be introduced as a finalist from Seaspray, a small surf club from Victoria and for my club to see our cap in the final made me very proud. Seaspray is a great club to be a part of."
Jackson, who celebrated her 19th birthday the day before the final, trains with Denis Huffer at Wellington Athletics Club.
"Denis has worked hard with me this season and his advice and support has been invaluable," she said.
"I am also grateful for the help I received from the beach coaches at Anglesea Surf Life Saving Club, John Baldock and Peter Van Miltenburg, who helped me to prepare for the Australian titles.
"It was also great to receive so many messages of support from home ahead of the final - they really spurred me on.
"Lining up in a field of top-class athletes was the culmination of lots of hard work. It was a day that I will always remember."
Seaspray SLSC president Chris Fleming said everyone at the club was thrilled by Jackson's achievement.
"Jess has dedicated herself to training and her hard work and determination has paid off. She's had a great season and we are all incredibly proud of her," he said.
"Seaspray is a small club in comparison to some of the big-name surf clubs such as Cronulla and Bondi, so it's always a huge thrill to see one of our Seaspray athletes lining up against them on the national stage."
Jackson was the only representative from Seaspray to compete at the championships, which comprised 480 ocean and beach events held across nine days. She was among 6000 competitors representing 315 surf clubs from across Australia.