FORMER-Mollymook Surf Life Saving Club product Melissa Cracroft-Wilson (nee Howard) has returned from representing Australia at the Lifesaving World Championships with a swag of medals.
Held in Noordwijk, Netherlands, the 29-year-old, claimed three gold medal and a silver at the World National Teams Championships as well as winning two golds at the Inter-Club Championships.
“At the national teams, I won flags, relay and ocean women relay, as well as placing second in the sprint,” Cracroft-Wilson said.
“Due to these results, Australia finished second overall.
“At the inter-clubs, I won the flags and relay but didn't sprint.
“Overall, it was definitely another successful world campaign and could not be happier with the results.”
Cracroft-Wilson was selected into the 12 person Australian team (six male and six female) on the back of a successful domestic season, where she was undefeated in her favoured beach flags event.
“Even though my heart lies with the individual beach flags event I think I enjoyed winning the team 4x90m beach sprint relay with my teammates Jordan Mercer, Georgia Miller and Chelsea Gillett the most,” she said.
“It is always more enjoyable to be able to share a win with your teammates in a team event, especially when we weren't favoured to win, so that came as a pleasant surprise.
“I really enjoyed the competition – we had a fantastic team and great culture, all thanks to the management team of Danny Short, Wade Sinclair, Garry Mensforth and others who have really provided great expertise, leadership and team culture.”
Cracroft-Wilson has come a long way since her first Inter-Club Champs in Viareggio, Italy in 2004.
“These results in the Netherlands were the 'cherry on the cake' for such a superb season,” she said.
“I won the beach flags at the Australian Championships to make that my 10th title.
“Then winning the beach flags in both the world national teams and world inter-clubs champs was a pretty memorable way to possibly finish my international career, having won those three big titles all in the one season.
“I've achieved more than I ever dreamed and don't have too much left to accomplish.
“I don't want to say I'm retiring just yet but I'm not sure whats round the corner.
“I'm just going take each race as it come now; I still enjoy getting down and racing.
“As long as I still feel like this, I will just keep racing.
“We have our first race of the Australian domestic season starting very soon - so as I look at it, it’s all back to the usual routine.”