LOCAL HOPES: The Lennox Head contingent of the Lennox Head-Alstonville SLS club in Perth this week for the Australian champions
LOCAL HOPES: The Lennox Head contingent of the Lennox Head-Alstonville SLS club in Perth this week for the Australian champions

Veteran's nervous wait

BYRON BAY ironman Glen Lawrence will be hoping to repeat his golden form from last year in the Australian Masters Surf Lifesaving Championships starting at Scarborough in Perth today.

Lawrence won gold in the Over 45s ironman, rescue tube and the board rescue relay at last year's nationals and despite a solid preparation for the two-day competition the veteran competitor confessed had still suffered from nerves ahead of big events.

"I'm going to do the same events as last year," he said.

"The races will be very close.

"I've been competing for years and I often get a medal or two but that was a good year last year.

"I'm excited about the competition. I've been in the sport for 37 years. After that long you don't take it as serious but it is still a big deal."

The Byron Bay Surf Club team manager is leading a 20-person team which includes eight masters and 12 open age competitors who start competing from Thursday.

Kim's challenge Kim Chappell is expected to challenge in the Under 19s ski while younger team-mates Shannon Hulbert-Green, Emily Battese, Bridget Barnes and Jade Nelson-Chapman will be buoyed by winning medals at the NSW titles earlier this year.

Byron Bay women boaties Anna MaCabe, Lyndal Phelps, Carissa Parr, Amie Clarke and sweep Neil Cameron will go into the Under 23s surfboat event as one of the favourites after taking out the Queensland titles last month.

The Evans Head Masters crew flew into WA last night with high hopes after winning the NSW titles and narrowly missing the Queensland finals after snapping two sweep oars.

The crew, Brett Farmer, Michael Robson, Simon Hyder, John Power and sweep Peter Hickey, are borrowing a boat for their race on Wednesday.

Ballina-Casino Surf Club has two boat crews representing them at the nationals.

The reserves crew of James Rix, Brad Lyons, Peter Rodziwicz, Paul Shephard and sweep Graeme Gordon are confident of progressing into the finals while Dick Grant, Stuart Thompson, Darcy Morrow and Kris Beavis will be competing against Evans Head in the masters 180 division.

Lennox Head's Tanyn Lyndon will been keen to shrug off his sickness-hampered preparation.

The talented junior ironman pulled out of the NSW titles and skipped the Queensland titles to ensure he was fresh for the nationals.

He is among nine competitors from the Lennox Head-Alstonville club to travel to WA.

Lawrence said competitor numbers were down from last year.

"Last year we took 40 competitors. I think the whole carnival is getting a bit smaller because it's such a huge effort and cost to get over here," he said.

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