READY TO TAKE ON THE WATER: Sam Churchward 12 gets a good start at training as the NAC continue across the weekend in Mackay.
READY TO TAKE ON THE WATER: Sam Churchward 12 gets a good start at training as the NAC continue across the weekend in Mackay. Rebecca Devine GLA251018NQSURF

GALLERY: Tannum's nippers up for the Mackay challenge

SURF LIFE SAVING: The best surf sports athletes in North Queensland from Hervey Bay, Port Douglas and Darwin are set to compete in the North Australian Championships in Mackay and a Tannum Sands' contingent are ready to make their mark today and the weekend.

Brooke Copsey, Sam Churchward and Adina Philpott are some of the Tannum Sands Surf Life Saving Club stars who will compete in the full suite of surf sports events that include beach flags and sprints, board, ski, surf swim and iron-man and iron-woman event hosted at Harbour Beach.

The competition also features a Surf Boat competition and Pool Rescue formats. Tannum Sands SLSC finished second in 2017 to Cairns SLSC which took out its eighth consecutive North Aussies win for overall points.

TSSLSC coaches Mark Bryant and John Andrews are happy with the off-season training commitment shown by their young athletes and they are confident of some medals.

"We expect the competition will be fierce and this year Surf Life Saving Queensland has opened it up and invited the southern clubs to take part so with their presence it will certainly boost the level of competition," Andrews said. "For the U13s to U17s, there is additional pressure of performing for their chance to be selected to represent in the Queensland Country Team to compete at the State Inter-branch Carnival in December.

"This is a pretty big deal to be chosen for this team, as either a water or beach specialist and the anticipation at the announcements at the end of the carnival is always intense."

The competition begins this afternoon with the Pool Rescue events at the Memorial Pool where athletes take the skills they use on lifesaving patrols and transfer them to the pool in a competitive setting with events such as mannequin tow, mannequin carry and obstacle relay.

North Aussies is the most prestigious lifesaving event on the regional calendar each year and is the third largest carnival in the state behind Senior and Junior Queensland Championships.