Athletes prepare for the Queensland Surf Life Saving Youth Championships at Burleigh Heads. Picture: Supplied
Athletes prepare for the Queensland Surf Life Saving Youth Championships at Burleigh Heads. Picture: Supplied

Waves to prove a challenge for North Qld nippers

SURF life saving young guns from the state's north will be put to the ultimate test in taking on homegrown talent at the Queensland Youth Championships at Burleigh Heads from today to Sunday.

Nippers from around the state have descended on the Gold Coast for the 50th anniversary of the event at the very location it was first held.

North Queensland athlete Tamra Johnston spoke about how the Coast conditions are vastly different to what they are used to.

"It's always a lot of fun. They are very challenging conditions and something different to what we train and compete on," said the 15-year-old.

"Up north we literally have no waves at all, murky water and as soon as we come down here we have got something different.

Athletes prepare for the Queensland Surf Life Saving Youth Championships at Burleigh Heads. Picture: Supplied
Athletes prepare for the Queensland Surf Life Saving Youth Championships at Burleigh Heads. Picture: Supplied

"We try to follow out all the kids from down here because they know what they are doing.

"When it was my first time down here, I definitely struggled in the waves but it's a new challenge and something fun."

She noted that because it's stinger season up north, they had been training in extra flat conditions at a cable ski park, although they did travel down earlier in the week to acclimatise to the Burleigh waves.

Johnston will actually be unable to compete in what is her final year in the junior age category due to a foot injury but she will be present to cheer her teammates on.

Around 1650 nippers will compete in events varying from under-11s to under-15s across 1km and 2km beach runs, beach flags and sprints, surf race, surf board and ironman and ironwoman disciplines.

Currumbin are the reigning champions but will have plenty of rivals lining up to knock them off their perch, both locally and from the Sunshine Coast, SLSQ sports manager Stuart Hogben said.