Bulli's Drew Cairncross has a solid base behind him and is ready to take on the opening round of the Kelloggs Nutri-Grain Ironman Series at Kurrawa on the Gold Coast today.
The 28-year-old is in the veteran category of ironman racing after spending the past decade racing at the top level.
He's had a good season this year with a third in the Coolangatta Gold and a win in the open ironman at Manly last weekend.
Cairncross expects to be competitive against the best ironmen in the country despite having to battle through the qualifying trials for this event at Suttons Beach in Redcliffe last month.
"I'm hoping for bigger conditions which will slow a couple of guys down because as I have got older I have lost a bit of my speed," Cairncross said.
"Even though I won at Manly last week against a lot of good ironmen, the better competitors are up in Queensland, so I need to step up."
Cairncross has resisted approaches to go to one of the big Queensland clubs throughout his career, preferring the life in Wollongong.
"I have had offers to go up there and it would be great because the weather is good to train all year around. But to me the Gold Coast is a good place to go to for a couple of days for a party, not to live."
Cairncross will represent Southern NSW Blue Fins with his team-mates including Candice Falzon and Nathan Smith, who are both in top form.
The Nutri-Grain Ironman series is worth $200,000 in prize money and will also feature former Illawarra ironmen Wes Berg and Dean Mercer.