Sarah Locke has a chance to push ahead in the Sydney Water Surf Series when the competition resumes in her hometown of Bulli this Sunday.
Round three of the four-round-Illawarra series, in conjunction with the Summer of Surf round, is set to attract some of Australia's best surf lifesaving talent to the region. Points accumulated by competitors will go towards both competitions.
Locke will be up against some competition in the open Ironwoman category from the likes of Lizzie Welborn, world junior champion Lily O'Sullivan and Emily Maythers, while the men's equivalent field will feature Nutri-Grain Ironman athletes Ben Carberry, Jackson Borg and Corey Fletcher.
Locke has enjoyed a strong start to the Sydney Water series, finishing runner-up in round one before claiming victory a fortnight ago to lead all-comers in the women's competition. While she now represents Newport Surf Life Saving Club, the teenager is Bulli through and through, and can't wait to compete at her junior club's base.
"I'm so excited to go up against all of the girls down at my home club," Locke told the Mercury.
"I know the conditions there well so it will be good to compete there. Training there for years gives me an advantage. Most of the time, the surf is pretty small, but it can definitely get a bit of a wave. I'm hoping for a little bit of a wave to make things interesting, though I hope it's not choppy or windy.
"I also have special memories at Bulli. I made some great friends there and still do patrols, hang out with members and sometimes train with them as well."
Locke moved to Newport Surf Life Saving Club over winter in a bid to ramp up her preparations for a busy surf lifesaving season.
The 19-year-old, who previously spent about a decade with Bulli SLSC, has increased her iron training sessions with a long-term goal of becoming a Nutri-Grain Ironwoman competitor.
"Over the past year, I've started trying to get more into my iron (training), because I've been mostly doing pool swimming. So over the next couple of years, I will develop my iron skills and get more experience in it," Locke said.
"I do seven swim sessions a week, as well as ski paddling and more board, as well as more iron training."
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