Kayla hopes to make splash at Australian open water champs
SWIMMING: Kayla Osborne is right in her element as she ploughs through the salty swell off Yeppoon's Main Beach.
A skilled surf lifesaver, it is little wonder the 16-year-old has become an accomplished open water swimmer.
While many would baulk at taking on the raw power of the ocean, Osborne thrives on it and quickly finds herself at one with the push and pull of the tide and the chop and churn of the waves.
"While it's physically challenging, it really helps to clear my head because I know I have to focus on one thing at a time out there,” Osborne says.
"I love doing the long distance stuff and that's why open water swimming is such a good sport for me.”
Osborne will put her skills to the test this weekend when she competes at the 2018 Australian Open Water Swimming Championships at South Australia's Brighton Beach.
She will compete in the 17 years 7.5km swim today and take on the 5km open event on Sunday.
The Caribeae Swimming Club member could well expect a podium finish in the 7.5km race given she battled through illness to win bronze in the same event last year.
But she is keenly aware of the many variables at play and just wants to produce her best on the day.
"I know there will be quite a few good competitors there so I'm just looking to get some good times, hopefully clock some PBs, and do well in my races.”
Osborne has a demanding training schedule which includes seven pool sessions, three beach sessions and two gym sessions a week.
It's that amazing work ethic that coach Jodie Shanks considers her young charge's greatest attribute.
"She's not afraid of hard work,” Shanks said.
"I can give her some of the toughest sets which have other people fading around her and she just powers through them.
"We'd be hoping for a strong showing in Adelaide. Kayla's done the work and she's a lot fitter and stronger than she was last year.
"Things are unpredictable in the open water but if she's in the race then she's definitely got a chance.”