Matilda Phelan and Kurt Lorme off to the Gold Coast at the Qld Surf Lifeasving Interbranch championships. Photo Sharyn O'Neill / The Morning Bulletin
Matilda Phelan and Kurt Lorme off to the Gold Coast at the Qld Surf Lifeasving Interbranch championships. Photo Sharyn O'Neill / The Morning Bulletin Sharyn O'Neill ROK271113ssurf3

Team takes on tough task at Queensland surf lifesaving comp

FROM the Beef Capital to the beach, Matilda Phelan is leading the region's charge at this weekend's Surf Lifesaving Queensland Interbranch championships.

It's the challenge Matilda Phelan has been waiting for.

After starring at the North Australian Championships at Mackay's Harbour Beach last month, Phelan today dons the Queensland Country strip for the first time.

Selected in the team last year, The Cathedral College student was forced to withdraw. She will get her first opportunity to team up with Queensland country's top young surf lifesavers at the two-day carnival.

As part of a 40-strong Queensland Country team, 13-year-old Phelan and fellow Emu Park Surf Lifesaving Club members Jacob Spark, Ethan Murphy and Kurt Lorme will take on south Queensland's top young surf lifesavers, who will be competing for Sunshine Coast, South Coast and Point Danger branches.

With no individual events, the entire interbranch championships is run in a teams format and includes relays in the pool, on the beach and in the surf.

Spark, who claimed the boys age champion title in the under-13 age division at the North Australian Championships, will compete in the under-13 boys water events along with teammates Lorne and Murphy.

Lorme had his attention focused toward the water races, starting in the pool at Somerset College tonight before heading to Burleigh Beach tomorrow.

Phelan was crowned under-14 girls age champion and will team up with Yeppoon Surf Lifesaving Club's Hannah Thompson for the water events, which include a Cameron, surf and iron teams relay, board rescue and board teams event.

Phelan thought she might also take part in the female sprints and flag events, and was eager to tackle the south's big surf.

"It'll be tough," she said. "Down south the surf is always tougher, but I'm looking forward to it."



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