Dream now a reality for Lyndon
LENNOX Head surf lifesaver Tanyn Lyndon once dreamed of competing in the Nutri Grain Surf Lifesaving Series.
Indeed, his family used to travel up from Lennox to the Gold Coast to watch the bronzed, muscular surf lifesavers strut their stuff in professional races such as the Coolangatta Gold.
That dream became a reality last week when Lyndon was given a wildcard entry into this year's series which will start on December 18 at Surfers Paradise.
Lyndon, who now lives on the Gold Coast and races for the powerful Northcliffe club, is still pinching himself that he has been given the opportunity to race against his former hero Ky Hurst.
"I'm over the moon," the 19-year-old said.
"I competed in the trials about a month ago and basically came eighth. I found out about the wildcard last week.
"I've always watched it (the Nutri Grain Series) and I wanted to be like Trevor Hendy, Guy Leech and Ky Hurst.
"Ky Hurst was so young when he first starte,d but he still did so well against all the big boys and now I will be going up against him and he was once my idol."
While the former Southern Cross K-12 student will be a rookie in with the professionals, Lyndon's pedigree in surf lifesaving is extensive.
He started competing for Lennox Head, where he is still a member as a six-year-old, and he won four Junior Australian Ironman titles in the under-15s, under-17s and last year in the under-19s.
Competing and training for Northcliffe has also exposed him to top surf lifesavers Shannon Eckstein and Zane Holmes. Indeed, he works for Holmes and top ironwoman Kristyl Smith at Dolphin Surf Craft, which makes competition rescue boards and skis.
"It's awesome to train with those guys," Lyndon said.
"They really push you and show you what you have to do to be successful.
"They give you lots of advice and would do anything for you, but maybe they won't anymore now that I have to race them."
Lyndon is upping the ante with his training in the next few months and will bypass the prestigious Coolangatta Gold to ensure he is set for his first professional series.
He is particularly working on his ski and swim legs, which he says are weaker than his board leg.
Lyndon is improving his swimming by training with Grant Hackett's former coach Dennis Cotterill at Miami.
While he acknowledges the difficulty in winning an event in his first year, the Lennox local hopes to be able to finish the series in the top eight so he automatically requalifies for next year's Nutri Grain Series.
"It's a whole new experience for me (racing in open competition) so I can't be too hard on myself," he said.