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Locals off to the Aussies

PORT Fairy will be well represented at the Australian Surf Life Saving Championships on the Gold Coast next week.

"The Aussies", as the event is popularly known, will be a chance for Port Fairy's Shearwaters and Firebirds rowing crews to take on the country's best, after winning gold medals at the Victorian Masters in February.

Jake Hetherington, 17, who won a board race at Anglesea and has placed second in Victorian events on three occasions this season, will also compete. In addition to his favoured event, the board race, Hetherington will also compete in the under 17 ski race.

Hetherington said fellow Port Fairy Surf Life Saving Club member Mark Plant, who had been instrumental in his recent training, had encouraged him to enter the national event.

"I've been in the top two for board racing most of the year and Mark encouraged me to go," Hetherington said.

"He said it would be a great opportunity to go up against the country's best. It will be good to see how I go against the best."

With fields of more than 150 in each event, Hetherington believes his best chance of success is to surge to the front of the pack early on.

The keen surfer said he preferred to compete in "bigger surf with good runners" to help propel him along.

Hetherington has been involved with the lifesaving club since the age of 7.

He said he was hoping for a semi-final berth or better at the event, which will be held in North Kirra.

The two rowing crews have been training at least three times a week since July last year.

Crew members for the Shearwaters are Scott Hetherington (Jake's father), Dean Dwyer, Shaun Murrihy, Howard Sharp and sweep Paul Buchanan.

Crew members for the Firebirds are Tania Dalton, Ilona Plant, Nicole Dwyer, Leonie Boyd and sweep Greg Dalton.

The Aussies will run from April 15 to 21.


MONIQUE PATTERSON 2013 ARTICLE: Locals off to The Aussies, 11 April, 2013 midnight. [The Moyne Gazette online]. Available at [Accessed 19 Appril 2013]
MONIQUE PATTERSON 2013, IMAGE: Port Fairy Surf Life Saving Club member Jake Hetherington will compete in the board and ski under 17 events at the Australian Surf Life Saving Championships next week. Pictured in the background is the men's rowing crew, which will also compete. [The Moyne Gazette online]. Available at [Accessed 19 April 2013]