THE local Hunter surf lifesaving season is underway.
The first carnival of the season was held last Saturday at Stockton beach.
With the NSW Interbranch titles fast approaching, the event provided athletes from the under-11s through to the opens age group an opportunity to impress selectors in a bid to earn representative honours.
The carnival saw a return to racing for many of the region's seasoned athletes, with Swansea-Belmont's Hannah Trypas taking out the under-19 female swim, board and ironwoman events.
In the under-11 female age, Bella Williams from Cooks Hill also took out the swim, board and ironwoman events.
It was a strong return to racing for Catherine Hill Bay's Lachlan Stanford, who came out victorious in the swim, board and ironman events.
Caves Beach's Lawson Christiansen proved too quick on the sand in the same age group, winning the beach sprint and flags events.
Merewether's Amelia Ross made a strong return to racing in the under-13 female age group by winning the swim, board and ironwoman events.
Selectors for the Interbranch team will meet on November 11, hoping to finally end a run of fourth-place finishes.