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About Lizzie

Lizzie Welborn is a 20 year old professional Surf Ironwoman from Sydney, Australia. She is one of the most accomplished young athletes that surf sport has seen in recent times. Lizzie qualified for her first professional series when she was just 16, making her one of the youngest competitors to ever qualify. Lizzie is now competing in her fourth professional series and has claimed many prestigious titles throughout her career. Alongside the professional series Lizzie has also represented Australia in the sport on multiple occasions. Lizzie’s eyes are still set on claiming a professional series title, as well as winning open Australian ironwoman and board titles. Alongside surf sports, Lizzie has also competed in many prone paddlebaording races around the world, including the gruelling 52km Molokai 2 Oahu world paddleboard championships in Hawaii.

Lizzie is known for her hard work and dedication to the sport, never being too busy to devote time to coaching nippers, supporting other competitors or chatting with fans on the beach. She is already widely regarded as a positive role model in and out of the surf. Lizzie is constantly finding time to give back to the community that helped her get to where she is today. She regularly participates in clinics helping the next generation of up and coming athletes pursue their dreams, inspiring them to live healthy and active lifestyles.

Outside of competing, Lizzie is currently studying environmental science at Sydney University. She is extremely passionate about protecting our precious oceans. She is a strong advocate for environmental action within the sport and her community, with plastic pollution in the ocean being her biggest concern. She strives to make society more aware of plastic pollution, educating them on ways to save the ocean and beaches we are so lucky to enjoy.

Greatest Achievements

3 time consecutive winner of the youth iron woman race at the Australian championships (2015, 2016, 2018 - 2017 was cancelled)

3 time consecutive winner of the youth board race at the Australian championships (2015, 2016, 2018 - 2017 was cancelled)

3rd in the 2018 open iron woman race at the Australian championships

6th in the 2017/18 Ocean 6 professional ironwoman series

1st in the 2017/18 Ocean 6 board race series.

2nd in the 2017 and 2018 Molokai 2 Oahu paddle board world championships - unlimited prone division

Member of the Open Australian Team that competed in the International Surf Rescue Challenge at New Zealand in November, 2017. The Australian team won the overall point score.

Member of the Australian youth team that competed at the 2016 Surf Life Saving World Championships in Amsterdam. Lizzie won the ironwoman and board race, and the Australian youth team won the overall point score

In the 2016 Surf Life Saving Interclub World Championships in Amsterdam Lizzie came third in the open board and fifth in the open ironwoman. 

6th in the 2015/16 professional ironwoman series  

Multiple podium finished in the professional series throughout the years, including 1st place in round 1 in the 2017 series.

From the Beginning 

I grew up in a family that love the ocean. I first joined nippers at Bronte SLSC when I was nine years old. I started going to the training group, and instantly become hooked on the sport. That’s when I knew I wanted to be an Ironwoman. While many people love a sporting environment that is consistent, I love being in the surf and having the conditions constantly change and being able to train with my friends at the beach - my favourite place in the world. 

Success didn’t come easily or quickly for me, but I loved the challenge of racing and seeing how good I could get, so I persevered. The only NSW state final I made in my entire nipper career was the Ironwoman final in under 13’s. I came 10th. The chance of ever winning a medal seemed out of the question, but deep down, I had the feeling that if kept on training hard, results would come.

At age 15, I moved to North Bondi SLSC to train with former surf Ironman Scotty Thomson. I got a good season of hard training under my belt with him, and then I started to take off. I went from never making a board final at state to coming second at the Australian Championships in the under 15 board race and Ironwoman race. The following year, at age 16, I was introduced to the realms of open racing. It was a scary and surreal experience racing against all my idols, and an amazing feeling to be competitive in this field. In my first open board race I came third behind two of my idols: Maddy Dunn and Kristyl Smith. It was safe to say I never looked back.

At the end of that season, winning a silver medal in the open board race behind Liz Pluimers at the Australian Championships led to the creation of my biggest and most ambitious dream: to qualify for the professional Ironwoman series in the coming season.  As a 16-year-old, I found this both exciting and formidable. I trained my guts out all winter and never lost focus on the goal. In August 2015, I won the qualifying series, making me the third youngest athlete ever to do so. Four years later I am still racing the professional circuit and gearing up for the exciting new challenges ahead.


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