She's got her eyes on London Olympic glory but Lisa Carrington is delighted to be able to detour to Mount Maunganui this week.
The 21-year-old will compete for the host club at the surf lifesaving national championships starting tomorrow, after only deciding to race when the event was shifted away from Christchurch.
It means the Whakatane-born New Zealand kayaking representative gets another chance to chase the elusive women's ski race and double ski titles with good mate, fellow kayaker and fellow Mountie Jaimee Lovett.
"That's a race we just can't seem to win - every year we try and something seems to happen to us so the year we win it, we'll be celebrating hard!" Carrington said.
"This is a bit of a bonus because we weren't originally going to race but when they shifted nationals to the Mount, it made it a lot easier to get to it."
Lovett and Carrington have finished third in the double ski for three of the past four seasons, while Carrington was third in the ski race in 2009 and second behind national kayaking teammate Teneale Hatton (Orewa) last year.
The women's ski race has again attracted an imposing field, including Hatton and former champions Katie Pocock, Nikki Cox and Olympic whitewater paddler Luuka Jones.
Carrington wants to emulate Jones and qualify for the London Olympics this year, with her best chance possibly in a K2 boat with Hatton.
"We won the K2 1000m at a world cup in France last year - although it's not an Olympic event, it was still quite good to stand on top of the podium and get that feeling. We've got the world championships in August to qualify, although we've got three world cup regattas in May, which we need to do to give us some quality build-up. We want to see where we're at and we want to know how fast we're going."
She's already got promising form this season, picking up a triple-medal haul at the Australian grand prix in January, winning gold in the K1 500 plus silvers in the K1 200 and K4 500, a positive sign ahead of August's pivotal assignment at Szegad in Hungary.
Mount Maunganui go into the carnival as defending champions, having won the Alan Gardner Trophy last year, although there will be plenty of interest in Papamoa's performance after they finished second in Ohope.
Papamoa's under-16 brigade, led by the likes of Danny Kayes, Natalie Peat, Jackson Edwards and Katherine Stewart, should bag a steady stream of points.
Omanu have been boosted by the availability of Queensland-based Max Beattie, who made his debut for the New Zealand development team this season and is still eligible for the under-19 division.
Mount beach sprinter Holly Moczydlowski will be chasing an extraordinary eighth beach relay title, having been involved in all Mount's titles since 2004.
She's been given a boost, with Mount assembling a dream team - Moczydlowski and Chelsea Maples have won world beach sprint titles, while Tamsyn McGarva and Arna Wright are former national title holders.
Moczydlowski's streak pales in comparison to South Brighton veteran Malcolm MacDonald, however, with the Christchurch fireman making a late decision to attend the nationals after helping clear up earthquake damage for the past fortnight.
MacDonald will be looking for his 13th consecutive beach relay title. South Brighton have won 11 of the 12 titles since 1999 with their only miss in 2000 - the year MacDonald joined Dunedin's Brighton club and helped them win.