Thirty-four country life saving clubs will be heading to Kingscliff this weekend to participate in the he NSW Country Championships Surf Life Saving competitions.
‘We’re thrilled to have the Country Championships back for the second year,’ said Cudgen Headland SLSC President Grant Rogers.
‘We’re anticipating a bigger and better event after implementing a couple of great new initiatives. This event is all about encouraging our country clubs to participate and gives them the opportunity for fun, healthy competition,’ said Rogers.
He said the club enjoys hosting the big events because they bring so many people together and encourage lifesavers to build their fitness across the season.
Some of the new initiatives for the 2020 event include encouraging no plastic on the beach. ‘We won’t be selling any plastic water bottles and all officials and athletes are encouraged to use our additional water stations to refill their own bottles.’
There will also be more entertainment on offer for the whole family with a jumping castle for the kids and live music on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon at the conclusion of racing.
For the first time, water safety services will be coordinated through the Australian Lifesaving Boat Emergency Rescue Training (ALBERT) team. These volunteers have undergone additional advanced training in the lead-up to the event.
The impact of the fires across the state have meant that training for the event has been impacted by fires and smoke especially in areas like Batemans Bay.
The 2019 Open Male Flags champion Darren Drewsen of Broulee Surfers SLSC is bringing a team of nine competitors to the event.
‘The Batemans Bay resident had a tough New Year period. He and a friend stayed to defend their street of houses while their families took refuge at evacuation centres,’ says a media spokesperson for SLSNSW.
‘It was a very intense period but it seems like it’s never going to end,’ said Mr Drewsen. ‘Our house survived but a lot of houses surrounding us are gone.’
‘I’ll be aiming to defend my title but we’ve got some strong kids who will be great on the beach and in the water.’
In terms of conditions for the weekend, Cudgen Headland SLSC Head Coach Scott McCartney says it’s important for all water competitors to take time to watch, test and understand the sweep at Kingscliff.
‘Conditions leading into the event look to be consistent with what we’ve been experiencing the last couple of weeks on the Far North Coast. It will most likely be between two and four feet surf during the event and the wind will be up so be prepared for chop out in the surf, along with a southerly swell,’ said McCartney.
For a full list of all event information including the schedule of events head to the SLSNSW website.