Lifesaving’s best surf board riders will swap patrol uniforms for wetsuits when they take to Birubi Point’s famous break for their shot at glory when the 2017 Surf Life Saving State Board Riding Championships get underway tomorrow.
Over 100 competitors from Cudgen Headland in Northern NSW through to Kiama Downs on the NSW will be making the journey to the picturesque Port Stephens beach with competitors looking to make the most of a bright start to spring as they show off their skills in the surf.
Prior to 2015, the NSW Board Riding State Championships were incorporated as part of the annual State Championships, but in an effort to allow more athletes to enter it was decided a stand-alone-competition was required.
After being staged on the Central Coast for the last two seasons, the State Championships moves north to the scenic waters of Port Stephens.
Port Stephens Councils Tourism and Events Coordinator, Janelle Gardner said events like this are "a great opportunity for Port Stephens to showcase our amazing beaches to very large audience. The NSW Board Riding State Champs also highlight Port Stephens Councils support of surf lifesaving across Port Stephens.
"As a coastal destination, our Surf Life Saving Clubs play a huge role in our community and this event will provide a really good chance for our residents and visitors to head on down to the beach, show their support for our clubs and check out the talents of some of our local lifeguards this weekend,” Ms Gardner added.
The championships are open to athletes aged 13 to over 70 with competition to be conducted in a format of 20 minute heats followed by semi and finals as required.
In a boost for the sport in NSW 44 clubs will fly their colours throughout the three-day competition with North Bondi making up the largest contingent sending a squad of 10 athletes to the start-line.
NSW Surf Sports Coordinator Luke Stigter is looking forward to a pulsating and enjoyable event.
“It’s an exciting opportunity for our lifesavers to show off their surfing skills, and I know they’re all looking forward to it. There’s a buzz around all types of surfing at the moment with the inclusion of the sport in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics,” Mr Stigter said.
“Birubi Point has proved in the past as very competent hosts of surf sport competition such as the IRB Premiership Series.
“I’m sure the competition will be conducted in the right spirits and we’re very much looking forward to hitting the surf at on Friday,” he concluded.
With the swell playing such a vital role in the competition all eyes will be on the forecast with plenty of fingers crossed for some pumping waves.
The NSW Board Riding Championships will be held from Friday September 8 through to Sunday 10 September 2017 at Birubi Point. Competition on the opening day begins from 7:30am AEST
Thursday 7 September 2017