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After three very successful summers at South West Rocks, the Envirobank Country Championships will be moving to a new home from 2019 after it was confirmed on Friday that Cudgen Headland SLSC will host the popular event at Kingscliff Beach.

Under the terms of the agreement the picturesque beach will host both the 2019 and 2020 editions of the event.

The decision ends a 15-year absence from Far North Coast beaches with the last Country Champs to be held in the Branch also taking place at Kingscliff back in 2003.

Since that time Byron Bay and Cudgen Headland have emerged as two of the strongest clubs in Country NSW engaging in some titanic struggles in recent seasons with the latter actually ending Byron’s incredible championship winning streak at South West Rocks in 2017.

The prospect of the two rivals clashing in home waters is one to savour although by the time the competition rolls around there will certainly be some challengers for the title.

Surf Life Saving NSW Surf Sport Manager Rob Pidgeon said Cudgen Headland mounted a compelling case during the bidding process.

“I would like to congratulate Cudgen Headland on their successful bid. They have a fantastic beach at Kingscliff and the redevelopment on the foreshore will give the opportunity for spectators to enjoy the atmosphere of the championships,” said Mr Pidgeon.

“We are excited to be in partnership with the Cudgen Headland SLSC and acknowledge the essential support provided by the Tweed Shire Council in delivering this important event for our members, and we are confident it will give a boost to the local economy with an estimated 1500 competitors, officials, and supporters expected to make the journey.

He also noted that the experience the club has had of hosting major carnivals will play an important part in ensuring the success of the event.

“The club has a strong track record of delivering major events, and I am sure that the 2019 Country Championships will add to that long and distinguished history,” he said.

An important factor in the successful bid was the strong support from Tweed Shire Council.

“Tweed Shire Council was pleased to be able to assist Cudgen Headland Surf Lifesaving Club with the bid and we congratulate them on their success,” said Mayor of Tweed, Councillor Katie Milne.

“With the $21.8 Kingscliff Foreshore Revitalisation opening early next year, the timing is perfect for the influx of competitors, their families and spectators this event will bring.

 "This competition showcases the wonderful work surf life savers do to support so many communities and will be a significant event for the Tweed," Cr Milne concluded.

Cudgen Headland club president Adam Mills was delighted on hearing the news of the successful bid.

“Kingscliff Beach has recently hosted the 2017 Australian IRB Championships, has secured the rights to host the 2019 Australian IRB Championships and has been home to a number of other major championships events during its 96-year history.

“In 2012 we also hosted the NSW State Championships so we have had a lot of experience in recent years. This is a great moment for our club and we will be working hard to deliver a fantastic experience for all in 2019,” said Mr Mills.

The 2018 Envirobank Country Championships will be held at South West Rocks on the weekend of February 4 -5. Expressions of interest to host the event in the 2021/22 summers will open later next year.


Friday 22 December 2017