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South West Rocks Surf Life Saving Club is no stranger to hosting large scale surf competitions, and with two major competitions to be staged at the picturesque beach in 2017 that trend is set to continue.

In February the club will be hosting the Stramit Country Championships for the second straight season.

These annual Championships are eagerly awaited by all competitors who live outside the Newcastle – Illawarra corridor with the athletes relishing the chance for high quality competition.

Over 2000 athletes, spectators, and officials made the journey last year and by doing so also gave the local economy a boost outside the peak holiday season.

Following on from the successful Country Championships, it was confirmed last week at the Surf Life Saving NSW AGM that South West Rocks would also host the 2017 Inflatable Rescue Boat (IRB) State Championships.

Popularly known in the wider community as rubber duckies, IRB racing is a fast-paced competition where lifesavers compete in events designed to simulate real life rescue situations involving individual “patients” and mass rescues.

All events are based on honing the skills of both IRB driver and crewperson and is always popular with competitors and spectators alike.

The State IRB Championships will be held next July following the 4 round premierships series that takes place between April and June. Host venues have also been confirmed recently with the action taking place at Caves Beach (Hunter), Mollymook (South Coast), Ocean Beach (Central Coast), and Cape Hawke (Lower North Coast).

Surf Life Saving NSW Mid North Coast President and South West Rock club member Rod McDonagh felt that being selected as hosts is a boon for the region.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for not just South West Rocks but the entire Mid North Coast lifesaving community, and I’m delighted that we will be hosting two high profile surf carnivals in the new year. “It is a chance not only for our competitors all across the branch to enjoy some high quality competition in their own backyard, but for us to highlight to visitors all that our region has to offer,” Mr McDonagh said.

NSW Surf Sports Coordinator Luke Stigter said South West Rock’s impressive track record made for a compelling bid.

“South West Rocks has consistently delivered very impressive sport events. They have a fantastic beach which has the added bonus of offering good geographical protection which means competition can be relocated to nearby contingency locations in the event of unfavourable conditions.”

“I know we’re all looking forward to a high quality competition at both the Country Championships and State IRB titles in 2017, and that the club and its volunteers will deliver a fantastic carnival,” Mr Stigter said.

The 2017 Stramit Country Championships will be held at South West Rocks on February 4 and 5, with the NSW IRB Championships taking place at the same venue on July 1 – 2.


Friday 25 November 2016