Lifesaving’s best surf board riders will swap patrol uniforms for wetsuits today for the 2017 Surf Life Saving State Board Riding Championships.
More than 100 competitors from across NSW have made the journey to Birubi Beach for the championship.
After being staged on the Central Coast for the last two seasons, the state championships have moved north to the scenic waters of Port Stephens this year.
Port Stephens Council’s tourism and events coordinator, Janelle Gardner, said events like the board riding championship is a great opportunity to “showcase our amazing beaches to very large audience”.
“The NSW board riding state champs also highlight Port Stephens Council’s support of surf lifesaving across Port Stephens,” she said.
“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.”
The championships are open to athletes aged 13 and above.
The competition format is 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 said he is looking forward to the 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,” he said.
“There’s a buzz around all types of surfing at the moment with the inclusion of the sport in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
“Birubi Point has proved in the past as very competent hosts of surf sport competition such as the IRB Premiership Series.”
The championship was scheduled for Birubi Beach across the three days.
However, the swell conditions forced organisers to move the event to One Mile Beach on Friday.
Weather permitting, the event will be staged at Birubi Beach on Saturday and Sunday.
Competition begins at 7.30am each day.