The Aussies are here!
  • Friday 15 April 2016
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After four years of planning and 36 years since the event was last held on our beaches, the Australian Surf Lifesaving Championships starts tomorrow with a bang.

The Aussies, as it is fondly known, is the world’s biggest surf sports event, where more than 7000 surf lifesavers from 313 surf clubs will compete in more than 400 events in Youth, Open and Masters categories.

A further 20,000 supporters, family and friends are expected to watch the action at Alexandra Headland, Maroochydore and Mooloolaba beaches.

Mayor Mark Jamieson said the action-packed nine-day competition would offer plenty of excitement for competitors, spectators, locals and visitors.

The first heats in the Youth Championships – the under-14 ironman and ironwoman – will hit the water at 8am tomorrow.

“We encourage all Sunshine Coast residents to come and watch the event and be part of the festivities over the next nine days,” Mayor Jamieson said

“Parking will be at a premium and we ask residents to make themselves familiar with the changed traffic conditions as well as use public transport to help to reduce any potential congestion.

“Council will also run free courtesy shuttles buses between the three beaches each day from 5.30am to 6pm to transport officials, competitors and spectators between the competition venues, so get on board and come on down.”

Free community activities and entertainment will be on offer every day from 7.30am at the Beach Parade Festival Zone, located outside the Maroochy Surf Club.

Sunshine Coast residents are invited to enjoy some family fun activities including an 80s themed photo booth, a silent disco tent, outdoor Sea FM chill out zone and plenty of food and drink. 

There will also be the opportunity to meet legendary surf sports stars from the 1980s.

The festival zone will also host a big screen showcasing all The Aussies highlights, a live broadcast by Sea FM and Mix FM with free giveaways, special guest interviews and commentary from event emcees.

Mayor Jamieson said the event would also provide a huge contribution to the local economy.

“With the combined spending from 7000 competitors and a further 20,000 guests, this event is estimated to contribute $22 million to the local economy and will be a boon for local businesses in all types of industries.

”Businesses can find out more on how to maximise opportunities these events provide by utilising council’s Events+ program.

“The World is Coming to the Sunshine Coast in 2016 and this presents enormous opportunities for local businesses to capitalise on the massive influx of participants and patrons that this unprecedented line-up of major and regional events will bring to our region.

“If we work together, our community can create a warm and welcoming atmosphere that builds our reputation as a host destination.

“The Events+ program can provide businesses with the information and advice to take advantage of opportunities these big events offer.”

Mayor Jamieson said that the Aussies was just one of the 60 major events that the Sunshine Coast will play host to, over the coming year.

“This will be how we mark an Olympic year, with the Sunshine Coast set to host the largest ever portfolio of events held in the region,” he said.

Visit www.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au/en/Experience-Sunshine-Coast/Whats-On/Major-Events/Australian-Surf-Life-Saving-Championships for details and information on changed traffic conditions.

The two week festival includes

  • Australia Youth Surf Life Saving Championships, 16-17 April
  • The Aussie Ocean Swim – 17 April
  • Australian Masters Surf Life Saving Championships 18-19 April
  • Australian Open Surf Life Saving Championships, 20-24 April

Events for The Aussies 2016 will be split between the three venues:

  • Maroochydore SLSC – Water Events
  • Alexandra Headland SLSC – Lifesaving and board riding (dependent on suitable surf break conditions, boats will also be held to the north of Alexandra Headland SLSC
  • Mooloolaba SLSC – Beach events.