Heroes ready to hit the beach for Aussies

The Australian Surf Lifesaving Championships will make its long-awaited return to the Sunshine Coast this weekend, with more than 8100 competitors going head to head across three beaches and nine action packed days of competition.

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‘The Aussies’ as they are affectionately known, brings together the country’s fittest surf lifesavers who have spent the summer keeping watch over our beaches and will now have the opportunity to test their rescue ready skills across the sand and the surf.

For the first time since 2021, the largest Surf Life Saving event in the world will be hosted on the Sunshine Coast across three of its most iconic beaches - Alexandra Headland, Maroochydore and Mooloolaba.

The 2024 event will be one of the largest Aussies hosted on the Sunshine Coast, with more than 8100 competitors from 222 surf clubs across Australia expected to take part. The event will feature competitors in the youth events aged as young as 12 years old through to masters which has competitors up to 87 years old taking part. 

The marquee Ironman and Ironwoman events will feature a who’s who line up including defending Australian Champions Ali Day and Naomi Scott, previous Australian Ironwoman champions Georgia Miller and Lana Rogers as well as veterans Matt Bevilacqua and Kendrick Louis.  

Celebrating its centenary, Alexandra Headland Surf Life Saving Club will host the boat events, with the water events to be held at Maroochydore and beach events at Mooloolaba, with finals held under lights.

For the first time, Adaptive Surf Sport events will feature on the program at the Aussies. Events will feature adaptations and modifications to maximise participation and ensure an accessible and enjoyable opportunity for all competitors. In the inaugural year, the adaptive events will include beach flags, beach sprint, beach run, surf wade, surf swim and board race.

Surf Life Saving Australia President John Baker ESM said the Aussies was the hallmark event on our surf sports calendar, and we’re looking forward to the next nine days of competition.

“Since we last hosted the Aussies on the Sunshine Coast in 2021, our participation numbers have grown by almost 2000 with 8155 competitors ready to put it all on the line.

“We’re excited this year for the addition of the adaptive events to the surf sports program, making surf life saving even more accessible and inclusive.

“Events like this wouldn’t be possible without the support of the Queensland Government, event partners like Sunshine Coast Council, BRP and FINZ, and event supporters Nutri-Grain, TFH Hire & SLSA’s major national partners in Ampol, DHL, Isuzu Ute Australia and Westpac.”

Minister for Tourism and Sport, Michael Healy said 'The Aussies’ was such an iconic event, highlighting the Sunshine Coast’s stunning coastal scenery while celebrating our nation’s historic and heroic commitment to water safety.

“This year’s event would bring more than 8,100 competitors to Mooloolaba, Maroochydore, Alexandra Headlands and Coolum, who along with many more supporters and spectators will provide a major boost to local accommodation and hospitality providers and tourism operators.

"With the new deal done securing 'The Aussies' in Queensland for the next decade, we anticipate it will inject more than $100 million into the states visitor economy and further reinforce Queensland’s reputation as the ideal destination for major sporting events.

“As an ex-surf lifesaver, who first began patrols way back in 1979, I want to wish all competitors the best of luck and to thank you for your service and contribution in keeping this great Australian institution alive.”

Councillor Joe Natoli said he was delighted to have the Aussies back for the fifth time.

“We are honoured to host the country's pinnacle surf lifesaving event, promoting the important work of Australia's volunteer surf lifesavers,” Natoli said.

“World-class titles like this help cement the Sunshine Coast as a premier destination for major events, provide a rare opportunity for local athletes to compete against the best on home sand, and residents to enjoy a great spectacle.”

“This event is also a significant boost to our local economy, delivering an economic contribution of almost $15 million.”

Competition timetables and more information: https://sls.com.au/aussies/

Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 April - Australian Youth Surf Life Saving Championships

Sunday 14 April - Aussies Ocean Swim

Monday 15 and Tuesday 16 April - Australian Masters Surf Life Saving Championships

Saturday 20 April - Adaptive Surf Sports Events

Wednesday 17 to Sunday 21 April - Australian Open Surf Life Saving Championships

 
 

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Sunshine Coast Council acknowledges the Sunshine Coast Country, home of the Kabi Kabi peoples and the Jinibara peoples, the Traditional Custodians, whose lands and waters we all now share. We wish to pay respect to their Elders – past, present and emerging, and acknowledge the important role First Nations people continue to play within the Sunshine Coast community.

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