Legends of the past and current generation stars helped welcome The Aussies back to the Sunshine Coast for the first time in 36 years.
The Australian Surf Life Saving Championships (The Aussies) will be jointly hosted by the Alexandra Headland, Maroochydore and Mooloolaba clubs from April 16-24, 2016.
More than 7,000 competitors from 313 Surf Life Saving clubs across Australia will contest more than 400 events over 9 day carnival.
Competition commences with a two-day youth championships on April 16 and 17. Attention then turns to the Masters division on April 18 and 19. The Open championships will be held across five days from April 20 to 24.
“Surf Life Saving Australia is thrilled to be bringing The Aussies back to the Sunshine Coast and we know the event is in great hands being hosted by three of the most famous clubs in the country,” SLSA President Graham Ford said.
“2016 marks the 101st year since the first Australian Surf Life Saving Championships were held on Bondi Beach. There has been so much history in that time but the one that people continue to talk about is that 1980 edition.”
“We are delighted to be on the verge of writing a new, highly memorable chapter in the history of this great event here on the Sunshine Coast.”
“Crucially though, it is a chance for these fine athletes to exhibit their skills and training in a competitive environment. It should be noted that every competitor at The Aussies 2016 is a volunteer patrolling member at a surf life saving club, giving a minimum of 25 hours of their time to keep Australia’s beaches safe. The Aussies are a celebration and showcase of those skills.”
In a nod to nostalgia and a look to the future, three of the biggest family names in surf sports history – Kenny, Hendy and Mercer helped launch The Aussies 2016. 1980’s luminaries Grant Kenny, Trevor Hendy and Darren Mercer, together with their children and current generation stars Jett Kenny, TJ Hendy and Jordan Mercer marked the countdown to the event.
Symbolically, the launch was held 36 years to the day since Grant Kenny became the only person in surf sports history to win both the Junior and Senior Ironman titles in the same season.
Sunshine Coast Mayor Cr Mark Jamieson welcomed all competitors, officials and volunteers back to the Sunshine Coast and said the region was excited about hosting the world’s biggest surf sports event.
“Our clubs date back 100 years – and we’re delighted to have the national championships back on our beaches for the first time since the great days of the early 1980s,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“The competitors are sure to enjoy racing at Maroochydore, Alexandra Headland and Mooloolaba which not only are beautiful beaches, but also home to three of our country’s premier surf lifesaving clubs, with a strong history of success and participation in the Aussies.”
“Our thanks go to everyone involved with Surf Life Saving Australia, the host clubs and sponsors for all of the work that has been done to return the Aussies to the Sunshine Coast so we can witness the sport’s finest in action and experience that special camaraderie of the national titles. We’re sure everyone will enjoy the week and this will be an Aussies to cherish and remember.”
The Queensland Government is proud to support The Aussies 2016 through Tourism and Events Queensland as part of the It’s Live! in Queensland events calendar, showcasing Australia’s best live events in spectacular destinations.
Supporters will be able to keep up to date with results from The Aussies via the SLSA website. Both weekends will also be live streamed. You can follow The Aussies 2016 using the social media hashtag #Aussies2016