THE 2014 Stramit NSW Country Surf Life Saving Championships is set to kick off on Friday at the new venue of Mollymook Beach near Ulladulla.
Close to 1200 competitors are already registered to take part in the championships which will run through to Sunday.
The championships is a unique event only open to clubs outside metropolitan areas giving country athletes another chance to compete at the highest level to not only continue their preparation for the state and national titles, but also to help drive their club to supremacy in the junior, senior and overall point scores.
It is the only event on the surf sport calendar to feature a full range of events including surfboats, as well as all age groups from Under 8s through to masters, within a three-day surf carnival.
President of Surf Life Saving NSW, Tony Haven, says it’s fantastic to bring such a major surf lifesaving event to the South Coast again.
“We’re really excited to be bringing the Stramit NSW Country Surf Life Saving Championships to Mollymook. It’s the most significant event we've held on the South Coast for a number of years and the perfect platform for our country athletes to reach exciting new levels of performance on the beach and in the water.”
Northern NSW clubs dominated the event in 2013 and with 2011, 2012 and 2013 Champions Byron Bay SLSC again fielding a strong roster including NSW state team athletes Josh Brown and Ela Heiniger, Byron will once again be the club to beat in Mollymook.
However this year, South Coast clubs are primed for a big showing with a number of clubs taking advantage of the close proximity of the event to field enormous teams of all ages including Mollymook, Broulee, Moruya, Shellharbour and Warilla Barrack Point.
NSW gold medallist, Ben Carberry, (Warilla Barrack Point) says a lot of the South Coast athletes are relishing the chance to compete on home turf.
“The atmosphere at the Country Champs is awesome. It’s so exciting to be staying local this year and it is a chance to prove ourselves," Carberry said.
The event will bring more than 5000 people to the Shoalhaven region as 33 surf clubs from Cudgen Headland to Pambula battle it out for the Club Championship.
With over 230 events to be contested and almost 700 medals on offer the carnival will run in to the late-afternoon on the first two days, but is expected to conclude shortly after lunch on Sunday.
Championships timetable and other information is available on the country championships event page.