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Gold Coast snares national surf titles from locked-down Perth

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Queensland’s border-opening roadmap has earned the Gold Coast one of the biggest events in beach sport, with the Australian Surf Life Saving Championships being pulled from Perth and relocated to Broadbeach for 2022.

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The 2022 championships were meant to be held in Perth, but Western Australia will instead be granted the 2023 national titles.
Surf Life Saving Australia President John Baker said the event swap would provide clarity for surf clubs and members planning for next year’s event.

The move comes after the Gold Coast successfully hosted the iconic Coolangatta Gold in November and as Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk laid out plans to keep borders open as the state vowed to stay open despite Covid-19.

The 2022 event will be held at Broadbeach Surf Lifesaving Club, with the Youth Championships at North Kirra.

It means only beach events will be held at Kurrawa Beach. National and state water championship events are no longer held at Kurrawa after the Gold Coast beach claimed the lives of three national surf athletes during competition between 1996 and 2012.

Baker said there would be a straight swap of locations between the Gold Coast and Perth for 2022 and 2023.

“The Gold Coast, Queensland is a location that is a well-known venue for the Aussies, and I’m sure that there’ll be plenty of excitement about being able to return to Broadbeach a year earlier than planned,” he said.

Tourism and Sport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the event swap followed the State Government’s ten-year deal to host the Australian Surf Life Saving Championships in Queensland.

Under the deal, eight annual  Australian Surf Life Saving Championships will be held in Queensland between 2022 and 2031 with hosting locations to be shared between the Gold and Sunshine Coasts.

“This will bring our decade-long deal with Australian Surf Life Saving to host the Championships forward a year to support tourism jobs on the Gold Coast for our Covid-19 Economic Recovery Plan,” Hinchliffe said.

“We’ve worked closely with Surf Life Saving Australia to help them navigate around the pandemic’s logistical challenges on the West Coast by bringing the Aussies to Broadbeach.”

Hinchliffe said the Sunshine Coast hosted the Australian Surf Life Saving Championships earlier this year, which injected more than $16 million into the local economy.

“We’re expecting a similar economic boost for Gold Coast accommodation providers and tourism operators with more than 6,000 competitors plus Queensland and interstate spectators anticipated this April for the Aussies at Broadbeach,” he said.

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said the switch to the Gold Coast was a no brainer.

“It is only fitting that the Aussies have found their home on the Gold Coast, as our city is famous for its hospitality, amazing weather and golden beaches,” Tate said.

“This event boosts our reputation as a safe and welcoming host destination and showcases everything great about the Goldie. Bring it on.”

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