Surf comps bring in $?s
By ROXANNE MILLAR
ROSEMARY McArthur-Shore isn't the type of surfie chick you would expect to see hanging around Snapper Rocks this week.
With her fair skin, inability to understand surfie slang and wide-eyed look, she doesn't seem like much of a surfie chick at all.
But the New Zealand teacher is just one of a wave of tourists being lured into boardriding culture at this year's Quiksilver Pro at Snapper Rocks.
Ms McArthur-Shore came over from New Zealand especially for the Pro to spend time with her Melbourne-based son who loves to surf.
"It was kind of a holiday with a focus on surfing. It has been a real learning curve. Before I came over I was on the internet looking up information," Ms McArthur-Shore said.
Inspired by the first day of the Pro yesterday, she is thinking of taking up the sport herself.
"I think it's cool, and I'm not even the oldest bird on the beach," she said.
"I'm here for two weeks and who knows, I might get a surf in."
Local business owners in Rainbow Bay yesterday praised customers like Ms McArthur-Shore, who was buying surfing magazines at Rainbow Bay News, for injecting thousands of dollars into the local economy each year.
Rainbow Bay Cafe owners Dee and Paul O'Neil said it gave them an extra $800 in the till each day, and was busier than Christmas.
?"It really goes crazy when the boys hit the surf," said Dee.
"We love it. They are really nice people, more laidback than the Christmas holidayers - not in such a panic for their food."
Rainbow Cellars worker John May said the Pro placed special demands on business and products.
"We get a lot of Brazilians and they like the Brazilian beer we have got, but most customers enjoy the local beer," he said.
Southern Gold Coast Chamber of Commerce Barry McNamara was unable to put a figure on the surf-lovers' economic contribution, but put it in its thousands.
"You can tell when the Quiksilver is on because it has a good effect on the accommodation houses," he said.
"And surfing breaks all boundaries, it is commented on globally. The best thing is it has a lot of poten- tial to grow."