STAR ATTRACTION: Crowds line Kirra Point to catch the boardriders in action.
STAR ATTRACTION: Crowds line Kirra Point to catch the boardriders in action. Luke Sorensen

Kirra prepares for big team action

By Andrew McKinnon

SURF SCENE

KIRRA Surfriders Club is once again hosting its annual Kirra Teams Challenge from tomorrow through to Sunday, March 6.

Now in its 32nd year, up to 38 teams teams from Noosa to New South Wales and South Australia will participate in one of the biggest boardriding club events of the year.

“We are keen to use Big Groyne Kirra as a venue now that the banks can offer contestable waves in all sorts of conditions,” said club co-organiser Rob Totten.

He has worked on this popular event over the past 10 years with fellow team organiser John Robin, who has been heavily involved for the past 14 years.

“There is the Kirra factor that can play havoc on Sydney teams not used to Gold Coast point breaks,” Totten said, adding local clubs would play the home advantage.

North Narrabeen boardriders are running undeniably hot after their convincing win at the Surfing Australian national teams title at the Alley, Cronulla in January, but Totten said: “North Narrabeen won’t have that edge if Kirra Point and Big Groyne turn it on.”

The perfect wave at Kirra Point, the preferred venue for the 32nd annual Kirra teams event.
The perfect wave at Kirra Point, the preferred venue for the 32nd annual Kirra teams event. Simon "Swilly" Williams

The point he is making – sorry about the pun – is that surfing the GC points compared to the Sydney beach breaks is a totally different ball game.

Especially if Kirra is pumping and the competition turns into a keg- fest tube-riding contest, rather than being scored solely on manoeuvres.

Snapper Surfriders Club is the defending champion and has won this event more than any other club by a country mile.

Snapper dominated the national teams event at Cronulla with wins in 2014 and average ninth place at the recent Cronulla nationals.

Whether this is about team selection or that other teams are now just as competitive, it makes Australian teams competition all the more interesting.

Northern NSW Clubs such as Leba (Lennox Ballina) and Byron Bay boardriders are another big worry as they both have their share of great point breaks and beach breaks to make them so adaptable.

Surfing grassroots are what the clubs are all about and any team that can put in a percentage game and count on their hard hitters for an excellent score will figure out front.

The Pro Junior final at Phillip Island on the same weekend may cause a dint in some of the junior make-ups but once again teams will have to count on their open strike members to score big.

The good news for this year’s Kirra teams is that it will be live webcast.

Anyone who watched the Surfing Australia National Teams would agree that team completion in all its passion and glory is riveting to watch. And there is the substantial prize money pool of $7000 that can go a long way to fill the coffers and add that extra motivation.

Meanwhile, the Gold Coast World Surfing Reserve dedication ceremony is open to the public next Tuesday, March 8. The event starts at 8.30am (Qld) and will be at Point Danger, overlooking Snapper Rocks.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate will unveil the WSR plaque which will be erected on a monument plinth at Big Groyne Kirra opposite the Michael Peterson monument. Joel Parkinson, a huge supporter of the push for a WSR, and Save Kirra campaign has accepted his invitation to will attend.

Number one Patron of the GCWSRGold Coast World Surfing Reserve Wayne “Rabbit” Bartholomew will be MC for the morning ceremony which will have a traditional Welcome to Country acknowledgement and the Australian anthem will be played.

Internationals such as President of WISA Fernando Aguerre, WSR Peruvian & Chilean delegations including Save the Waves Executive Director Nik Strong-Cevitch will be present.



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