Lifesavers flock to the Gold Coast for two championship events

Some of the state’s top surf lifesavers will converge on the Gold Coast this weekend to contest the Queensland Surf Rescue and Board Riding Championships.

It kicks off an action packed month of surf sports, with the state’s premier carnivals – the Queensland Youth and Senior State Championships – also scheduled to be held on the Gold Coast in March.

This weekend, the 2016 Queensland Surf Rescue Championships (February 19-21) will see more than 200 lifesavers put their patrol skills to the test across three days of intense competition at Mermaid Beach.

In addition to gruelling fitness and athletic challenges, the Surf Rescue Championships also have a unique focus on the lifesaving skills and knowledge of each competitor, with two of the three events including a theory component.

Surf Life Saving Queensland sports manager Stuart Hogben said the Surf Rescue Championships were designed to replicate and test the same skills that lifesavers used when patrolling, and protecting beachgoers, along the state’s coastline.

“Every second counts when there’s a life on the line, and these Championships are designed to test and challenge the core lifesaving skills that are used each and every weekend to protect Queensland beachgoers,” he said.

“With that in mind, the Championships are as much about lifesaving knowledge and application as they are about physical and athletic exertion. Competitors are tested across a range of scenarios including mock rescues, resuscitations and first aid treatments – the same skills they might be required to carry out when performing regular beach patrols.

“This event brings those vital skills into the competitive arena and seeks to recognise those people who are not only great athletes, but also world-class lifesavers as well,” he said.

Meanwhile, the 2016 Queensland Board Riding Championships (February 20-21) will see more than 150 competitors, aged from under 11 right through to masters, hit the waves at Tweed Heads and Coolangatta to showcase their skills on both the long and short boards as they battle it out for state glory.

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