The stage will be set for a sizzling summer of sport when Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) re-launches its Ocean Assault Series at Alexandra Headlands this weekend, attracting a quality field of more than 250 competitors.
The series, which returns to the sporting calendar after a five year hiatus, will see some of Australia’s top beach and ocean athletes in the open and under-17 age categories compete across three rounds this summer in a bid to qualify for the series final on Sunday 7 February.
The action kicks off with two days of tough racing this weekend (November 15-16) featuring the likes of Jordan Mercer, Brodie Moir, Liz Pluimers and Kristyl Smith in the women’s, and Shannon Eckstein, Matt Bevilacqua, Ali Day and Tanyn Lyndon in the men’s.
Athletes will be lining up to compete in a range of events this weekend including swim, board and ski races, beach flags, taplin relays, and the iron events which also double as races for the Surf Ironman Qualifying Series.
SLSQ surf sports manager Stuart Hogben said it was an exciting time for surf sports in Queensland.
“In years gone by the Ocean Assault series was one of the premier surf sport competitions in Queensland and probably across Australia for that matter, so it’s really exciting for us to be able to bring it back this summer to a new generation of athletes,” he said.
“For a while now there’s been a growing demand for more top-level competition across the state and Ocean Assault certainly ticks that box while also helping our younger athletes progress in their development.
“The Ocean Assault series is all about bringing together the cream of the crop, showcasing the immense amount of talent within our sport, and fostering the next generation of national and international champions,” he said.
Looking ahead at the weekend’s event, Mr Hogben expects competition to be fierce.
“The quality of athletes that we have lining up this weekend is unbelievable. When you look over the list of competitors in the ironman and woman, it’s almost as if you’re looking at the semi-final list at the Australian championships,” he said.
“This weekend is one of the first big hit-outs of the season and a real opportunity for competitors to show how much work they’ve been doing in the offseason. I’m sure there’ll be lots of athletes out there who are keen to make a big statement ahead of the summer months,” he said.
The Ocean Roar series will be broadcast on Fox Sports as part of Surf Life Saving’s national Summer of Surf initiative.