Global surf comp delivers regional boost to COVID-hit coast
The NSW Far North coast will next month host two-dozen champion surfers for a major charity competition set to boost tourism and local business in an area hit hard by Queensland's border closures.
Dubbed the Tweed Coast Pro, the competition is set to kick off the Australian Grand Slam of Surfing, running through September and October.
The far north coast secured a leg of the major competition after Deputy Premier John Barilaro wrote to sporting and cultural organisations asking them to consider holding events across Sydney and regional NSW.
The three-leg Australian Grand Slam of Surfing will see 24 of Australia's best surfers go head to head in Northern NSW, Queensland, and Western Australia.
The men's and women's overall champions will each win $20,000 to donate to a charity of their choice.
Mr Barilaro said the event "will stimulate the local economy, give the local community and fans a much needed morale boost and showcase Tweed to the world".
The event will be held on the Tweed Coast's Cabarita Beach and Fingal Head, with the competition to be broadcast around the world.
"The community of the NSW Tweed Coast has been heavily impacted during the COVID state border closures," World Surf League Asia Pacific General Manager Andrew Stark said.
"We want to show our support to the coastal town and its local businesses, and showcase the beautiful waves and surf culture of the region for an exciting new World Surf League event."
The "strike mission" style event will see surfers given three-days notice of when they will compete.
There will be surfers on standby to compete to ensure border closures don't stop the competition.
Each location will also wind back the clock with a series of "Heritage" and "Locals best of the best" heats contested by some of surfing's most iconic names.
Local MP Geoff Provest said the looming competition "confirms what locals have always known, that we are home to the best surfing in the entire world".
"The COVID pandemic has really taken a toll on our community which depends heavily on tourism so having the WSL here is a great way of boosting local morale and keeping us on the map," he said.
The partnership between the State government and World Surf League comes after the Deputy Premier suggested several major events should move to locations across NSW, to ensure the show could go on while Victoria battled its coronavirus outbreak.
Originally published as Global surf comp delivers regional boost to COVID-hit coast