Country surf titles come 'home' to North Coast in 2016-17
SOUTH West Rocks has been announced as the venue for the 2016 and 2017 Stramit NSW Country Surf Life Saving Championships.
The event will run on February 6-7 next year and will attract competitors from every non-metropolitan Surf Life Saving branch in the state.
South West Rocks SLSC hosted the event for four years before it moved to Mollymook in 2014 and 2015.
The move will please many from North Coast branch who returned from this year's staging highly critical of the organisation and conditions at Mollymook.
In recent seasons, Sawtell and Coffs Harbour competitors have found great success and the medal count should become even higher with the carnival so close to home sand.
Around 4000 people are expected to attend, including around 1500 competitors, hundreds of officials and volunteers and a large contingent of supporters and families.
"South West Rocks undoubtedly has the runs on the board to successfully stage an event of this size," Surf Life Saving NSW president Tony Haven said.
Changes to the format next year include condensing the competition into two days rather than three and moving the event to February, avoiding the congested peak summer holidays in January.
"We are responding to concerns from our members about the cost and availability of short-term accommodation during January and we are confident moving the event to February will provide the solution," Haven said.
"Containing the competition to a single weekend will also reduce the cost of competing and the need for participants to take time off work or school."