Kirra to create history with paddlers in the shape of the map of Australia
Mick Fanning (2007 World Champion) guest speaker
The Kirra Surfriders Club (boardriders) in conjunction with the Kirra Surf Club (surf lifesavers) and the Surfrider Foundation (world surf environmental organisation) are expecting a big Australia Day crowd to support the Australia Day 09 Paddle Out at Kirra.
Hundreds of paddlers will attempt to create the Map of Australia out in the water to focus on the loss of the famous Kirra Point break considered to be one of the best in the World until it was wiped out by the NSW Governments Tweed Sand By-Pass pumping operation from 2002.
During the last 6 years 10 million cubic metres of sand has been pumped off Point Danger resulting in the biggest pileup of sand being lodged at Coolangatta beach that has now overtaken Kirra Point/Beach. Apart from the loss of the iconic surf break, the adjoining marine reefs have also been covered over and Kirra beach has been left with a beach resembling a deserted Oasis. Engineers were hoping that a big storm or Cyclone swell event would move the sand, but only 1/8 of the sand pumped from Point Danger has moved north to Gold Coast beaches since operation.
President of Kirra Surfriders club est. 1962, Stuart Ball said the sand impact has destroyed their home surf break, “We badly miss Kirra and would like to see something done to restore the famous Kirra Kegs and 20 second tube rides. We have lost our training beach and would like it back. We’re homesick for Kirra and have to use Duranbah Beach for our club competitions.”
Businesses have been affected and numbers are down in the Kirra Surf Club membership, dining patrons and public on the beach according to Kirra Surf Club Manager, Sheldon Steele “We’ve had it tough compared to other Surf Clubs and numbers are down because most people avoid Kirra for a more family friendly and close knit beach like Burleigh. We support the rally and hope to see our historical beach returned to its former glory in the future. The Surf club has a huge history going back to 1916.”
Both the National Surfrider Foundation and the Tweed/Gold Coast Regional chapter have supported the Paddle Out. Recently International Surfrider Foundation won a major battle to save Trestles Point in California from a proposed development threatening the last public bastion of Californian coastal land. Trestles is the venue of one of the ASP’s World Championship Tour events, the Boost Mobile Pro.
The Australia Day Paddle Out at Kirra has received overwhelming support from the Professional surfers such as 2007 ASPWorld Champ and Kirra Surfrider club life member Mick Fanning who will speak on the day, as well as Surfing Legends Michael Peterson and Wayne Deane, Kirra Pioneer John Standing, Griffith Centre for Coastal Management Neal Lazarow, and Surfrider Foundation marine biologist Bob Moffatt. Other top ranking Surfing Pros who will take part in the Australia Day Paddle Out include current 2 times ASP World women’s champ Stephanie Gilmore (Coolangatta), ASP men’s Bede Durbidge (Currumbin) rated number 2, Joel Parkinson (Coolangatta) rated 4, Josh Kerr (Coolangatta) ASP top 45 and 1999 World champ Mark “Occy” Occhilupo (Coolangatta).
Politicians such as Ian Cohen NSWMP Greens, Jann Stuckey Liberal State MP for Currumbin, Labour Candidate for Currumbin Michael Riordan, GCCC Southern Councillor Christine Robbins and Tweed Shire Greens Councillor Katie Milne will address the public after the Paddle Out.
Gold Coast band Quiet Excitement will play the National anthem and their hit single “Let Kirra Be Kirra”.
For the last 6 years Engineers have been praying on a big storm or Cyclone swell to move the sand north but that hasn’t happened. Despite the biggest tide of the year and a 2 metre SE swell on Monday 12th Jan 09, it didn’t even wet the sides and the while the natural sand process is trying to find a way back to Kirra, sand pumping continues as per a 25 year contract between NSW and QLD that is at the crux of the sand problem.
Lobbyist group seeking solutions for the Kirra problem, KirraPoint.org committee has embraced the Surfrider Foundation as a sub committee and will report back with suggestions from marine environmental studies, surfers, divers, fisherman and the general community at large to advise Governments and local councils how to find the best solution.
The Australia Day Paddle Out at Kirra will commence at 10.00am and the paddlers will create the map of Australia from 11.00am.
For further information please contact the Event Coordinators:
Andrew McKinnon – mob: 0412754974
Matt Butel – mob: 0405388720
A PRESS LAUNCH FOR MEDIA WILL BE HELD AT THE KIRRA SURF CLUB, WEDNESDAY 21ST JANUARY AT 10.00AM