800 nippers take to beach
ABOUT 800 nippers from throughout the Cooloola and Sunshine Coasts will compete in the first carnival of the new season at Rainbow Beach today.
And while forecasts of ideal weather have put grins on organisers' faces, it is the state of the beach that has most rubbing their hands together in glee.
Earlier in the year the beach was decimated by severe weather, with barely a strip of sand left on high tide from the erosion.
But over the following months, mother nature returned the sand, building the beach back up to its former glory.
It's a scenario that has pleased Rainbow Beach Surf Life Saving Club (RBSLC) spokesman Brad Robb.
“It's fantastic,” he said. “There is more sand this year than last year, so we aren't complaining.”
Last year, the curtain-raiser for the Sunshine Coast nippers season was affected by grey skies, rain and bad surf conditions, forcing the partial cancellation of the event.
“We had to call off the surf events, but the forecast is looking good for the weekend,” Robb said.
In fact, the forecast couldn't be better with a one to two feet swell and wind falling ideally in the 10-20 knot range.
Events will begin at 8.30am and will run all day before concluding at 3.30pm.
“It's going to be busy because we will be holding water and beach events all day long,” Robb said.
Age groups represented at the carnival range from Under 8 through to Under 14.
Local nippers champion beach sprinter, Kloe Wade, was a standout performer last year to win the sprints, but will not be able to back up her performance this weekend.
Instead, Wade has elected to focus on the Queensland track and field event looming on the horizon.
“Kloe won't be competing this year because of track and field, but she gave the club a massive boost last year,” Robb said.
“It gives the kids an idea of what can be achieved with hard work.”
Meanwhile, Rainbow Beach accommodation has been booked out for the season opening event, giving the local economy a shot in the arm.