Major Cooloola Coast event gets a youth movement
THIS year's Rainbow Beach Fishing Classic is on pace to beat last year's turnout, and youth are leading the way.
Organiser Georgia Modin said they expected to top last year's 400-strong competitors list, and the signs are already good.
"We've got a lot more kids this year compared to last,” Miss Modin said.
Not that that was the only area of growth for the event, she said, with "a big increase across all age ranges”.
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"It's looking bigger than last year.
"It's meant to be perfect weather for the week, too,” she said.
The guests were not rocking up from just nearby neighbourhoods, either.
Entrants had already nominated from Victoria and "a large family from South Australia” are also on the way to experience their first Classic.
Miss Modin said there are a few "surprises” in how the event is set up and run this year, and the event has now secured outdoor and camping company Anaconda as a major sponsor.
This is on top of the support already in place from groups including XXXX Gold, ARB, Toyota, and Cooloola businesses like Ed's Beach Bakery.
She said Rainbow shops were happy to continue throwing their weight behind the Classic given it regularly brings 700-1000 people to the coast.
And they will be competing for some big prizes, with $10,000 to be landed on the last day of competition.
The event launches next Friday, July 19, and runs until Saturday, July 27.
Weigh-ins start on the first Saturday, and are conducted every day of the competition.
The event's first weekend features a twilight expo of the region's best fishing, bait and tackle, and boating merchandise.
More than 1000 fish were weighed within the first three days of last year's event, with a record-breaking 15kg red emperor catch by Gympie's Steve Grills a big highlight.