Kurrawa scrapped as venue for SLSQ State Championships

Surf Lifesaving Queensland has overturned plans to hold next year’s State Championships at Kurrawa Beach on the Gold Coast, after ruling it could be too dangerous.

Kurrawa has a deadly history hosting surf life saving championships, with three young men killed at the beach during previous national competitions dating back 24 years.

The board says the decision to scrap Kurrawa as the venue was also made out of respect for the memory of the three.


A decision was originally made internally to host the State Championships at Kurrawa in March next year without the approval of the board before that was made public.

SLSQ has blamed an ‘administrative oversight’.

The organisation’s board of directors along with CEO Dave Whimpey has now overturned the decision and will consider other beaches for the championships.

In a statement, SLSQ said that Kurrawa poses too great a risk in ‘certain environmental conditions.’

The Board also said it was conscious of the impact the decision to hold the State Titles at Kurrawa may have on the families of the three young men who have lost their lives at Kurrawa.

15-year-old Robert Gatenby died in a surf boat collision at the national titles in 1996, 19-year-old Saxon Bird was killed in 2010 by a riderless surf ski, while 14-year-old Matthew Barclay lost his life in 2012 after being knocked unconscious by a stray board.

“It is out of respect for the memory of these young men and the unfortunate circumstances that so tragically took  their young lives,” SLSQ said in a statement.

SLSQ says a new venue will be decided after a consultation process before the Board ticks off on the plan in coming months.