GALLERY: Surf Life Saving legends battle it out

IT WAS a sea of hot pink at Maroochydore Beach today as the first day of the Murphy Homes Maroochy Classic kicked off.

Thanks to a partnership between Murphy Homes and Maroochydore Surf Life Saving Club, more than 600 competitors will grace the surf and sand to battle it out over two days for a combined prize pool exceeding $ 35,000.

Among the competitors are the likes of pros Shannon Eckstein, Matt Poole, Matt Bevilacqua, Harriett Brown, Courtney Hancock, and Maddy Dunn.  

Surf Life Saving legend, Matt Poole said events like this one go a long way to getting the younger generation excited about the sport.

“Murphy Builders is always such an amazing weekend carnival for all the Queensland athletes to have a really good hit out,” he said.

As last years overall Ironman Series winner, Poole said he hoped the sport would come back into its own with more serious competitions.

“A lot of the formats that we’re doing this season are generally shorter and more powerful so a lot of those younger guys are really stepping up and taking wins now which is great to see,” he said.

“Taking the sport from an amateur hobby to a professional series is something that would be great to see the sport putting a major focus back on.

“In Australia we’re really fortunate to have some amazing beaches and surf lifesaving is a very popular sport, but they need to work on building more events like this one…”

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