1500 Paddlers took to the water at Kirra to create history on Australia Day by carving out the map of Australia. Photo: Joli Photos
The whole focus of Monday's community Australia Day rally is to raise the issue of the loss of Kirra Point at the highest levels of State Government, namely NSW & Queensland State Governments, who jointly manage the Tweed Sand By-Pass operation together with Gold Coast City Council and Tweed Shire Council to renegotiate the 25 year contract of pumping sand.
The community at large would like to see action on the restoration of Kirra Point considered to be one of the greatest sand bottom point breaks in the world.
After 8 years of pumping and 10 million cubic metres of sand for Gold Coast beaches only 1/8 moves north, the rest has lodged itself at Coolangatta and more so now at Kirra Beach. The sand by-pass operation began in 2001 and while it created the super bank at Snapper Rocks it wiped out Kirra and hasn’t performed since the massive supply of sand to the southern end of the gold coast, the beach now resembles the Sahara Desert and has turned off beach goers. The outside reefs have been covered over and the point break is non-existent. 2002 was the last year that Kirra Point was able to host a pro-surfing event.
The campaign for restoring Kirra to all its glory will continue, thanks to the efforts of the Surfrider Foundation and their sub-committee KirraPoint.org to make recommendations and offer solutions to bring Kirra back.
Some of the biggest names in surfing turned out for the biggest rally Kirra has seen since the days when it use to pump perfect waves.
2007 World Champion, Mick Fanning, a life member of the Kirra Surfriders Club spoke about his earlier formulative years competing and free surfing at Kirra Point with his Coolangatta mates, Dean Morrison and Joel Parkinson.
Legendary surfing great Michael Peterson, better known as MP, is still considered the King of Kirra, and reflected on his tube riding sessions in the 70’s era. MP took tube riding to a whole new level and he is still highly regarded as probably one of the best that Kirra has ever seen. MP came down to the waters edge to cheer on the paddlers.
Wayne “Rabbit” Bartholomew, who carved out his surfing career at Kirra in the early 70’s with MP and PT (Peter Townend), was awarded the Order of Australia for surfing, administration, and environmental and fundraising events. Rabbit is the only second surfer to be awarded the Order of Australia, first being Mark Richards of Newcastle. Rabbit spoke passionately about his love of Kirra and how we can all work together to get Kirra Point back.
Today’s Australia Day rally was organised by the Kirra Surfriders Club in conjunction with the Kirra Surf Club and with the backing of the Surfrider Foundation.