Competitors of the Hervey Bay Masters Carnival sport the new pink vests required to be worn in any Surf Life Saving Queensland ocean water event.
Competitors of the Hervey Bay Masters Carnival sport the new pink vests required to be worn in any Surf Life Saving Queensland ocean water event. Robyne Cuerel

Masters pretty, practical in pink

IT WAS hard to miss those golden oldies competing in the Hervey Bay Masters Carnival on Saturday.

About 80 competitors sported the new fluorescent pink rashie as ordered by Surf Life Saving Queensland.

All participants in ocean water events must wear the high-visibility vest, which is intended to enhance competitor safety.

The Hervey Bay Masters, which attracted visitors from the Sunshine Coast, Wide Bay, Gold Coast and Coffs Harbour, marked the first time the requirement has been enforced at a Hervey Bay Surf Life Saving Club competition.

HBSLSC cadet officer and over-40 competitor Phil Munson admitted it felt "strange" seeing everyone in pink, but he wasn't complaining.

"We've got to try something, we don't want lose any more young fellows or any surf lifesaver, whether it be women or guys, we want to keep everyone home," he said.

"It's strange to see us all wearing pink, but it's a bit more awareness so we can keep an eye on all the swimmers in the water.

"The name of the game is safety first and we want to make sure everyone is safe and come back to the beach."

Like last year, competitors were greeted with a stronger than normal swell at the Torquay beach.

"Usually, when this carnival comes it's either blowing or a slight northerly coming in, but it's all good," Munson said.

"It's nothing like we've got down south when we go to Alex (Alexandra Headland) or Maroochydore when you've got the waves to contend with.

"If anything it's just a bit messy, but everyone has to do it."

Mooloolaba cleaned up on the day with its members dominating most of the events, while Moore Park and Mermaid Beach also performed well.

HBSLSC's Darren Everard hoped the event would trigger a wave of new over-35 members.

Anyone interested to learn new skills, improve their fitness and build new friendships can visit the surf club on Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning.



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