HUNDREDS of elite sportsmen and women will gather on the shores of Stockton Beach in the coming weeks to compete in a string of international and local events.
In what is expected to be the biggest meet in the Navy Australian Surf Rowers League Australian Open's history, Stockton will host more than 400 surf lifesaving competitors.
Crews will battle their way through swells in several division heats this Friday, February 8, before the final on Sunday, February 10.
This event follows a successful summer rescue season, the Australia Day Harbour Swim and Surfest's Orica Tag Team Challenge.
The tag team event held last weekend officially launched Surfest, with junior surfers competing for up to $10,000 in prize money.
Stockton Surf Lifesaving Club president Callan Nickerson said his club had established its beach as a premier spot for large-scale events.
"We have a safe, family beach that is more than capable of holding important lifesaving events," he said.
"We are in a prime location - close to the airport, accommodation, and all our members are embracing the events.
"Hosting these events is great for economic growth as well as a good spectacle," he said.