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Spectators reminded to stay safe and plan ahead as Australian Open of Surfing gets underway in Manly

Saturday, 25 February 2017 11:47:33 AM

Police are reminding spectators to stay safe and plan ahead as the Australian Open of Surfing gets underway on Sydney’s Northern Beaches this weekend.

Organisers are expecting significant crowds during the competition, which is due to begin at Manly Beach this morning (Saturday 25 February 2017) and continues until Sunday 5 March 2017.

The nine-day event combines the best of Australia’s surfing, skate, music, fashion and art in a celebration of culture, innovation and athleticism.

Officers attached to Northern Beaches Local Area Command will launch a high-visibility operation to ensure the safety of competitors, spectators and the community throughout the competition.

Northern Beaches Local Area Commander, Superintendent Dave Darcy, said police have been working in conjunction with event staff and local council to ensure a safe and enjoyable event.

“We’ve been working closely with key stakeholders in preparation for thousands of people who are expected to flock to Manly throughout the nine-day competition,” Supt Darcy said.

“This is a family-friendly event and an opportunity to showcase the very best of Manly so we’re focused on ensuring it’s safe and enjoyable for locals and overseas visitors alike.

“It has been hosted by Manly a number of times, it’s got a great positive vibe, and the police are looking forward to being involved once again for the 2017 competition,” Supt Darcy said.

“I’d encourage everyone to check event details, particularly regarding council-established alcohol-free zones throughout the Manly CBD, including all beaches and Manly Corso.”

Information on alcohol-free zones in the area can be found on the Manly Council website: www.manly.nsw.gov.au.

“Given the large crowds expected in the area; we’re urging people to utilise public transport for the event as parking will be very limited and is expected to fill quickly,” Supt Darcy said.

“If you must drive, be sure to plan your journey ahead of time, exercise patience and expect significant delays when travelling through the area.

“Both drivers and pedestrians need to be aware of their surroundings, look out for your mates, and only cross at designated traffic control points,” Supt Darcy said.

“Ferries will be running to Manly every half hour; however, they can be very popular – particularly on weekends – so ensure you have a ‘Plan B’ in mind, which may include the local bus services on offer.”

Access the ‘Trip Planner’ via www.transportnsw.info to plan your journey to the Australian Open of Surfing and visit www.livetraffic.com for up-to-date traffic information.

Additional tips to ensure a safe and fun visit to the Australia Open of Surfing:
• Plan ahead and check the event website and guides for details;
• Leave your car at home and utilise public transport services;
• This is an alcohol-free event so don’t bring alcohol into the precinct;
• Don’t bring glass into the area;
• Factor in possible delays and be patient when travelling through the area;
• Plan ahead for all weather conditions and pack appropriate attire;
• Leave your valuables at home; and,
• Ensure you have contact details for friends or relatives in case of an emergency.

For further event information, including competition schedules and event maps, visit the official Australian Open of Surfing website: australianopenofsurfing.com.