THE SUPER BANK BY ANDREW SHIELD
In 1999 the Tweed River Sand Bypassing Project was launched to keep the Tweed River mouth safe for boats to navigate, and to replenish sand on the erosion-prone Gold Coast beaches to the north. An unintended consequence of this huge engineering feat was the formation of a perfectly tapered sand bank linking the neighbouring pointbreaks of Snapper Rocks, Greenmount and Kirra. This high-speed, two km long, surfing fun park was dubbed the Superbank and became the talk of the surfing world. The Superbank provided unbelievably long tube rides, a high-performance canvas that spawned local heroes like Mick Fanning, Stephanie Gilmore and Joel Parkinson and drew surfers from all over the world. The Superbank reached its zenith in 2002 when local surfer Damon Harvey rode a wave from Snapper Rocks to North Kirra, a distance of 2 km that took three minutes, the longest wave ever ridden in Australia and one of the longest rides anywhere in the world. The shifting sands of Coolangatta Bay continue to fluctuate with swells, wind and tide but those magical conditions can still arise when the elements align.