Thousands of people expected to attend the inaugural Southern Surf Festival on April 27-29

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Thousands of beach lovers are expected to make the most of mild autumn weather at the introductory Southern Surf Festival this weekend.

The three-day event starting today in Middleton, will see around 200 surfers compete for state-of-the-art status across a number of disciplines including shortboard, longboard, stand-up and kneeboard categories.

Surfing South Australia CEO Craig Potgieter said the competition would show talent of all ages – from surfers as young as nine years to veterans in their 70s.

"This festival is really about promoting an inclusive surf culture and encouraging surfers and non-surfers to celebrate what surfing has to offer," he said, adding the "something for everyone" program.

"We want competitions, a movie night, live music, brass swings, digital art installations, a kitesurf and much more."

The nine-year-old Maia becomes the youngest competitor who participates in today's junior state titles. She has surfed since she was around six years and invites other children to take the sport because "it's fun to learn".

"It's a challenge," she said, adding that her age did not worry her because she had "been the youngest for quite a few comps" already.

At 73 years, Peter Cox will be the oldest competitor to attend this weekend.

Mr. Cox, who surfed waves since he was 16, said "the fire is still there". He called on people who had an interest in the sport and timed to lead the festival.

"If they have never seen surfing, it might be a good experience for them," he said.

"They just remember that if nature plays its part and sends into the waves, then the action will be redundant – we can not surf flat water."

For more information and the full program of events, visit southernsurffestival. com.au

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