Newcastle, NSW, Australia, Wednesday January 24 2014.
THE maiden event of the 2014 Surfest Newcastle Australia – the Orica Tag Team Challenge – has attracted teams from along the coastline of New South Wales.
Now in its second year, the Orica Tag Team Challenge will be hosted by Stockton’s North Side Board Riders club at Stockton beach and will run from from January 31 until February 2.
With a $10,000 purse up for grabs, 18 teams have signalled they are revved up to take part in the the event’s unique format.
Each team will consist of three surfers and all teams will surf on the Friday and Saturday, with just eight teams left to do battle for the trophy on the Sunday.
North Side Board Riders Club spokesman Paul Smart says the format encourages a social aspect to a very competitive event.
“More than 50 surfers are taking part in this event and they all love the team format. Everyone might not excel individually but the team atmosphere can really push performance. We have entries from surfers who have competed at the highest level including Ben Dunn, Luke Egan, Brett Bannister and Chris Davidson, as well as surfers with terrific promise including Jackson Baker, Ryan Callinan and Jake Sylvester.
“This year we have three teams from Merewether and three from North Narrabeen and those teams are full of surfers with impressive records. They’ll be setting the standard for sure. They’ll be trying to knock off the inaugural champs from Frenchmans who pipped North Shelly last year,” Mr Smart said.
General Manager of Orica Kooragang Island, Greg Holmes, said the company was delighted to sponsor the Orica Tag Team Challenge for the second year running.
“Surfest is one of the city’s premier sporting events and I am very pleased we can help provide an opportunity for Stockton to not only to be a part of it but to hold the opening event. Last year was a great community day and I look forward to another day of entertainment and welcome the community to join Orica in cheering on the boardriders from the shore,” he said.