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Australian First All-Female Surfing Series Launches

MAROUBRA BEACH, SYDNEY (18 February 2022): Surfing NSW, with the support of the NSW Government is launching a unique, all female surf series, the Challenge Her Team’s Classic. The series aims to increase female participation and support across the state through three events that focus on fun, skills development and community. 

The three-event series will kick off in Newcastle before heading to Kiama and Lennox Head with entries opening Friday 18 February 2022. Over 200 surfers are expected to participate in the events that will run between March to July.

The events will each host teams of eight surfers and will follow a surf teams format of competition with a twist. The teams of eight surfers will be made up of a combination of four longboard surfers and four shortboard surfers. 

There will also be an individual competition for two longboard and two shortboard surfers that will contribute to the team’s overall pointscore. The event will open for team entries however individual surfers are encouraged to enter the surf team reserve pool where they will be matched with a team. 

Surfing NSW Programs Manager Claire Ellem says she is excited to see the events take off, “We’re so stoked to have this series up and running, it’s a real win for female surfing in our state and Surfing NSW. There’s always such an amazing energy at non-competitive events and when you get a big group of females together to surf it will just have a real buzz.

“I can’t wait to see the impact the series has on surfing right across the state, the new friendships made and the new surfers we inspire to have a go,” said Ellem.

Challenge Her Ambassador Anne Dos Santos is currently competing in the World Qualifying Series events but gives back to her community by running surf days for females where she can. 

“There’s nothing else like this being run anywhere, so it’s amazing that Surfing NSW is leading the way. Each event will be so much fun, you always have fun in the water with friends. It will be a great way for females to meet new people to surf with and motivate each other. Hopefully it’s the first of many events,” said Dos Santos.

Not only will the series inspire female participation in the regional areas, it will reach thousands of others nationally for free thanks to a new partnership between Surfing NSW and Kayo Sports who will broadcast the three events via Kayo Freebies. 

Kayo Sports CEO Julian Ogrin said: “Kayo is thrilled to partner with Surfing NSW to showcase some of Australia’s brightest surfing talent. 

“Now everyone can watch these community surfing events live and free on Kayo Freebies making surfing content more accessible than ever to Australian fans.

Each regional event will also host a number of Her Wave festivities, workshops and clinics on the day. These are open to the community as well as both recreational and aspiring surfers and will include learn to surf lessons, technical workshop for longboard and shortboard, photography workshop, ‘Train Like a Woman’ workshop and surf and weather forecasting workshop. 

The Challenge Her Team’s Classic is part of the Surfing NSW Her Wave platform, supported by the NSW Government, NSW Office of Sport and the Her Sport Her Way initiative. Her Sport Her Way is a four-year strategy that aims to build a stronger sport sector where women and girls are valued, recognised and have equal choices and opportunities to lead and participate. As part of the initiative Surfing NSW’s Her Wave program is providing a number of opportunities for surf schools, community groups and individuals to have their first surf experience or enhance their surfing through fun, supporting and positive interactions like the Challenge Her Teams Classic.

Surfing NSW Challenge Her Team’s Classic Ambassadors

Carly Shannahan (Coffs Harbour), Ellie Lambkin (Newcastle), Hunter Roberts (Sydney), Anne Dos Santos (Sydney), Arabella Tarpey (Pambula)