In 2023 the Burton Automotive Pro will be a World Surf League (WSL) QS 5000 Pro with prize money totalling AU$50,000. The event happens on the iconic National Surfing Reserve, Merewether beach, Newcastle NSW between the 20th March and 26th March 2023.
After many years of support by the Burton family, the Burton Automotive Pro has evolved into an event rich in professional surfing history. The honour roll includes a stellar list of past world champions such as Tom Carroll, Barton Lynch, Damien Hardman, Mark Occhilupo, Kelly Slater, Tom Curren and Joel Parkinson.
Burton Automotive General Manager Kim Burton said, “We are extremely pleased to be supporting Surfest in their 37th year. To be able to continue our support of the talented Hunter, national and international surfing community is a pleasure as we want to help promote surfing as a healthy lifestyle. Surfest has always been a very important part of Newcastle and the Hunter’s rich surfing heritage.”
Surfest organiser Warren Smith said, “I’m proud to bring Surfest to the Hunter and the rest of the world for the past 37 years. So to be a partner with the Burton family and Burton Automotive again is amazing.
“We are excited to present the WSL QS5000 Burton Automotive Pro in 2023. Some of the world’s best male professional surfers will return to Newcastle to entertain locals and a worldwide live digital audience.
“I cannot thank Kim and Jeanine Burton of Burton Automotive enough for their long-term unwavering support of Surfest and surfing in the Hunter Region. This support is a show of their confidence in Surfest, Newcastle and the wider Hunter Valley and we could not present Surfest at this level without their support.
“We cannot wait to bring this world class sporting event to Newcastle and to the world live via www.surfest.com from March 20th to 26th March 2023.”
Will Hayden-Smith, the WSL Australia/Oceania Regional Manager said, “The Burton Automotive Pro in Newcastle is an institution in the world of professional surfing. The Mark Richards trophy and the QS5000 rating will entice surfers from all over the world who want to compete at what is one of the first major events of the 2023 season.
“As it is the 37th anniversary of the Surfest festival the WSL cannot be happier or prouder to be a part of this iconic event. On behalf of a grateful World Surf League we offer a huge thank you to Warren Smith and the Surfest team and the greater Newcastle community for supporting surfing. Over many years Surfest has helped surfers achieve points on their way to qualification points for the WSL Championship Tour. Surfest is a part of helping them to achieve their dreams and perhaps a surfing World Title.”