Evolution Charity Cup raises over $55k for Hope In A Suitcase

More than $50,000 was raised for foster-care children on Friday as the fifth annual Evolution Charity Cup was held at Merewether.

With support from local businesses, the tag-team contest has become an integral part of Surfest. Cliff Crew Red edged out Evolution Arlos, Cliff Team Black and Lake Mac Lifeguards.

More importantly, the event raised money for not-for-profit local charity Hope In A Suitcase, which helps those entering out-of-home care. The Evolution Charity Cup donation will support about 300 foster children.

This is the first year Hope In A Suitcase has been the beneficiary, but Evolution Advisers have previously sponsored the SurfAid event at Surfest and helped raise more than $120,000 for the not-for-profit humanitarian organisation. About $350,000 was then raised for the Mark Hughes Foundation which funds important research into the fight against brain cancer.

Eighteen teams consisting of up to five surfers – with three surfers from each team participating in each round – competed and surfed two rounds before elimination heats commenced.

The Cliff Crew Red Crew team that won the 2023 Evolution Charity Cup included Rhys Smith, Jarrod Morrell, Paul Mountford and Paul Snow.

This year the Evolution Charity Cup was slotted into the Surfest schedule at the QS5000 site at Merewether for the first time, whereas in previous years it was held at Dixon Park.

Evolution Advisors director Jo Bright said the company was very pleased to be able to provide funds raised at the Cup to Hope In A Suitcase.  

“This is the first year we have nominated Hope In A Suitcase as the recipient charity and one of the benefits – besides the $55k raised by the teams and the auction – is the exposure for Hope In A Suitcase.

“While the fund raising is obviously the key aim, being able to raise awareness of what Hope In A Suitcase does in the community for foster-children is also important.

“And it’s pleasing that Hope In A Suitcase will be our charity partner at Surfest in 2024,” she said.

Surfest chief Warren Smith said the Evolution Charity Cup is now firmly set on the annual Surfest calendar. 

“Working with Evolution Advisers to raise funds for Hope In A Suitcase and assist in the important work they do in the community is a pleasure.

“It is great for everyone involved and it shows the generosity of the competing surfers and shines a spotlight on the important work done by Hope In A Suitcase.

2023 Evolution Charity Cup supporting Hope In A Suitcase


  1. Cliff Crew Red (143.4)
  2. Evolution Arlos (108.2)
  3. Cliff Team Black (106.3)
  4. Lake Mac Lifeguards (76.6)

Competing Teams

  1. ADW Johnson Team 1
  2. ADW Johnson Team 2
  3. Anderson Environment & Planning
  4. BECA Hunter H20
  5. BRS
  6. Cliff Crew Team Black
  7. Cliff Crew Team Red
  8. Doyle Partners
  9. EMM
  10.  Enigma
  11.  Evolution Arlos
  12.  KCE Gold
  13.  KCE RED
  14.  Lake Mac Lifeguards
  15.  McCloy Group
  16.  Monteath & POWYS
  17.  Newcastle City Council
  18.  Sky Engineering