WSL World No. 2 – Julian Wilson (AUS) Image: WSL/Cestari
(Merewether beach, NEWCASTLE AUSTRALIA, 13 February 2019)
A WHOPPING 29 countries will be represented by international surfers at this year’s Burton Automotive Pro and the Holmes Civil Developments Pro – the main events at the 2019 Surfest Newcastle Australia.
And 23 of the best surfers in the world from the World Surf League’s elite Championship Tours – including four male and six female surfers who sit inside top ten rankings – will be competing in the main events slated for Merewether beach from March 11-17.
Top seed for the Burton Toyota Pro is the world number two-ranked Julian Wilson, while world number four Tatiana Weston-Webb will carry the top seeding honour into the Holmes Civil Developments Pro.
More than 300 surfers are seeking a start at the Burton Automotive Pro and the Holmes Civil Developments Pro, forcing organisers to run trials on Sunday 10 March to determine the events’ final fields.
“I can’t recall this many countries being represented and it’s a massive show of support for Surfest to get over 300 entries,” organiser Warren Smith said.
“Few, if any, of the surfers who will compete at the Burton Automotive Pro and the Holmes Civil Developments Pro had even been born when Surfest first started, but the sense of history around the biggest surf festival in the southern hemisphere continues to draw both successful and emerging athletes to Newcastle,” he said.
Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Hon. Scot MacDonald MLC said the NSW Liberal National Government was pleased to continue support of Surfest through Destination NSW.
“Surfest exhibits the best of Newcastle’s beaches and is an iconic event for the region, supporting the tourism and events industry in Newcastle,” Mr MacDonald said.
Athletes from Australia, Argentina, Basque Country, Barbados, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, France, French Polynesia, Germany, Hawaii, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, Peru, Puerto Rico, Portugal, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain, Sweden and the USA have entered the competitions.
Surfers from the World Surf League’s Men’s Championship Tour who have entered include Aussies Julian Wilson (ranked 2 in the world), Owen Wright (ranked 6), Wade Carmichael (ranked 9), Soli Bailey, Ryan Callinan and Jack Freestone, Italian Leonardo Fioravanti, Brazilians Jadson Andre and Jesse Mendes; the USA’s Griffin Colapinto, France’s Joan Duru and Kiwi Ricardo Christie.
Surfers from the World Surf League’s Women’s Championship Tour include Brazilian Tatiana Weston-Webb (ranked 4) Aussies Sally Fitzgibbons (ranked 6), Nikki Van Dijk (ranked 10), Macy-Jane Callaghan, Bronte Macaulay, France’s Johanne Defay (ranked 5), New Zealand’s Paige Hareb, Costa Rica’s Brissa Hennessy, Hawaiian duo Coco Ho and Malia Manuel (ranked 9) and the USA’s Caroline Marks (ranked 7).
Previous main event winners at Newcastle who will compete in 2019 include Coco Ho (2018 & 2011), Johanne Defay (2017), Sally Fitzgibbons (2012 & 2016) and Malia Manuel (2014).
See the full schedule for the 2019 Surfest Newcastle Australia at Surfest.com