Sighting shuts down Hunter Business Boardriders Pro Junior

Merewether, Newcastle, New South Wales, AUSTRALIA (Saturday, February 14, 2015)

SURFEST officials were forced to shut down the Hunter Business Boardriders Pro Junior at Merewether beach and the Sanbah Cadet Cup and Dalton Lawyers Girls competitions at Dixon Park beach following a report from a surfer that he had seen a shadow in the water at Burwood beach.

Newcastle City Council ordered Merewether beach, Dixon Park and Cooks Hill beaches to close shortly after 10 am. Those beaches will remain closed until tomorrow when the remaining 10 minutes of heat seven in the round of 64 will be completed if officials deem the contest area to be safe. The event jet ski will patrol the contest area.

Beaches at Stockton, Nobbys and Newcastle were also closed today following a report of a shark sighting on Friday afternoon.

Surfest chief Warren Smith said this was the first time in Surfest’s 30 year history that the event had lost nearly a full day’s surfing due to beach closure following advice from Newcastle City Council.

“We were advised by a Newcastle City Council officer that the beaches were being closed for the remainder of the day and complied with that advice,” Mr Smith said.

“We will do what is necessary on Sunday in an attempt to complete both male and female Hunter Business Boardriders Pro Juniors following a grid search of the competition and surrounding area by the event jet ski patrol shortly after sunrise. We will be operating at least two different banks in an attempt to get through the remaining schedule.”

“We will run heats of four competitors in both the men and women’s Hunter Business Boardriders Pro Juniors. All competitors are advised to be at the contest area at 6.30am,” Mr Smith said.

The 48 male competitors in the Burton Automotive Pro trials are similarly advised to be at Merewether beach at 6.30am on Sunday morning. There will be 24 heats of four surfers per heat to determine the final four surfers to progress to the first round of the 6,000 point Burton Automotive Pro which commences at Merewether beach on Monday morning.

Following the completion of round one in the Dalton Lawyers Girls U/16 competition, top scoring event favourite Macy Callaghan from Avoca was crowned champion. In the Sanbah Cadet Cup U/16 boys, Yallingup’s Kael Walsh won the event with a total score in round one of 90.1. Merewether’s Morgan Cibilic took out third prize behind Coledale’s Luke Wrice. In the Sanbah Cadet Cup U/14 boys, Jackson Roberts from Bateau Bay took first prize over Narrabeen’s Jamie Thomson and Ryan Donohoe.

A world record attempt for the most surfboards laying end-to-end will be attempted at Nobbys beach tomorrow morning. Intending participants can; find out further information via http://www.visitnewcastle.com.au/whats-on/events/event/96553-guinness-world-record-attempt-longest-line-of-surfboards

For further information: Ted Bassingthwaighte 0409366716