After careful consideration of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, organisers have reluctantly determined that Surfest Newcastle Australia will not run in February – March 2021.
The major factor driving this decision is the paramount safety of the community, athletes and Surfest staff.
This has been a difficult decision for organisers who have run the city’s annual premier international sporting event since 1985. The event set down for February – March 2021 would have been the 36th time the festival would draw male and female athletes from more than 30 nations, as well as providing ten other surfing competitions with national status and a range of onshore activities that celebrate the many aspects of a diverse Hunter community.
While organisers are extremely disappointed there will be no Surfest in 2021, plans are already underway to see the event return in 2022 bigger and better than ever. Organisers take this opportunity to sincerely thank sponsors and the community for their understanding of this difficult decision and look forward to their continued support in 2022.
The Lord Mayor of Newcastle Cr. Nuatali Nelmes said “While it’s terribly disappointing that COVID-19 means Surfest will not be held in 2021, City of Newcastle respects the decision of organisers who have made this incredibly difficult decision to protect community safety.”
“Large-scale events that attract international visitors and competitors take months and months of careful preparation and planning, so it’s the right call to make this decision now.”
“As a proud sponsor for the past 35 years, since its inception in 1985, City of Newcastle remains committed as the key major sponsor of this iconic event and we look forward to welcoming Surfest back to our amazing calendar of international, world-class sporting events in 2022.”
The Surfest crowdfunding chairperson Colin Law said “The crowdfunding for the past 5 years, of the Surfest Women’s Pro by the local business community, has expanded Surfest’s connection with the region. Whilst many businesses have felt the financial impact of Covid 19, the crowd funders were still very keen to support the 2021 Women’s event”.
“It’s disappointing that Surfest won’t hit the water next year. But with so much uncertainty, and the likelihood of severe restriction still impacting the event in March, we fully support the decision Warren has made. It will only give greater impetus to a crowd funding campaign for 2022”.
Surfest Coordinator Warren Smith said “We are already planning now for Surfest 2022 and look forward to welcoming back the best surfers in the world to Newcastle again”
For further comment please contact Warren Smith 0412127525