Celebrity surfers get on board for 2014 Surfest

MEREWETHER Newcastle Australia (Wednesday November 13 2014) Member for Newcastle, Tim Owen, has welcomed news that reigning ASP World Champion surfer Joel Parkinson will compete in the 2014 Surfest program from February 18-23 at Newcastle’s landmark Merewether Beach.

Parkinson will compete in the Burton Toyota Pro for the much coveted Mark Richards trophy as well as a share of the $US155,000 prize pool.

Also confirmed for the 2014 Surfest program is elite women’s surfer, Dimity Stoyle, who will defend her 2013 crown in the $40,000 Hunter Ports Women’s Classic.

“This is great news not only for Newcastle but also for our surfing community,” Mr Owen said.

“This means we have past champions of both events – the Burton Toyota Pro and Hunter Ports Women’s Classic – returning to defend their titles.

“Surfest is a major event on the Australian surfing calendar and we are delighted that it will be launched by such a legendary name in surfing as Joel Parkinson,” he said.

Minister for Tourism and Major Events, George Souris said: “The NSW Government is proud to support Surfest, which next year celebrates its 29th event.

“In 2013, Surfest drove over 2,000 visitors specifically to Newcastle for the event, generating over $1.2 million in visitor expenditure in NSW and playing an important role in contributing to the local economy.”

Minister for Sport, Gabrielle Upton said: “Both Joel Parkinson and Dimity Stoyle bring true Aussie grit to our national sport of surfing and I look forward to following their and others surfers’ performances at 2014 Surfest, which is shaping up to be an unmissable event.”

Joel Parkinson said following his wins at this year’s Surfest, he was looking forward to returning to Newcastle in 2014 to defend his trophy.

“For me, it was an awesome start to head down to Newcastle and get some great waves and come away with a win. I’ve been coming down to Surfest for almost 15 years and it was so good to finally crack a win in ‘Newy’.”
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“Surfest is a really special event. Newcastle is such a big surfing city and Surfest captures that vibe really well. I’ve been surfing in the contest since I was a kid and it’s always been such a cool event because you’re made to feel so welcome. It’s always a really fun week,” he said.

Dimity Stoyle agreed.

“Newcastle is such a great place – the beaches are so close to town, the waves are really good and the people are so friendly,” she said.

“I am really looking forward to returning to Newcastle as the defending champion of the Hunter Ports Women’s
Classic. Winning the event last year really helped me to qualify for the ASP World Tour.”