SURFEST Newcastle Australia is ON and its premier events have been slotted into the World Surf League’s fully redesigned Tours and Competition framework for 2022.
And Surfest’s future looks bright, with backing from the NSW government’s Destination NSW having been provided for the next three years.
The unique surfing festival, held on the Hunter coastline of New South Wales since 1985, will celebrate its 36th offering next March and host nine unique competitions involving approximately 800 competitors.
Some of the big names in surfing are anticipated to don a competitor’s jersey in two premier Australia/Oceania Regional Qualifying Series 5000 events – the City of Newcastle Pro presented by Burton Automotive and the Surfest Women’s Pro.
Both QS5000 events will be contested at Merewether beach in Newcastle – one of Australia’s iconic surfing reserves and home to four-time world surfing champion Mark Richards.
And some of the sport’s most promising male and female athletes also make a welcome return to the Surfest calendar. A WSL Junior Qualifying Series event – the JQS1000 Lake Mac City Pro Junior – has been scheduled for Redhead beach.
The Wandiyali Indigenous Classic will again provide the richest purse on the Australian Indigenous surfing calendar with equal prize money to be offered in both male and female divisions.
The timing of the City of Newcastle Pro presented by Burton Automotive and the Surfest Women’s Pro in professional surfing’s redesigned tour sees them positioned as the last QS events before the World Surf League Challenger Series fields are determined. The Surfest QS events will be vital for many competitors to chase the valuable points on offer to secure an invitation to the Challenger Series.
Surfest organiser Warren Smith said it is exciting to be back and the local surfing and business communities were again looking forward to welcoming back WSL competitors and officials.
He added it was terrific to have retained the support and backing of sponsors, surfers and the community.
“The commitment from the NSW government’s Destination NSW to support the event from 2022-2024 provides Surfest with a strong platform to attract further sponsorships to ensure a bright future.
“It’s reassuring to have the lead government agency for the NSW tourism and major events sectors demonstrate confidence in Surfest as a vehicle to promote Newcastle and the Hunter region to international, national and local visitors.”
NSW Minister for Tourism Stuart Ayres said the new three-year partnership aligned with the NSW Visitor Economy Strategy 2030 to cement the State’s position as the events capital of the Asia Pacific.
“Surfest has grown to become a flagship event on the Australian surfing calendar and part of the WSL Qualifying Series for men and women, providing a unique opportunity for fans to see the rising stars of professional surfing on the spectacular beaches of Newcastle,” Mr Ayres said.
“The NSW Government is proud to partner with Surfest as part of an enviable calendar of surfing events we have in NSW throughout the year, which aligns with our strategy to build a strong calendar of world-class sport, lifestyle and cultural events in Sydney and NSW that will help us achieve our goal of becoming the premier visitor economy in the Asia Pacific.”
For further information contact Surfest organiser Warren Smith: +61412127525