Trials needed to determine final field for Burton Automotive Pro at Surfest Newcastle Australia

Merewether, Newcastle, New South Wales, AUSTRALIA (Wednesday, January 21, 2015).

ENTRIES from 216 surfers from 25 countries chasing a berth in the World Surf League 6000 point Burton Automotive Pro has forced organisers of the 30th anniversary Surfest to squeeze in a trials day to determine the final make-up of the event set to commence at Merewether beach from February 16 – 22, 2015.

World number six and 2012 winner of the event Joel Parkinson will have top seeding. Other surfers from the elite world surf league tour include Hawaiian countrymen Keanu Asing and Fredrick Patacchia, Australian duo Matthew Wilkinson and Matthew Banting and Ireland’s Glen Hall.

And in the 1000 point Burton Automotive Women’s Classic, 63 surfers from 12 countries will be contesting the trophy whose previous winners in the past decade include six-time world champion Stephanie Gilmore, world champion runner-up Sally Fitzgibbon and Merewether’s Philippa Anderson. The event is slotted for February 16-22.

A trials competition for 48 male surfers seeking to get into the main event will take place at Dixon Park beach on Sunday February 15, 2015. World Surf League rankings will determine which surfers will get a start in the trials competition. The top four surfers from the trials competition will get to wear a competitor’s singlet in the Burton Toyota Pro which will commence with a round of 144 surfers on the following day.

Organiser Warren Smith said interest in the top levels of competition in Surfest’s 30th anniversary year showed the event remains a great fixture on the Australian leg of the world pro-surfing and plays a key role in enhancing the international sporting profile of the nation’s premier state.

“The competition to get a starting singlet in the Burton Automotive Pro, let alone win the Mark Richards trophy, is genuinely tough. The sheer number of this year’s entries show that competitor interest shows no sign of abating,” Smith said.

“As Newcastle’s only annual international sporting event, Surfest really looks forward to the international contingent and they’ll be here in great numbers in 2015,” he said.

For further information call Warren Smith: 0412127525