Newcastle, NSW, Australia, Friday 22nd February, 2013 – While the Burton Toyota Pro was put on hold due to washing machine-like conditions at Merewether beach today, the Association of Surfing Professionals reigning world champion and number one seed Joel Parkinson found safe harbour inside overhead barrels at the entrance to the port of Newcastle.
Parkinson’s heat was due to be the next in the water at Merewether beach in the 6-star event, when organisers postponed, and then later cancelled, the remainder of the day’s surfing competition.
State member for Newcastle Tim Owen has brought together police, the Newcastle Port Corporation and Surfest organisers to try and secure a location for the continuation of the Burton Toyota Pro and the Hunter Ports Women’s Classic.
Predicted strong easterly winds for Saturday have provided a logistical challenge for organisers. The ocean at Merewether beach is wild, with large walls of white water providing near impossible paddle outs for surfers.
Surfest chief Warren Smith said numerous locations along the Newcastle coastline are being considered for tomorrow’s continuation of the round of 24 and the women’s quarter finals.
“The wind is going to be a big factor. But first and foremost we have to consider the safety of the competitors and the public,” Mr Smith said.
A call on the location for tomorrow’s surfing will be made early Saturday morning.
Attached are pictures of world champion Joel Parkinson.
Pics are courtesy of RedMonkey. Any use and /or reproduction of the pictures must credit RedMonkey
About the 2013 Surfest Newcastle Australia
The 2013 Surfest Newcastle Australia features the Burton Toyota Pro (Men’s ASP 6-Star) and the Hunter Ports Women’s Classic (Women’s ASP 6-Star), along with eight supporting events. The event is made possible with the support of Burton Toyota, the Hunter Sports Sports Group, Newcastle City Council and the NSW Government through Destination NSW. Surfest Newcastle Australia is conducted over 12 days from February 13-24 at Merewether beach, a recognised Australian National Surfing Reserve. Merewether is home to festival patron and Australia’s most accomplished men’s world professional surfing champion, four-time world champion Mark Richards (1979-82) and presents the winner a trophy in his likeness. 2013 marks the festival’s 28th year and with over 800 national and international competitors, Surfest Newcastle Australia is the largest festival of surfing in the southern hemisphere. Get up-to-the minute updates, photos and interviews, as well as the program of events at surfest.com; follow us on Facebook or Twitter and download the BOXT app from the App Store or Google Play (four digit code SURF.