22 Jan surfing stars on show for surfest
This year’s Surfest is set to be bigger and better than ever with big names committing to the Burton Toyota Pro and the Hunter Women’s Classic.
The men’s draw has had interest from over 200 surfers, and the women’s close to 100.
The men’s field will be cut down to 144 and there will be an International trial staged at Dixon Park for those surfers who miss the main draw to win a wildcard.
The Women’s Classic’s no.1 seed Sally Fitzgibbons will be joined by Steph Gilmore, Lara Enever, Courtney Conlogue, defending champ Dimity Stoyle, Alana Blanchard, Bianca Buitendag and Rebacca Woods.
Out of the top 19 female surfers in the world, 13 will compete in a huge coup for organisers.
Surfest organiser Warren Smith was delighted with the interest shown in this year’s event.
‘‘We haven’t seen interest like that since the mid-1990s,’’ Mr Smith said.
The International trials featuring 32 surfers are scheduled for February 16 at Dixon Park beach.
“Four of those 32 surfers will grab a spot in the main event,” Mr. Smith said.
Association of Surfing Professionals tour manager Al Hunt said the keen interest was potentially due to the Newcastle event being one of only two six-star competitions scheduled for the 2014 tour’s Australian leg.
The Burton Toyota Pro and the Hunter Ports Women’s Classic will commence on Monday, 17 February 2014.
For further information call Warren Smith on 0412127525.
All pictures by Redmonkey Photography