Professional surfers from around the globe will descend on Newcastle next February 13-24, with the men vying for the prestigious Mark Richards trophy and a share of a whopping $US155000 prize pool on offer in the Burton Toyota Pro.
And the best women surfers on the planet will be trying to pocket some of the $40,000 up for grabs in the Hunter Ports Women’s Classic.
In addition, the 28th Surfest will offer the Burton Toyota Pro Junior worth $US13,000. Event chief Warren Smith says the support of Maitland Toyota cemented the 2013 junior competition in Newcastle at a time when Australian Pro Junior surfing is finding it tough to attract sponsors.
“Maitland Toyota have been backing Surfest for nine years now and for the Burton family to back the pro junior as well the men’s competition is a real show of faith in surfing, in Surfest and in the Hunter,” Mr Smith said.
“Maitland Toyota first got involved with Surfest when the women’s competition needed a sponsor to continue. From that point their involvement has grown, and here they are almost a decade later again coming to the rescue of the junior event,” he said.
Maitland Toyota’s Kim Burton says the relationship with Surfest can be attributed to a love of surfing and a commitment to both the grassroots of the sport and watching the world’s best surfers ripping up the waves in the Hunter region.
“This will be Maitland Toyota’s ninth year sponsoring Surfest and 2013 will see the company surpass the million dollar mark investment in the event, “ he said.
“We remain as proud to support the event as we were back in 2004 because of what it does for surfing and for the Hunter.”
NSW Minister for Tourism and Major Events, George Souris MP, confirmed that Destination NSW would provide support for the event in 2013 and 2014.
“I’m delighted that the NSW Government is maintaining our support of Newcastle’s home-grown pro surfing event – Surfest. Events such as Surfest reinforce NSW’s credentials as the home of the best surf beaches in Australia,” Minister Souris said.
The Hunter Ports Corporation have once again assured the best women surfers will be in Newcastle in 2013 and Hunter Sports Group CEO Troy Palmer said it was great to see the best of the best surfing in Newcastle.
“We are once again excited to support the Hunter Ports Women’s Classic that showcases Newcastle by bringing some of the world’s best women’s surfers to take on our local talent,” Mr Palmer said.
Smith also gave thanks to the NSW government for the ongoing support of Destination NSW, who maintain their role as the strategic partner of the event.
General Manager of the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Australasia Dane Jordan said pro-surfing’s governing body was thrilled to see one of the longest running events on the Australian pro-surfing tour return again in 2013.
“With its impressive history, list of winners and the prestige of having four-time ASP world champion Mark Richards as event patron, the public can expect to see Australia’s and the world’s best surfers in action alongside the next crop of up-and-coming superstars,” Jordan said.
“ASP Australasia acknowledges the ongoing and long-term support of Maitland and Port Stephens Toyota for their financial backing to ensure that Newcastle continues to host a truly world-class international event.”
Event wildcards for the main event will be up for grabs in January at the Port Stephens Toyota Trials.
The events for the 2013 Newcastle Australia Surfest include:
Wandiyali Indigenous Classic: February 13
Maitland Toyota Pro Junior: February 14-17
Sanbah Cadet Cup: February 15-17
Hunter Ports Women’s Classic: February 18-24
Burton Toyota Pro: February 18-24
Newcastle Now High School Team Challenge: February 21-22
Westfield Kotara Triple O Challenge: February 15
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 or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.