COOLANGATTA, QLD/Australia (Friday, January 18, 2013) – CLOSE friends Ruby Bortolos and Sarah Phelan will put their friendship on hold for 30 minutes this Sunday at the Port Stephens Toyota trials because there’s plenty at stake.
The duo, who both surf for Merewether boardriders, have been invited by Surfest organisers to go head-to-head with the winner being awarded a wildcard and catapulted into the Round of 48 in the women’s ASP 6-Star US$40,000 Hunter Ports Women’s Classic. Both surfers told organisers they are simultaneously feeling excited and nervous to have the opportunity to surf against each other.
The winner will meet some of the best women surfers on the planet when the Hunter Ports Women’s Classic gets underway next month. Following an outstanding response over the past four years from surfers around the region eager to snatch wildcards into premium Surfest events, the Port Stephens Toyota Trials will give three surfers an accelerated ride into the business end of the ASP rated events.
Besides the wildcard entry that Ruby and Sarah will contest, a male surfer will win a spot into the round of 144 of the men’s 6-Star US$155,000 Burton Toyota Pro. In addition, the winner of the U/20 trial will gain a spot into the round of 64 in the Burton Toyota Pro Junior. And if that isn’t enough surfing action, there are also opportunities for cadet divisions. Winners in both 14-and-under and 16-and-under age divisions will gain free entry and number one seeding into the Sanbah Cadet Cup.
The Port Stephens Toyota Trials will be mobile and will be held at either Birubi beach or at One Mile Beach – depending on which break is offering the best waves on the day.
“The Port Stephens Toyota Trials give Port Stephens’ locals and visitors the chance to see some great surfing,” Port Stephens Toyota’s Kim Burton said.
“The wildcards give surfers the opportunity to be elevated straight into the business end of the competition, where they will have the chance to surf against some of the best surfers from around the world,” Mr Burton said.
Surfest chief Warren Smith said the success over the past three years of breaking from a long-held tradition of holding all Surfest events in the Newcastle area made it essential to run the event once again in beautiful Port Stephens.
“It’s great to take the competition to Port Stephens and terrific to get support from Port Stephens Toyota,” Mr Smith said. “Previous winners of the trials including Ryan Callinan and Jake Sylvester from Merewether are both showing they have what it takes to compete at high levels and really set a high standard for the competition.
The Port Stephens Toyota Trials will be coordinated by the Bay Area Boardriders in conjunction with the Newcastle Surfboard Association.
Entry fees of $25 will go to the Bay Area Boardriders. What: Port Stephens Toyota Trials Date: Sunday 20 January 2013 Where: Mobile event. Meet in One Mile Beach car park @ 7am.
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.