Australian Surf Festival
Longboarders Open the Australian Surf Festival
Sunday, 14 August 2011
Port Macqaurie welcomed Australia's best on a beautiful morning, as the banks at Bonny Hills proved a perfect break for day one of The Australian Surf Festival 2011.
Officially opened last night by Contest Director Glen Elliot of Surfing Australia, Longboard competitors opened up the two week event, which attracts over 370 competitors from across Australia, vying to become Australian Champions in a range of divisions and disciplines.
The prestigious two-week surfing festival was traditionally opened with a Mixing of the waters ceremony and welcome to country on the beach before competitors took to the waves.
The open men kicked off todays competition on the South East swell which wrapped around the headland at Bonny Hills. The 3 to 4 foot waves favoured the Eastern competitors with QLD and NSW taking 1st place in the Round 1 heats.
Securing the highest heat score of 13.5 in the open men's was Jared Neal (NSW) and Jackson Close (QLD), who moved through to round 2 after dominating and winning their heats avoiding the open men's re-qualifiers.
Close's heat was tight with Pat McCarthy (WA) leading off the back of two great waves, riding through to the beach. Goofy footer Jackson Winter (QLD) came out with a solid nose ride on his back hand with a combination wave threatening the lead, but Close managed an 8 point ride in the final minutes securing his win.
Queenslander Clinton Guest comfortably sat in the winning position throughout his heat surfing through to Round 2, with Mitch Surman and Nic Jones from QLD and Ian Bell, Jay Mulherin and Beau Nixon from NSW all winning their heats.
Lunch time brought the wind and in the Open Women it was Kirra Perry (NSW), Erin Dark (NSW), Michaela Ross (WA), Roisin Carolan (NSW) and Emma Webb (VIC) who came out on top in their heats moving through to round 2.
The Australian Longboard Titles comprises of 11 divisions including the open men and women, under 18 boys and girls, O/35 men and women, plus the O/40, O/45, O/50, O/55 and O/60 men.
The festival isn't just about the surfing; it will tickle the taste buds of entertainment buffs with live music, surf art, surfing education courses and the Essential Energy Indigenous Surfing Program confirmed for the two-week event.
One of Australia's leading indigenous artists, Vernon Ah Kee has taken centre stage at the Glasshouse Regional Gallery with his Cant Chant Exhibition, which will opened during the festival waiting period.
Ah Kee is known for his incisive critiques of White Australian culture. In the Cant Chant exhibition he takes on the iconic subject of the beach and casts a critical eye on its special role in forming Australian identity.
Cant Chant includes surfboards painted with North Queensland rainforest shield designs as well as a video installation featuring dead boards (waterlogged surfboards) blasted by guns, and Aboriginal surfers.
As an added benefit to this year's festival, an exciting live music program, including six shows, will be staged at the Blue Water Bar and Restaurant.
For more information about the Australian Surf Festival please visit -www.surfingaustralia.com
For the latest updates and live scores visit: www.austrainsurffestival.com
The 2011 Australian Surf Festival is proudly presented by Surfing Australia and Surfing NSW and proudly supported by Events NSW, Port Macquarie Hastings Council, Sundowner Breakwall Tourist Park, Blue Water Bar and Restaurant, Glasshouse Regional Gallery, Suncorp, VB, Australian Sports Commission, Coastalwatch, NBN Television, Port Macquarie News, Star FM, 2MC FM, Surfing World Magazine and Pacific Longboarder Magazine.
The Australian Surf Festival Program:
Australian Longboard Titles - 14-20 August, 2011
Australian Stand Up Paddleboard Titles - 21-24 August, 2011
Australian Surfmasters Titles - 21-27 August, 2011
Australian Alaia Titles - 24-27 August, 2011
Australian Single Fin Titles - 26-27 August, 2011
About Events NSW:
Events NSW, a part of Destination NSW is committed to developing and building a world class NSW Events Calendar. All events on the NSW Events Calendar including the Australian Surf Festival are exclusive to Sydney and NSW and deliver significant economic, marketing and community benefits to the State. Events NSW partners with both the public and private sector to deliver the best event experiences in Australia and the world.
About Port Macquarie:
The NSW North coast - from the Hunter to the Northern Rivers, attracts over 60 per cent of all overnight trips during which visitors went surfing (source Tourism NSW). Port Macquarie is strategically located in the heart of this popular surf region. With our accessible surfing coastline for all skill levels, and our long established urban beach culture, we are in the perfect position to continue to grow our reputation as a premier surf destination, and securing the Australian Surf Festival for the next three years is testament to this.