A record number of competitors have descended on Kingscliff Beach, NSW for Seas the Day. Hosted by Surfing Australia, more than 200 women and young girls will hit the waves over the weekend making it the biggest female participation surf event in the world.
After an opening ceremony that included a Welcome to Country the contest kicked off under sunny skies and light offshore winds. The fun tag team event proving popular for women of all ages and abilities.
Surf Witches Boardriders team member, Kelly Clark said: “We’re here for fun and women in surfing. It’s amazing. I think women in surfing is becoming bigger and bigger and it’s great how we all just band together as a community and really support each other in and out of the ocean. It’s wonderful.”
Saturday’s heats featured four divisions as well as a Celebrity Surf Challenge with former world champions, TV personalities and Gold Coast Suns AFLW players going head-to-head in the clean conditions.
On the shores, 7x World Champion Layne Beachley headlined a jam-packed FREE program of inspiring talks, film screenings and workshops.
Beachley, who competed for Freshwater Boardriders as well as in the Celebrity Surf Challenge, said she was pumped to be involved in the inaugural event.
“I was going to surf a soft top. But Chelsea [Hedges] leant me her 5″3 high volume 1980s style short board and I managed to score a 7 on my first wave,” she said.
“There’s so much energy. It’s epic. All the girls are really pumped. I was paddling out with a woman who has never surfed a contest. This was her first event and she was so excited. There was another woman who was crying saying this is amazing we need more events like this.”
Teams have travelled from all over Australia to compete and a chance to nab major prizes. More than $50,000 total in cash and giveaways is up for grabs, including $1,000 to winning teams in each division (except U12).
Bondi Girls Surf Riders, made up of 1993 World Champion Pauline Menczer, Laila Rich and Gidget Kowalski posted one of the highest heat totals of the day (18.76) to progress through to the Open Women’s quarterfinal.
Menczer also led her team to victory in the Celebrity Surf Challenge.
Seas the Day continues tomorrow.
About the event:
Seas the Day aims to encourage women to compete in a pressure-free environment alongside a program filled with females of the surfing industry, great food, live music and entertainment.
Seas the Day is proudly supported by funding through the NSW Government’s Regional Events Acceleration Fund, which aims to support the social and economic recovery and prosperity of Regional NSW.
Seas the Day is also proudly supported by Tweed Shire Council, ACCIONA, YETI, Jim Beam, Raww, BC™ Protein Snacks, Sunly Seltzer, Ruffie Rustic Food, FCS, Surfing Mums Australia and media partner Tracks Magazine.
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