New Zealand Surf Festival
Taranaki, New Zealand
Kiwi women will have more opportunities in WQS NZ Surf Festival
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 14 November, 2013 - Staging the richest ever women’s World Qualifying Series (WQS) event instead of a World Championship Tour (WCT) competition during the annual New Zealand Surf Festival will mean far more opportunities for Kiwi surfers to compete on the world stage say Festival organisers.
Scheduled for April 2014 and with a prize pool of $US60,000, the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) WQS event will also attract more than 60 of the world’s best women surfers including many of the women who compete on the WCT.
“The WCT circuit is going through some major changes right now due to a change in ownership of the overall tour, and amongst these changes are a doubling of the Women’s prize money which will take effect in 2014, and this has effectively put it out of our reach ” says Craig, chief executive of Surfing Taranaki who host the Festival.
“So we have taken this opportunity to revamp our festival and the World Tour component of it to create something that we believe will be even better, more action packed and exciting. It will be more affordable than it would have been, and it will open up a lot of opportunities that didn’t exist under the previous format for New Zealanders to compete and gain experience amongst some of the world’s best.”
With Whangamata’s Ella Williams having just won the ASP World Junior world title, she is thrilled with this opportunity to take on the world in her home country.
“Wow! How exciting for New Zealand,” enthuses Ella. “This is awesome news and also a huge help for myself to plan for next year!”
Including Pro Junior events for boys and girls, the 2014 festival will now offer a whole generation of young surfers have the opportunity to gain experience against international competition in NZ without all the travel expenses.
“All these events definitely offer huge opportunities for the likes of Ella Williams but also for up and coming sensations such as the flamboyant local Taranaki surfer Sean Kettle who has his sights set on the Australasian Pro Junior circuit in 2014,” explains Williamson.
Timed to be held after the World Tour event in Bells Beach (Melbourne) and prior to the Rio (Brazil) stop on the international calendar, the ease of coming to New Zealand to compete for the richest ever WQS prize purse and gain valuable world tour points will be very attractive to women competitors on the WCT tour such as local hero Paige Hareb.
“These girls are professional which means they need to secure their position on the WCT tour each year and earn prize money to continue living their competition dream – and we’re providing that opportunity,” says Williamson.
“Over the last four years we have held great World Tour events here that the girls have really enjoyed coming. Taranaki always makes them feel extremely welcome so once again, we will be going the extra mile to encourage and facilitate their time here.”
And the 2014 NZ Surf Festival is not just about the world’s top surfers – it also embraces surfers of all ages and ability. T
he events will take place during the April school holidays kicking off with the Easter Masters run by the New Plymouth Surfriders club, followed by coaching for beginner and advanced surfers, an Airshow Aerial Expression Session and a New Zealand National Series Junior competition (under 17, 14 and 11), along with a festival village with stalls, entertainment, plus beach education and environmental workshops for kids.
The New Zealand Surf Festival is only possible thanks to the generous support of sponsors and key partnerships with the TSB Community Trust and the Venture Taranaki Trust.