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Southern Cross SUP Festival pumps at Birubi Beach

Jeremy Smith (Austimeer) © Smith/Surfing NSW



Port Stephens Country Club Southern Cross SUP Festival

Surfing NSW
Birubi Beach, Australia
15 - 18 May, 2014

Southern Cross kicks off opening rounds

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 15 May, 2014 - The surfing component of the 2014 Port Stephens Country Club Southern Cross SUP Festival kicked off in playful two-to-three foot (1m – 1.5 m) waves at Birubi Beach today.

Over 90 competitors participated in the opening rounds, which saw an eclectic range of age divisions trading blows in the fun shoulder-high conditions.

2013 Port Stephens Country Club Southern Cross SUP Festival standout Andrew Cassidy (Mona Vale) performed a series of powerful turns to lock in a 15.00 heat total (out of a possible 20 points), the highest of the morning. As a result, the talented natural-footer booked his spot straight into the second round.

Fresh off a plane from the recent 2014 ISA World SUP and Paddleboard Championship in Nicaragua, Australian surfers Beau Nixon (Tweed Heads) and Toby Cracknell (Avoca) managed to arrive at Birubi just in time to make their Open Men Requalification heats. As luck would have it, both aforementioned surfers were pitted against each other in the heat, which would see the two highest placed surfers progress into the second round.

Both Cracknell and Nixon managed to snag multiple high scores to take the first and second respectively to move through to Round Two ahead of Anthony Smith who got third with a heat total of 7.93.

Both Hannah Findlay-Jones (Merewether) and Jenny Ryan (Ballina) impressed the judges in the round one of Open Women. Findlay-Jones and Ryan locked in heat totals of ten points to move through to the second round which will be surfed tomorrow.

World-renowned big-wave surfer and waterman Laird Hamilton will pay a visit to this year's Port Stephens Country Club Southern Cross SUP Festival. During the four-day SUP festival, the Hawaiian will do a meet-and-greet - where fans can meet the acclaimed stand-up paddleboarder, - interview with media and support the sport of stand-up paddle.

The second day of the event is expected to commence at either Birubi or One-Mile Beach tomorrow morning at 7.30am. All competitors are advised to ring the event hotline (0458 247 212) by 6.45am on the days of competition to confirm location and running order. For a full event schedule, check out

The surf divisions for this years Port Stephens Country Club Southern Cross SUP Festival will be located at either One-Mile Beach or Birubi Beach, with the racing divisions to be staged at Shoal Bay, right in front of the Port Stephens Country Club.

Throughout the event, there'll be an array of festival happenings taking place such as: free SUP lessons, SUP demonstration and coaching, stalls and SUP yoga.

2014 is the second year, the event has been sponsored by Port Stephens Country Club. Accommodation packages for the event, including board storage are available for competitors.

The four-day event will see the surfing element of the event run on Thursday and Friday with the racing running from lunchtime Friday until Sunday.

Events in the racing component include: stand-up paddle board, 14-16 kilometer elite marathon, technical sprint race and a community teams race.

The Port Stephens Country Club Southern Cross SUP Festival is proudly supported by Port Stephens Country Club, Port Stephens Council, HIF, Be the Influence, Australian Skin Cancer Clinics, Carve, Ohana and Surfing NSW.

Ethan Smith

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