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Parkinson & Stoyle look to defend 2014 Surfest titles

Last year's champ Joel Parkinson © Surfest



Burton Toyota Pro

Newcastle, Australia
17 - 23 February, 2014

Parkinson & Stoyle hope for repeats in Newcastle at 2014 Surfest

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 13 November, 2013 - Newcastle will open its arms to the world’s best surfers for the 29th time in 2014 following confirmation of six-star competitions for both men and women at Surfest Newcastle Australia.

Reigning world champion Joel Parkinson has assured Surfest organisers he will return to Newcastle to defend the prestigious Mark Richards trophy and a share of a whopping $US155000 prize pool on offer in the Burton Toyota Pro.

Parkinson chose Newcastle in 2013 as the venue for his maiden pro-surfing outing as the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) men’s world champion. Parkinson said his Surfest crown provided him with the perfect start for the competitive year.

"It was an awesome start to 2013 for me to head down to Newcastle and get some great waves and come away with a win. I've been coming down to Surfest for almost 15 years and it was so good to finally crack a win in Newy.

"The waves this year were incredible. The contest always has a knack of finding some big, wild swell, and to score Newcastle Harbour for a couple of days was all time.

"It is a really special event. Newcastle is such a big surfing city and Surfest captures that vibe really well …it's always been such a cool event because you're made to feel so welcome.

“I love hanging out in Newcastle and talking story with MR and going surfing with Hoyo (former pro-surfer Matt Hoy) and catching a Knights game if the boys are playing at home," Parkinson said.

Sunshine Coast surfer Dimity Stoyle has also confirmed she will defend the title she won in the six-star rated Hunter Ports Women’s Classic in 2013.

Stoyle racked up her first ever ASP event win in Newcastle last February when she upset the 2012 defending champion Sally Fitzgibbons.

Stoyle will commence her rookie year on the elite ASP Women’s World Championship Tour in 2014 where she will join the Top 17 female surfers in the world.

“Winning the event last year really helped me to qualify for the ASP World Tour. Newcastle is such a great place the beaches are so close to town, the waves are really good and the people are so friendly,” she said.

Professional surfers from around the globe will descend on Newcastle next February 17-23, with the men vying for the prestigious Mark Richards trophy.

And the best women surfers on the planet will be trying to pocket some of the $40000 up for grabs in the Hunter Ports Women’s Classic.

In addition, an ASP rated event – the Hunter Business Boardriders Pro Junior - will get underway from February 14-16 at Merewether Beach.

But beyond these Association of Surfing Professionals backed events ­– showcasing Newcastle and the Hunter region’s natural beauty and welcoming vistas to the world via webcasts of the six-star events – Surfest Newcastle Australia will continue its long association and support of grass roots surfing, including the following events:

·      ORICA Tag Team Challenge (January 31-February 2, Stockton Beach)
·      Wandiyali ATSI Indigenous Classic (February 13, Merewether Beach)
·      Sanbah Cadet Cup and Dalton Lawyers Cadet Girls (February 14-16, South Bar Beach)
·      Newcastle Now High School Team Challenge (February 20-21, Nobbys Beach)
·      SurfAid  Cup (February 21, Dixon Park)
·      Visit NSW Air Show (February 23, Merewether Beach)

Event chief Warren Smith says it is “a real confidence boost” that Burton Family Toyota continues to show its support for the Mark Richards Pro.

“Maitland Toyota has been backing Surfest for a decade now. That’s a remarkable longevity for sponsorship in any sport these days,” he said. “This is a real show of faith in surfing, in Surfest and in the Hunter.”

Maitland Toyota’s Kim Burton says the relationship with Surfest can be attributed to a love of surfing and a commitment to both the grassroots of the sport and watching the world’s best surfers ripping up the waves in the Hunter region.

“The waves last year were incredible and for the then reigning world champion to start his title defence and win the Mark Richards Pro really created a terrific buzz around the Hunter.

“This will be Maitland Toyota’s tenth year sponsoring Surfest and we remain as proud to support the event as we were back in 2004 because of what it does for surfing and for the Hunter,” Mr Burton said.

The Hunter Ports Corporation have once again assured the best women surfers will be in Newcastle in 2014 and Hunter Sports Group CEO Troy Palmer said it was great to see the best of the best surfing in Newcastle.

“We are once again excited to support the Hunter Ports Women's Classic that showcases Newcastle by bringing some of the world's best women's surfers to take on our local and national talent," Mr Palmer said.

Minister for Tourism and Major Events, George Souris said: “The NSW Government, through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW, is proud to support Surfest.

“In 2013, Surfest drove over 2,000 visitors specifically to Newcastle for the event, generating over $1.2 million in visitor expenditure in NSW and playing an important role in contributing to the local economy.”

Minister for Sport, Gabrielle Upton said: “Both Joel Parkinson and Dimity Stoyle bring true Aussie grit to our national sport of surfing and I look forward to following their and others surfers’ performances at 2014 Surfest, which is shaping up to be an unmissable event.”

Destination NSW CEO Sandra Chipchase said: “Destination NSW is pleased to get behind Surfest 2014, a world-class surfing event that will not only showcase the sporting prowess of some of the world’s best surfers, but also offer visitors and competitors alike the chance to explore the idyllic beaches and first-class culinary and cultural offerings of the Hunter region.”

Warren Smith

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