Burton Automotive Pro
World Surf League QS 6000
Merewether beach, Newcastle, NSW Australia
16 – 22 February 2015
Trials for final field on Burton Automotive Pro - Surfest Newcastle Australia
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 25 January, 2015 - Entries from 216 surfers from 25 countries chasing a berth in the World Surf League 6000 point Burton Automotive Pro has forced organisers of the 30th anniversary Surfest to squeeze in a trials day to determine the final make-up of the event set to commence at Merewether beach from February 16 - 22, 2015.
World number six and 2012 winner of the event Joel Parkinson will have top seeding. Other surfers from the elite world surf league tour include Hawaiian countrymen Keanu Asing and Fredrick Patacchia, Australian duo Matthew Wilkinson and Matthew Banting and Ireland's Glen Hall.
And in the 1000 point Burton Automotive Women's Classic, 63 surfers from 12 countries will be contesting the trophy whose previous winners in the past decade include six-time world champion Stephanie Gilmore, world champion runner-up Sally Fitzgibbon and Merewether's Philippa Anderson. The event is slotted for February 16-22.
A trials competition for 48 male surfers seeking to get into the main event will take place at Dixon Park beach on Sunday February 15, 2015. World Surf League rankings will determine which surfers will get a start in the trials competition. The top four surfers from the trials competition will get to wear a competitor's singlet in the Burton Toyota Pro which will commence with a round of 144 surfers on the following day.
Organiser Warren Smith said interest in the top levels of competition in Surfest's 30th anniversary year showed the event remains a great fixture on the Australian leg of the world pro-surfing and plays a key role in enhancing the international sporting profile of the nation's premier state.
"The competition to get a starting singlet in the Burton Automotive Pro, let alone win the Mark Richards trophy, is genuinely tough. The sheer number of this year's entries show that competitor interest shows no sign of abating," Smith said.
"As Newcastle's only annual international sporting event, Surfest really looks forward to the international contingent and they'll be here in great numbers in 2015," he said.
The 2015 Surfest Newcastle Australia features international fields of competitive surfers in the Burton Automotive Pro ( World Surf League Men's Qualifying Series 6000 point event), the Burton Automotive Womens Classic (World Surf League Women’s Qualifying Series 1000 point event) and the Hunter Business Boardriders Pro Junior (World Surf League Mens Regional Qualifying Series 1000 point event) along with 11 other surfing events.
The event is made possible with the support of the Burton Automotive Group, the Hunter Business Boardriders, Newcastle City Council and the NSW Government through Destination NSW. In 2015, Surfest Newcastle Australia will, for the very first time, host events in three coastal local government areas in New South Wales' Hunter Region - Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and Port Stephens.
Surfest Newcastle Australia commences on February 1 with trials and concludes at Merewether beach on February 22 where another champion will add his name to the Mark Richards Perpetual Trophy that reads like a "Who's Who" of professional surfing.
Merewether beach is a recognised Australian National Surfing Reserve and home to festival patron and Australia’s most accomplished men’s world professional surfing champion, four-time world champion Mark Richards (1979-82).
2015 marks the festival’s 30th anniversary and with over 800 national and international competitors.