Partly due to the amazing success of the US Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach, CA over the last few years, there is now a similar event in Australia, and it is currently going on at Sydney’s iconic Manly Beach, starting this past weekend, February 11th and going on until the 19th.
The event is presented by Billabong and Hurley, who have joined forces with Events NSW on behalf of the New South Wales Government, and is sanctioned by the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP).
The Australian Open of Surfing hopes to be one of the biggest events on the Australian surfing calendar, featuring the best surfers in the world with 13 of the top 34 set to surf in the event alongside a multitude of current and future surfing stars. There will be an ASP 6-Star Men’s World Tour event, an ASP 6-Star Women’s World Tour event and Men’s and Women’s ASP Australasia Pro Junior Series events. It is a global, multifaceted youth and sporting event that will showcase the best in surfing, skate, music, fashion and art with an expected spectator audience of 125,000.
The event will surely re-affirm Manly’s position on the surfing map, since Manly was the location of the very first World Surfing Championships in 1964 and the first Australian beach to legalize day-time swimming in 1904. The city has hosted an array of world-class surfing competitions, but it has been a few years since an international event has been held at Manly.
Joel Parkinson (AUS), who finished runner-up in the 2011 ASP World Title race is looking forward to starting his 2012 competitive season at the Australian Open Of Surfing at Manly Beach. According to a recent press release, “I’m really looking forward to this event,” Parkinson said. “I haven’t actually competed in a proper ASP World Tour event in Sydney. The last time I competed at Manly I was still in the juniors there was nothing of this size and scale. It will be an interesting week with so much going on and I’m excited to check it out, I can’t wait for it.”
We can’t wait either – we know this event will surely be epic, and the start of more cool years to come.
The Australian Open of Surfing at Manly Beach will also feature skating competitions and demos, music concerts, athlete signing sessions and much more. The event is free for the public to view in person and live on the internet via australianopenofsurfing.com.