8am Thursday October 30, 2014: NSW Premier, Mike Baird and Mayor of Manly, Jean Hay AM, joined Hurley Australian Open of Surfing Contest Director and former World Champion, Barton Lynch and event organisers IMG in Manly this morning to officially launch the return of the Hurley Australian Open of Surfing to Manly Beach, Sydney.
The Hurley Australian Open of Surfing is known for bringing some of the biggest names in surf and skate to Sydney shores, and this morning’s launch was no exception. ASP World #2 Sally Fitzgibbons attended along with ASP World #17, Hurley’s Adrian (Ace) Buchan.
Sally Fitzgibbons said, “I love competing at the Australian Open of Surfing. It’s close enough for my family and friends on the South Coast to comeand support me and the event has such a great vibe. There’s something special about competing in front of a Sydney crowd.”
NSW Premier and Member for Manly, Mike Baird said, “I am delighted this event will be returning to Manly this summer. Having professionals of the calibre of Sally Fitzgibbons already confirming they will be competing is a huge boon for Sydney.”
“We have some of the best beaches and surf culture anywhere on the international circuit and events such as the Australian Open of Surfing showcase Sydney and Manly to the world. “Being a keen surfer myself, I’m proud to see the NSW Government supporting this event, which is set to attract more than 175,000 spectators to Manly Beach to enjoy Australia’s biggest action sports and youth culture festival,” he said.
Hurley founder Bob Hurley added, “We’re so excited to be heading back to Manly beach for another massive celebration of surf and skate in Australia. The buzz the event creates is huge, and now people know just how amazing the event will be, so we’re expecting even bigger things from 2015.”
With the focus firmly on up-and-coming talent, the 2015 Hurley Australian Open of Surfing will showcase some of the youngest competitors since the event’s inception. Last year’s wildcard Kai Hing will take to the water in the Junior division as well as again in the Open, and Northern Beaches local Cooper Chapman will also make a return. New contenders Sandon Whittaker and Darcy Crump will take part in the junior competition for the first time, as will young surfing royalty Jaggar Bartholomew – son of ‘free ride’ pioneer Rabbit Bartholomew.
In the beach bowl, 11 year-old Hurley sponsored pocket rocket Keegan Palmer will once again line-up against some of the world’s best.
|Saturday, 7 Feb - Sunday, 15 Feb|
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|Women's QS6000 • $40,000 USD|
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It’s great to see the combination of such strong local talent alongside the big international athletes..Rabbit Bartholomew
Speaking about the young bloods set to tear up the competition, Contest Director, and 1998 World Title Champion Barton Lynch said, “I love working with young surf talent to help them achieve their dreams, it’s what drives and inspires me these days. We have some of the best young talent I’ve seen in my career entering The Hurley Australian Open of Surfing, and it’s exciting to be part of fostering their development.”
“I also love the beach bowl skate action at the event, and the incredible aerial moves of the skaters. Young Keegan Palmer who is here with us today was invited by world #1 Pedros Barros to compete alongside him in Brazil in an open men’s comp this year. To have that kind of talent at just 11 years of age is exciting for the future of the sport in Australia.”
Surf legend, Rabbit Bartholomew said, “It’s great to see the combination of such strong local talent alongside the big international athletes. Manly Beach is an awesome venue for the event, allowing locals to come support fellow young Aussies too. It’ll be a buzz for Jaggar to compete at the same event with some of the biggest names in surfing.”