World Class SUP Field Heads For Australian Surf Festival Supported By Essential Energy
Thursday, 19 July 2012
COOLANGATTA/QLD (19th July, 2012): The SUP marathon race at the Australian Surf Festival supported by Essential Energy in Port Macquarie will be a showcase of some of the best paddlers in the world.
More than 500 surfers from throughout Australia will converge on Port Macquarie from August 11-25 to compete across five disciplines and 34 titles. It will feature national titles in Longboard, Open Surf Masters, Stand-Up Paddleboard (SUP), Alaia and Single Fin.
This year will also see the introduction of a new SUP racing division involving a Technical Race between 4-8km and a 20km marathon.
SUP racing has experienced a massive boost in popularity throughout Australia during the past 18 months and no more so than on the Gold Coast where a powerful contingent of paddlers has formed.
The likes of Jamie Mitchell and Travis Grant who base themselves on the Gold Coast consistently feature in the top three finishers against world-class competitors on the world stage. Mitchell will be in the US during the Festival and Grant is recovering from an arm injury, but there is a core group of Gold Coast paddlers including Beau O’Brien, Kelly Margetts, Jake Jensen and Dylan Magee, who are all easily capable of filling a top 10 list of world paddlers.
O’Brien has a history in kayak and ski paddling, but in the past year has concentrated on SUP racing and will head to Australian Surf Festival as Queensland champion after dominant performances in both the marathon and Technical Race at the State titles.
“Queensland will definitely be going to the national titles with a strong team,” O’Brien said. “In the training group we’ve got there’s probably five of the top 10 paddlers in the world.
“Training in that sort of group is obviously going to benefit as everyone is pushing each other at every session.
“But it’s not just the Gold Coast, there’s a guy like Lincoln Dews from the Sunshine Coast so we’re definitely going to have an extremely strong team at Port Macquarie.”
The main base for the Australian Surf Festival will be Town Beach which is located in the heart of Port Macquarie. However the event is mobile with numerous beach break options available between Port Macquarie and North Haven (20 minutes drive south of Port Macquarie CBD) including Flynns Beach, Lighthouse Beach, Rainbow Beach at Bonny Hills and Grants Beach at North Haven.
A hotline will be operating which will feature a recorded message updated at 7:00am each morning with the confirmed daily schedule and contest venue.
The Australian Surf Festival will be webcast LIVE via the event website which will feature live scores, heat by heat results, photo gallery and event news at www.australiansurffestival.com.
This year’s event will also feature a busy schedule off the water with live music and surf education courses. Town Green Inn will become the headquarters for all the land-based action providing competitors and spectators an opportunity to relax when competition is over for the day. A series of coaching courses will be available for surfing, SUP and judging.
To further kick-start the event, leading motorcycle company Harley-Davidson has signed on as a support sponsor. The company will have a presence on-beach, while offering competitors and spectators a chance to win prizes through their online Garage Party and Boot Camp competitions. Competitors might even have the chance to take a test ride.
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