Surf, skate, music & art to launch maiden Australian Open of Surfing
Manly Beach, Australia — Hurley and Billabong have joined forces with Events NSW on behalf of the New South Wales Government today to announce a brand new global event for Sydney, the Australian Open of Surfing, sanctioned by the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP). The event, set to take place at Sydney’s iconic Manly Beach 11 – 19 February 2012 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 Australian Open of Surfing is an extension of the world’s largest action sports festival, the US Open of Surfing. The annual event held at Huntington Beach, California, celebrates inclusion and creativity while inspiring the next generation of athletes and artists.
Bob Hurley, Chairman and Founder of Hurley International, and Derek O’Neill, CEO of Billabong International, spoke about their collaborative vision for the event. They were joined by surfing greats including two time World Surfing Champion Mick Fanning and surf icons and former world champions, Wayne ‘Rabbit’ Bartholomew, Barton Lynch and Mark Occhilupo who all welcomed the event enthusiastically to Manly.
Widely known as the birthplace of Australian surfing, Manly was the location for the first World Surfing Championships held in 1964. Member for Manly, Mike Baird said the Australian Open of Surfing will reaffirm Manly’s position on the global surfing circuit. “This event will also go beyond the surf and embrace other youth culture and lifestyle elements. By working closely with Manly Council we will make this event a global success,” he said.
Events NSW estimate the Open will drive more than $6 million in new money into NSW and showcase both Manly and Sydney to a global audience. Chairman and Founder of Hurley, Bob Hurley says: “The idea for the Australian Open of Surfing was conceived in our home town of Huntington Beach, California, three years ago. In the midst of challenging economic times, our team had the courage to bring world class artists, athletes and musicians to ‘Surf City USA’.
“After the incredible success of the US Open of Surfing, our next thought was that it would be amazing to do an event at the ground zero of modern surfing, Manly Beach in Sydney.
“We desire to work with ‘Best in Class’ partners and brands when we do things, hence the alliance with Billabong. Collaboration for the benefit of consumers is what we enjoy. We seek to be inclusive and innovative. The opportunity to work on the Australian Open of Surfing is not only a personal pleasure, but will clearly be a career highlight.”
In a world first, Hurley and Billabong will join forces to launch the Australian Open of Surfing. Billabong will move the final event of the Association of Surfing Professionals World Junior Championship Tour from Narrabeen to Manly, bringing the event into the Australian Open of Surfing fold.
CEO of Billabong, Derek O’Neill says: “The ASP World Junior Championships provides a window into the future of surfing and by wrapping the season-deciding event into the broader Australian Open of Surfing, we now provide the competitors with an incredible opportunity to showcase their talents. Billabong, through its global retail platform, already works closely with Hurley and Bob and I have often discussed ways that we can build on the existing relationship.
Hurley has a great event in the US Open of Surfing and Billabong has the premier event in world junior surfing so it made sense to bring those properties together to celebrate both the history and future of one of Australia’s greatest sports.”
The Australian Open of Surfing will be Australia’s first national surfing championship and will fuse action sports, fashion, art and live music to attract Australia’s core youth culture for the nine day event produced by IMG. It will include Association of Surfing Professionals six-star events for men and women and the season-ending World Junior Championships for boys and girls. Other event features will include the Skate Challenge, the Australian Open Music Stage, Hurley Walk the Walk for young fashion designers, and the Festival Village.