World’s best bodyboarders returning to our beaches

Kiama’s new Australian Champion, Nathan Wilson

The newly crowned Australian Bodyboard Champion, Kiama’s own Nathan Wilson, will be looking for home town advantage when he competes to qualify for a spot in the only Australian leg of the Association of Professional Bodyboarders (APB) World Tour.

The ten day Kiama Bodyboard King Pro is again bringing together the world’s top 24 to compete at our beaches.

“Nathan competed in the trials last year, but his great performance this year will see him seeded really high in the trials,” says APB CEO Alex Leon.

“He has a good shot of taking on the world’s best.

“We are expecting big things from him.”

The event will be centred around Surf Beach, although the competition will move around to take advantage of the best surf conditions on the day.

The competition will start with 60-70 competitors from Australia and overseas trying to qualify for four positions to compete with the top 24. Together with four wildcards, the final competition will be between 32 athletes.

“There are over four world title contenders who can possibly grasp the 2019 APB World Title, which means there is a lot at stake when the Kiama Bodyboard King Pro gets underway,” says Alex.

“Hopefully the waves turn up and we get to see a huge action-packed event at Kiama.”

Unlike last year, when the waves struggled to get above one metre, the forecast for the surf conditions is looking promising.

Womens and juniors speciality events will be held on the Saturday and Sunday.

Apart from seeing world class competition, Alex says you won’t want to miss the Air Asia Air Show on Saturday afternoon.

“We trialled this last year and it was a great hit.

“It is an event where we use jet skis to whip the guys back against the waves.

“They get to go high up, do huge manoeuvres and land back in front of the waves.”

The first weekend will also introduce a Heritage series, when some former world champions will be showing they’ve still got it.

Mayor Mark Honey will be out there with them, living up to his promise to don the wetsuit himself if the King Pro returned to Kiama.

“He’s been out there every day practicing and is looking pretty good,” says Alex.

There will be a real festival atmosphere for those heading down to watch the action on the opening weekend, with music, food and other attractions, including coaching clinics.

Securing the tournament in Kiama for the three years to 2021 is expected to generate almost $1 million in visitor spending, as well as extensive media coverage.

Details: Event window 30 August – 8 September, headquartered at Surf Beach. Competition due to start from 9am on the 31st. More details at http://www.apbtour.com/kiama

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