New Australian Open to have a Kiama leg

Local pro surfer Dean Bowen Photo: Ethan Smith / Surfing NSW

Kiama will once again be the focus of the surfing world when it hosts one of first seven legs of the new Australian Open of Surfing Tour in November.

“The world will be watching this event because we will have world champions competing,” says the Chair of Destination Kiama, Councillor Matt Brown.

Surfing NSW, Surfing Australia and the state branches will run the Australian Open of Surfing Tour in late 2020, to give Australian surfers the opportunity to compete when overseas competition isn’t possible.

Former World Surf League Championship Tour (WSL) and current coach to World Champion Tyler Wright, Glenn Hall emphasised the importance of a series like this for surfers to keep their competitive skills intact.

“I would encourage any surfers I’m working with to enter an event like this in order to keep their blade sharp and to remain competitive.”

The series, which will feature a minimum of seven events, will take place in the latter months of 2020 and provide professional and aspiring surfers with the opportunity to win prize money and gain momentum going into 2021.

Surfing NSW CEO Luke Madden said the domestic tour is also tailored to help foster and nurture Australian talent.

“The 2020 Australian Open of Surfing Tour is the perfect platform for professional and grassroots surfers to come together in Australia to compete in a series of events in decent locations.

“We really hope we can build this series each year into a prestigious title and tour similar to the national series events we used to see in the 80’s and 90’s.”

The Kiama leg will be held on 22-23 November, just a week before the L’Etape event.

Other legs will be held on the Sunshine Coast, the Gold Coast, Cronulla, Coffs Harbour, Sydney’s Northern Beaches and a yet to be confirmed location in Victoria.

No details of the prize money have been announced.

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