Kiama to host leg of pro surfing Tour

Australia’s best men and women surfers will be taking to Kiama’s beaches to compete in the fourth leg of the Australian Open of Surfing.

The Australian Open is a new nationwide tour organised by Surfing Australia after the cancellation of many surf events this year due to COVID-19. It was set up to provide our professional and upcoming surfers with the opportunity to win prize money, climb the rankings and set themselves up for 2021.

There won’t be the usual festival feel at this event as it must run with strict Coronavirus regulations outlined by the NSW Government and Council protocols. However, there are some great socially distanced vantage points for spectators to watch from around the beaches as well as basic structures to be set up by Surfing NSW.

Local surfers to keep an eye on in this event include Holly Wishart from Gerringong, Lennix Smith from Shellharbour and Gerroa’s Dean Bowen.
“The South Coast has an extremely deep talent pool when it comes to surfers and it’s one of those areas that constantly delivers wave-wise.” says Surfing NSW’s Media Manager, Ethan Smith

“It creates the perfect method and recipe for a good event. That’s what we are really hoping and pulling for.”

Professional surfer and 2009 Junior World Title winner, Dean Bowen is keen to get back into competitive surfing in preparation for next year’s events.

“I feel good, it’s the first time I have felt like I have had no pressure on myself and have been able to enjoy my surfing.”

He won the Burra Bash last year and then went on to come 2nd and 3rd in two WQS-3000 events.

“Hopefully we get some good waves and we can put on a show,” says Dean.

Thirty two men and 18 women will compete, with the event schedule and seedings will be released on the Friday before the contest.

Over the weekend the surfers will battle it out in twenty minute, four-person heats. Contest winners in both rounds will each receive $1500 in prize money, with $900 for second place, $600 for third place and $500 for fourth.

There are three more events to follow after Kiama, with the next in Coffs Harbour.

22-23 November, held at the best local beach on the day.
For more information visit www.surfingnsw.com.au
by Jack Wallner

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