Adding to an already impressive draw featuring some of the biggest names in Australian and world surfing, two-time and defending champions Snapper Rocks Surfriders Club, along with three other clubs, have been granted wildcard entry into the Original Source Australian Boardriders Battle National Final at Cronulla Beach in Sydney on the 23rd and 24th of January.
Led by 2012 WSL Men's World Champion Joel Parkinson, the heavy hitting Snapper outfit will be in the mix to take out Australia's premiere boardriders club competition along with North Narrabeen Boardriders Club, Culburra Beach Boardriders Club and Merewether Surfboard Club. Parkinson spoke about what it meant for his club to be able to defend their title again in 2016.
"After being Australia's best boardriders club for the past two years we can't wait to get down to Cronulla to go for three years in a row and we are honoured to have been selected as a wildcard this year." Snapper's team is still to be confirmed but with plenty of depth in the club you can expect another strong showing from the Queenslanders who might call on some club royalty for the final. "We have a fair idea of who will be lining up for us but can't confirm the team just yet. Someone like a Dean Morrison could even make an appearance," Parkinson said.
North Narrabeen's team sheet includes World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT) competitors Davey Cathels and Laura Enever whilst Culburra have confirmed WSL star Tyler Wright, brother Mikey and former WSL CT athlete Phil McDonald.WSL CT rookie Ryan Callinan will spearhead the Merewether team.
60 of the country's best boardriders have battled it out in eight State qualifying rounds to be narrowed down to just 20 who will contest the National Final.
The National Final will again offer a World Tour surfing event-like experience for the clubs and the fans. Live broadcast to big screens on the beach and major infrastructure along with great sponsor activations will ensure a fantastic celebration of club surfing culture is brought to life. The event will also be broadcast live on Fox Sports nationally over the weekend.
An exciting event format will see club teams battle it out in a Women's division, five-person Teams' division and a Skins competition. The National Final will include a lucrative, winner-take-all Skins format across 12 heats with a $1000 jackpot in each heat. For the first time this year, the top four clubs following the Skins, Women's and Teams events will contest a Grand Final involving a one-hour heat similar to the Teams relay format to decide the 2016 Original Source Australian Boardriders Battle champion.
The series is officially sanctioned by the World Surf League, which allows Australian WSL Championship Tour surfers (men and women) the opportunity to represent their local boardriders club at respective State qualifying events and the National Final.
The Original Source Australian Boardriders Battle is proudly supported by naming rights partner Original Source and major support partners in Toyota, Nikon, Oakley, Sutherland Shire Council, the World Surf League, XXXX Summer Bright Lager, DrinkWise, Milwaukee, FCS, Surfing Life, Fox Sports, Destination NSW, Boost Mobile, Quest Cronulla Beach, Banana Boat and Subway.
In total $110,000 is up for grabs across the entire National Series including the National Final. There is $29,000 available across the eight State qualifying events, while $81,000 will be on offer at the National Final. The winning boardriders club will receive $20,000, while $36,000 will be split between the clubs finishing second to 20th. Additional National Final prize money includes $12,000 across 12 Skins heats; $5,000 across 5 Women's heats; $5,000 for the Fox Sports Patriot Club Award; $1,000 each to the Wayne Bartholomew and Layne Beachley Medal Winners; and $1,000 for the Milwaukee Heavy Duty Hack. FCS is also providing a $1000 product pack to the winning club. For more information on the series, visit www.australianboardridersbattle.com and www.worldsurfleague.com