The Newcastle Surfest Women's Qualifying Series (QS) 6,000 for 2017 has officially been named as the Anditi Women's Pro. After a hugely successful crowd funding drive, Anditi, a software start-up, was randomly picked as the 2017 event naming fights sponsor after it and dozens of other local businesses donated a minimum of $1800 towards the event.
In 2016 the event was called the Taggart Women's Pro and it was the first international sporting event to be crowdfunded. A testament to the popularity and success of the event, It was taken out by current World No.8 and surfing legend Sally Fitzgibbons who was on had when Anditi was picked for the 2017 instalment.
"Newcastle has a great and deserved reputation for getting behind surfing and to see all the businesses here today showing that support says a lot about this city," Fitzgibbons said. "I've been coming here competing since I was 12 or 13 and the hospitality and warmth I have found here makes Newcastle really special to me. I can't wait to return and defend my crown in 2017 at the Anditi Women's Pro."
Joining Fitzgibbons at the naming ceremony was local favourite Philippa Anderson who was fresh from a runner-up finish at the final QS6,000 of the year, The Sydney International Pro that was actually helmed by Fitzgibbons. Anderson was appreciative of the community support to keep the opening event of her 2017 campaign at her local beach.
"It's a great thing having a competition practically in your backyard because you can keep a routine going and fully focus your energy on simply surfing." Anderson said.
Surfest chief Warren Smith said the generosity and belief of local businesses for a second year was both humbling and inspiring. "I have to thank so many people, it'd take forever, Smith said.
"But a big shout out has to go to Col Law from the Commonwealth Bank for his optimism, his belief and his ability to turn an idea into a reality through an incredible attention to detail."