Many of the world's best surfers have arrived at Surfest Newcastle for the men's ASP 6-Star QS Burton Toyota Pro and the ASP 6-Star QS Hunter Ports Women's Classic. The opening ASP 6-Star events of 2014 wrapped up yesterday in Manly and we're back on this morning 2 hours up the coast at Merewether, Newcastle starting with the men's Round 1 of competition.
Headlining these events are Gold Coast duo Joel Parkinson (Gold Coast, QLD/AUS), 2012 ASP World Champion and reigning Burton Toyota Pro champion and 5 x ASP Women's World Champion Stephanie Gilmore (Gold Coast, QLD/AUS).
Dale Staples (ZAF) is one of South Africa's most powerful and progressive young surfers moving up the ranks and is looking to post a big result in this year's Burton Toyota Pro.
"I got a decent result at this event two years ago so I feel really good here," Staples said. "I got here yesterday afternoon and it was completely flat out in the surf, it's picked up so much since then. It's looking good for the rest of the day and hopefully for the next few days. Hopefully I can make it through a few heats and still be in the event later in the week, because it's looking like a really good swell is coming for the weekend."
The international field of competitors also features Wiggolly Dantas (BRA), Granger Larson (HAW), Dane Reynolds (USA), Marc Lacomare (FRA), Alana Blanchard (HAW), Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) and many more of the top surfers in the world who are looking to get off to an early lead on the 2014 ASP Qualifying Series.
For more information, live webcast and photos log on to www.surfest.com