Surfing Australia today announced details of the Original Source Australian Boardriders Battle, the country's biggest grassroots boardriders event series, with a $120,000 prize purse.
It will involve more than 100 of Australia's best boardriders clubs in eight state-qualifying rounds starting in October. The event will culminate in a two-day, National Final for 20 clubs on the Australia Day Long Weekend January 24-25 2015, at Cronulla in Sydney.
The series is officially sanctioned by the ASP, which allows Australian ASP World Championship Tour surfers the opportunity to represent their local boardriders clubs at respective state-qualifying events and the National Final.
The National Final to be held at Cronulla Beach on the Australia Day long weekend 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 sponsor activations will create a celebration of club surfing culture. The event will also be broadcast live on FUEL TV Australia over the weekend.
Each club team will include one Junior (under 18) surfer, four open-age surfers, and one over-35 surfer. Each team must include one female surfer.
An exciting event format will see club teams battle it out in a women's division, five-person Team division and a Skins competition. The National Final will include a lucrative, winner-take-all Skins format across 12 heats with a $1,000 jackpot in each heat.
â€œThis is such an amazing event and experience for everyone,â€ said 2012 ASP World Champion and Snapper Rocks Surfriders member Joel Parkinson. â€œIt's great that boardriders clubs get this sort of exposure at event as big as this.â€
Five-time ASP World Champion Stephanie Gilmore said boardriders clubs have played such a significant role in the development of Australian surfing.
â€œI am a huge fan of the boardrider clubs in Australia,â€ Gilmore said. â€œI wouldn't have been able to hone my skills or develop my game so young without being a part of the Snapper Rocks Surfriders club, and to this day I am still a proud member. The Australian Boardriders Battle was such a fun event last year and I hope to be back again in 2015.â€
Snapper Rocks Surfriders are the defending champions and coach and 1978 ASP World Champion Wayne Bartholomew said the event was fast achieving iconic status.
â€œThe inaugural event brought the best of the best to the National Final at Cronulla earlier this year and I have no doubt all the clubs are setting their sights on unseating Snapper Rocks as the nation's premier club,â€ Bartholomew said.
â€œThe regional playoffs are super hard fought in their own right, and for those fortunate enough to battle it out over the Australia Day long weekend at Cronulla it is a nail-biting, roller coaster ride, as every option, every judgement, every hack, counts towards the big prize. Even coaching one of these matches is not for the faint-hearted.â€
Surfing Australia CEO Andrew Stark said the organization was proud to be offering the national event to the club network for a second year.
â€œThe boardriders clubs in Australia are an incredibly important part of the sport development pathway and the Original Source Australian Boardriders Battle is the legitimate Australian Title for clubs,â€ Stark said. â€œThe program offers extremely important profile building of the club network and also helps to build capacity in clubs.
â€œA special thanks to the Association of Surfing Professionals for sanctioning the club program to allow the very best Australian WCT athletes to line up against the local unknown heroes of beaches from around the country. The stories from the first year's event and matchups of iconic legends and unknown club members were remarkable and life-changing moments for many of the participants.â€
For more information on the series, visit www.australianboardridersbattle.com
The Original Source Australian Boardriders Battle Schedule:
Scamander, TAS - October 4, 2014
EVENT 2 Fleurieu Peninsula, SA - October 25, 2014
EVENT 3 Gold Coast, QLD - November 1 - 2, 2014
EVENT 4 NSW Central - North Narrabeen, NSW - November 8, 2014
EVENT 5 NSW Nth - Yamba, NSW - November 15, 2014
EVENT 6 Yallingup, WA - November 22, 2014
EVENT 7 Phillip Island, VIC - December 13, 2014
EVENT 8 NSW Sth - Kiama, NSW - January 10, 2015
NATIONAL FINAL Cronulla, NSW - January 24 - 25, 2015