Surfest, Newcastle is an iconic fixture on the Australian sporting calendar. It's a month long celebration of surfing and hosts an array of amateur divisions and will this week see some of the world's best surfers hit the water for the World Surf League (WSL) QS6000 men's Burton Automotive Pro and QS1000 Burton Automotive Women's Classic divisions. This year's event marks Surfest's 30th anniversary and with a stacked field of internationals and a favourable surf forecast the fight for the Mark Richards Trophy will be one for the history books.
Yesterday saw the conclusion of the Hunter Business Boardriders Pro Junior divisions with Brazilian Deivid Silva and Avoca's Macy Callaghan crowned champions. Following Saturday's forced abandonment of competition due to beach closure in the Newcastle area because of a reported sighting of a shark off Burwood beach, the green light was given to surf after a grid search by Newcastle City Council's professional lifeguards.
By day's end Deivid Silva took out his first ever major win. The 20-year-old from SÃ£o Paulo left it until the last minute to secure victory with a 9.85 and end up with a heat score of 18.35 (out of a possible 20).
"I'm so happy to have won!" Silva said. "The waves are very much like my home with so much wind, but that one wave was so good. I am so happy. I can't celebrate too much right now because I need to prepare for the Burton Automotive Pro."
West Australian Jacob Wilcox finished 2nd with a heat total of 13.50 followed closely by New South Wales duo Sheldon Simkus on 12.20 and Kai Warner with 11.10.
Central Coast surfer Macy Callaghan easily won the 1000 point World Surf League Hunter Business Boardriders Womens Pro Junior at Merewether beach. Callaghan, who racked up an impressive 17.00 total and continued the terrific form that saw her placesecond in the Australian Open of Surfing Pro Junior last week at Manly.
"I was confident going into the final and was really stoked when I had scored a 9.oo on my fourth wave," she said. Callaghan can't put away the board just yet as she will be surfing in the Burton Automotive Pro Women's Classic at the same beach this week.
2012 World Champion Joel Parkinson will be the Burton Automotive Pro's No. 1 seed and will hit the water in Heat 1 of Round 2.