NSW Premier, Mike Baird and Mayor of Manly, Jean Hay AM, joined Hurley Australian Open of Surfing Contest Director and 1988 ASP World Champion, Barton Lynch and event organisers IMG and ASP in Manly this morning to officially launch the return of the Hurley Australian Open of Surfing to Manly Beach, Sydney, an event that will host both men's and women's ASP 6-Star Qualifying Series (QS) divisions as well as men's and women's Pro Junior Qualifying Series divisions.

Sally and Ace Sally Fitzgibbons and Ace Buchan share thoughts on Sydney's biggest surfing event. - WSL

The Hurley Australian Open of Surfing is known for bringing some of the biggest names in surf and skate to Sydney shores, and this morning's launch was no exception. ASP Women's World No. 2 Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) attended along with ASP World No. 17, Adrian Buchan (AUS).

“My next event is in Hawaii and then I'll be back here in February to compete at Manly,” Fitzgibbons said. “That's what I love about women's surfing right now, the boundaries are being pushed in any and all conditions, it's an exciting time and I'm really happy to be a part of it all. There's three Aussies left in the hunt for this year's ASP Women's World Title, it's great to have the Title coming back down under and I'm hoping it's with me.”

Reigning Hurley Australian Open of Surfing champion Sally Fitzgibbons was eliminated in Round 4 heat 4 today. Sally Fitzgibbons surfing at this year's Hurley Australian Open of Surfing. - WSL / Will Hayden-Smith

NSW State Premier and Member for Manly, Mike Baird said, “I am delighted this event will be returning to Manly this summer. Having professionals of the calibre of Sally Fitzgibbons already confirming they will be competing is a huge boom for Sydney. We have some of the best beaches and surf culture anywhere on the international circuit and events such as the Hurley Australian Open of Surfing showcase Sydney and Manly to the world.”

“Being a keen surfer myself, I'm proud to see the NSW Government supporting this event, which is set to attract more than 175,000 spectators to Manly Beach to enjoy Australia's biggest action sports and youth culture festival,” he added.

Adrian Buchan missed out on surfing in this year's Hurley Australian Open of Surfing while recovering from a foot injury, but he was already talking about the excitement and buzz surrounding next year's event.

“I live on the Central Coast so this is the closest thing I have to a hometown event,” Buchan said. “Hurley put on a great event and the local community really get behind it, we have huge crowds watching the surfing and it's great to have skating and art exhibitions all going on at the same time to. I'm really looking forward to coming back here next February.”

Adriano De Souza and Carissa Moore - Hurley Australian Open of Surfing Men's and Women's  Champions 2014 This year's Hurley Australian Open of Surfing champions Carissa Moore (HAW) and Adriano De Souza (BRA). - WSL / Steve Robertson

Hurley founder Bob Hurley added, “We're so excited to be heading back to Manly beach for another massive celebration of surf and skate in Australia. The buzz the event creates is huge, and now people know just how amazing the event will be, so we're expecting even bigger things from 2015.”

With the focus firmly on up-and-coming talent, the 2015 Hurley Australian Open of Surfing will showcase some of the youngest competitors since the event's inception. Last year's wildcard Kai Hing will take to the water in the Junior Qualifying Series division as well as again in the Open QS, Northern Beaches local Cooper Chapman will also make a return. New contenders Sandon Whittaker and Darcy Crump will take part in the JQS for the first time.

The Hurley Australian Open of Surfing will run from 7 - 15 of Feb, 2015 at Manly Beach, Sydney.

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