Saturday, 18 February 2012
Australian Open Of Surfing; Manly Beach, Sydney, Australia; The Living End Rocks
The inaugural Australian Open of Surfing has hit Sydney, Australia via Australia' home of surfing - Manly Beach.
In excess of 100,000 people are expected to have embarked on Sydney's Manly Beach by the end the nine-day event. Today it looked like 150,000 were at Manly Beach.
Make no mistake - this is Australia biggest surf, skate and music festival combo.
The weather has been changeable throughout the event, but today was blue skies all the way.
Locals supported home grown surfers such as Cooper Chapman, a 17-year-old from Narrabeen.
The youngster came into the competition as a wildcard entrant and surfed one-on-one with world number-two Joel Parkinson.
“I’ve always looked up to (Parkinson), he has been one of my favourite surfers for a long time,” Chapman told the Manly Daily.
Surfing is just one of a number of cool activities.
Skaters (skate board riders) as young as eight, as well as international pro, have been competing for $US50,000 ($47,000) in prize money in the Beach Bowl skate bowl.
The nine-day Australian Open of Surfing has been declared a success by organisers, sponsors and supporters, including the state government's Destination NSW program.
"It brings the best of surf, skate and music to the harbour city, embracing youth culture and promoting the unique energy of Sydney's outdoor lifestyle," says the Minister for Tourism, George Souris, eyeing an extra $6 million tourism boost.
The Manly extravaganza is based on the US Open of Surfing, a week-long celebration of surfing, skating, BMX, fashion, art and lifestyle held annually at Huntington Beach, California.
"It's just huge there. Attracts about a million people," says Jason Haynes, the general manager of surfwear company Hurley, principal co-sponsor with Billabong of the Manly event.
His expectations in Manly are more modest. "We're just getting started. We'd be pleased with 100,000," Haynes says. "So far it ticks all the boxes in terms of location, weather, waves, community support."
The Australian Open - which has been several years and a "substantial", though undisclosed, budget in the making - has been booked initially into the calendar for three years.
"We want it to be part of the calendar. We hope families will book their holidays in Australia round the event," says Bob Hurley, the company's chairman and founder. He also hopes to attract more top male surfers.
Top line music performers are also sharing the stage of success with the surfers and skaters.
Music acts like Sneaky Sound System, Children Collide and Stonefield are entertaining the masses at the event also, with Children Collide and The Living End whipping up a storm this afternoon.
The Australian Open of Surfing concluded today.
Australian Open Of Surfing
The Living End
Eva Rinaldi Photography Flickr
Eva Rinaldi Photography
Music News Australia