"I couldn’t be prouder to see it get underway in my home town," said Ryan Callinan.
The World Surf League has pivoted, successfully, from a disastrous campaign to host an event at Lennox Head, to Merewether, a couple of hours north of Sydney.
Merewether, famous for its multi-generational talent, including four-time world champ Mark Richards, Matt Hoy, Ryan Callinan, and Craig Anderson, was an irresistible choice for the WSL, given the NSW state government had been strung up on a rack of frustration after Lennox locals turned on the event and was desperate to get a contest, anywhere.
“The NSW government and World Surf League worked together to ensure that this competition went ahead,” said NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro. “Sun, surf and sand are a way of life in our regional coastal towns and we’re doing everything we can to ensure our coastal communities can reap the recreational, tourism and economic benefits that surfing provides.”
“WSL is excited to be commencing the Australian leg of the CT at the world-class break in Newcastle,” said WSL APAC General Manager, Andrew Stark. “We sincerely thank the NSW Government for all of their support in not only holding a CT event but for also agreeing to land our flight and accommodating our quarantining international competitors. We’re also extremely thankful for the support of the City of Newcastle to enable the event to proceed and we look forward to working with the local community in the delivery of the event.”
“I couldn’t be prouder to see it get underway in my home town,” said Ryan Callinan.
A chartered bird is gonna bring the tour’s surfers, men and women, into Sydney, mid-March, for two weeks quarantine before the tour leg starts.
Event dates are April 1 to May 31, although this encompasses the other three “tentative” CT events, Bells, Margaret River and the Gold Coast.
Victoria, WA and Queensland have been real trigger-happy on border closures and deeply hostile to opening their doors even to Australians travelling interstate.
Word on the street is the WSL has been sniffing around Pacific Palms, a dreamy stretch of beachbreaks a little north of Newy.
More if it develops.