The 2016 World Surf League Australian Longboard Surfing Open is set to smash the wave hoodoo and is primed for pumping world-class waves for day one, tomorrow at Kingscliff.
Long-time event organiser Sean McKeown is frothing at what he is describing as “the best banks in years” as a swathe of international and regional longboard champions descend on the seaside town for the Easter weekend contesting the coveted WSL qualifying event.
The event will kick off with an early start of 7am (NSW time) on Good Friday and continue right through to the finals on Sunday – but the early rounds are predicted to be the most hotly contested with in the best conditions.
Past champions and world champions will lead a pack of keen longboard proponents, with the likes of Harley Ingleby, Taylor Jensen, Coolangatta’s Dane Pioli as well as newcomer and current world women’s champion Rachael Tilly from the USA and world number 3 Brazil’s Chloe Calmon showcasing the best longboarding the world has on offer.
Backing up McKeown’s comments on the state of the sand bank at Kingscliff at the moment was former Kingscliff Board riding Club President Dean Bevan.
“The bank at Kingscliff is the best I’ve seen it in the last 30 years … for all of the national and international visitors coming, they will enjoy world class waves,” Bevan said.
McKeown, who has clocked up nearly 20 years of running the event (formerly as the Malfunction at Snapper Rocks), says this year’s contest is up for grabs with high quality waves ensuring everyone is in for the win.
“It is definitely wide open. When conditions aren’t so good, the top guys stand out but when the conditions are as good as we are looking at this year, everyone’s level of surfing lifts,” he told LiQUiFY.
He added, “We’ve got the young guys coming through too, we’ve got Nic Jones from up the coast, Jack Entwistle and that, we’ve even got a couple of Japanese guys this year who have already been tearing apart the bank all week – it’s going to be one of the best comps we’ve seen in a while.”
McKeown reckons there’s going to be fireworks, and that this year’s event will offer spectators a close up view as good as it gets.
“There’s a bank on the inside that forms up across the middle, then it races across towards the caravan park and it’s, well it’s the sweetest thing you’ve ever seen,” he said.
The Australian Longboard Surfing Open has a stacked program of side events and activities making it a big family weekend of not just great surfing action, but plenty to do elsewhere.
There’s a show ‘n’ shine classic car display, movie night on Friday evening, massive Easter hunt on Sunday morning for the kids with vouchers and prizes scattered about the place (chocolate and beach sand don’t mix too well they tell us haha) and a stack of prizes, displays, food, boards and more.