STAND UP SURF SHOP ROTTNEST CLASSIC
Pro category and prize pool attracts best SUP surfers to WA
For the first time, Rottnest Island will host a professional Stand Up Paddle (SUP) Surfing contest, the Stand Up Surf Shop Rottnest Classic from 8 to 10 May 2015.
SUPWA Vice President and competitor Roger Goodwin said that a professional division with a prize pool of $7,000 was included to get the attention the world’s best competitors.
“Inline with Surfing WA’s strategy, I believe it’s important that an iconic event is established for all surf disciplines – SUP included – and a decent prize purse helps with that,” Goodwin said.
Surfing WA Events Manager Justin Majeks said that their goal is to develop a marquee event for each of the boardriding codes in Western Australia.
"Rottnest is such an amazing event location, rich in surfing history and we’re excited to be bringing SUP to the island for the first time," Majeks said.
The Stand Up Surf Shop Rottnest Challenge will bring Justin Holland (NSW), currently ranked 4th on the Stand Up World Tour after the first event of the season. Organisers have also confirmed rising female star Shakira Westdorp, who just finished 2nd in her first ever Stand Up World Tour event that was held at Turtle Bay in Hawaii.
Stand Up Surf Shop owner and key sponsor of the event, Mike Galvin, said that the men’s competition would be fierce, with local talent strong enough to create an upset.
“State SUP surf champions, brothers Rick and Jake Jakovich, are incredible SUP surfers in quality waves,” Galvin said.
“These two have grown up as highly respected short board surfers in the South West and translated their surfing skills to SUP surfing - the bigger the waves, the better they get. With the timing and location of the event, I think the conditions will really suit these two.
“Also worth watching is upcoming junior talent and current number three in Australia Kai Bates, Margaret River local and Starboard International SUP designer Scott McKercher, and former winner of the Sapinus Pro Stand Up World Tour event in Tahiti David Muir. David is an ex Fremantle Dockers player turned professional SUP surfer and absolutely charges in big waves,” owner of Australia’s biggest SUP specialist store said.
Galvin said that the event is free for spectators and expects it to be entertaining.
“SUP surfing is similar to normal surfing, with the exception that competitors must take off standing up and use their paddle as part of their wave ride. It’s hard to get out through the break on a stand up paddle board when it’s big. There should be a lot of wipeouts, which will make it a great to watch.”
As one of the fastest growing water sports in the world, Galvin says the appeal of the sport is that it’s accessible to everyone.
“Just about anyone can do stand up paddle boarding. It’s really easy to learn and people can do it on all sorts of water bodies – flat water, open ocean and in waves,” the Stand Up Surf Shop owner said.
“It’s also extremely good for your health - it increases fitness, builds core strength and has a really calming effect on the mind. We see many people get back into the ocean who may have stopped due to injury or other health reasons.”
SUPWA Goodwin said he wants to sell Western Australia as a premier location for SUP in the world.
“It’s early stages for the sport, however, we have ideal conditions for SUP and we want to demonstrate that, as well as show off our extraordinary State to the world,” Goodwin said.
“Like the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro, we want to grow the Stand Up Surf Shop Rottnest Classic into a major event.
“We’re fortunate to have a close affiliation with Surfing WA and access to their outstanding event management experience, which will ultimately assist us to realise that goal – build it as an event that no professional SUP surfer will want to miss.”
The Stand Up Surf Shop Rottnest Challenge will be held at Strickland Bay from 7.30am Friday 8 May to 12pm Sunday 10 May. It’s the first time a stand up paddle event has ever been held at Rottnest Island. The event is free for spectators and catering and shade tents will be provided at Strickland Bay.
For more information, visit www.supwa.com.au.
Dianne Bortoletto, Pronto PR, email@example.com, 0439 997 075