First Point: who's the next surfer in line?

The idyllic surf town of Noosa on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast is set to stage the largest surf festival in the world, when the Global Surf Industries Noosa Festival of Surfing 2010 presented by Golden Breed kicks off from March 14 -21.

Now in it’s 19th year, the Festival to be staged around two of the world’s perfect longboarding waves First Point and Noosa West (Access 12), will host over 700 competitors across 20 divisions ranging from the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Longboard Qualifying Series (Pro), to Amateur, Stand-up Paddle and Specialty divisions.

“The entry field this year has been unprecedented,” said festival director Phil Jarratt from Noosa this week. “We have an exceptionally strong Pro field in the Men’s division and the specialty Noserider trials and Suncorp Stand-up Paddle events have seen a surge in entries this year. With many of the world’s top athletes competing, next week’s festival promises to showcase some of the finest surfing as well as entertainment for the whole family.”

Headlining this year’s pro division in the Golden Breed Men’s 1 Star Longboard Qualifying Series is newly crowned ASP World Long board Champion Harley Ingleby (Emerald Beach, NSW) who will make his debut on home soil since capturing his inaugural ASP World Title last year.

Ingleby is expected to garner much interest as he takes on an esteemed international field, a potential match-up against local talent 2006 ASP World Longboard Champion and 5X Australian Longboard Champion Josh Constable (Noosa) one not to be missed.

Also staring in this exciting division will be 2009 Noosa Festival of Surfing Champion and USA Champion Taylor Jensen (California, USA) as well as Australian stars Jared Neal (Coffs Harbour, NSW) and Dane Pioli (Coolangatta, QLD). The Black Beach Women’s division will play host to the likes of top seed and ASP World No. 9 Braly Isabele (NSW), Leah Dawson (USA), Rosie Locke (Cooroy, Qld), Crystal Dzigas (Hawaii) and more.

The Malibu Surfing Association (MSA), one of California’s elite surfing clubs, will add a competitive edge to this years event when their team of polished long boarders, take on the Queensland’s Noosa Malibu Club in a ‘Teams Challenge’.

The Golden Breed Noserider Challenge is another highly anticipated event within this year’s festival program. Widely regarded as responsible for sparking the resurgence of nose riding within the sport, the trials have seen over 40 entrants vying for just six coveted spots into the main event.

Former World Longboarding Champion and widely considered as the best longboarder in the world today, Joel Tudor (California, USA), has been granted a wildcard into the seeded round.

“There is no better wave for Nose riding in the world than First Point Noosa which is why this event is going to be fantastic to watch,” confirmed Jarrett.

The Suncorp stand-up paddle event has a seen a surge in entries with 48 competitors in the Pro division including all of Australia’s leading stand-up paddlers, plus eight of Hawaii’s finest.

The festival officially gets underway on Sunday March 14, with the Noosa Journal Family Challenge, Golden Breed Noserider Trials, Noosa Spring Champs for Charity and V-Australia Noosa/ Malibu Showdown. The Blue water Players 5K Stand-Up Paddle race is scheduled for 15h00 before the official opening ceremony gets underway at 16h00 and includes a Blessing of the Water ceremony and traditional paddle out.

The Amateur divisions get underway at 07h00 on Monday 15th and Tuesday 16th, while the Pro’s will take to the surf for the first time on Wednesday 17th. Thursday the18th will see a mixed day of Pro, Amateur surfing as well as the first round of the Suncorp Stand-up Paddle Pro. Friday sees the Junior’s day in the surf while competition intensifies on Saturday, with the Semifinals of all divisions. Finals day is Sunday, the first final starting at 07h00 and the last, mid-afternoon. The prize presentations will get underway from 16h00.

The Global Surf Industries Noosa Festival of Surfing 2010 presented by Golden Breed promises a weeklong celebration of surf lifestyle and culture. The festival will also include musical performances by Lucas Proud foot, Richard Tognett, Max Judo, Will Conner, Dave Rastovich, The Beautiful Girls and Ash Grunwald, cinematic vision by Jon Frank, a Back Beach Surfboard and Memorabilia auction, Antique road show, book signings and readings, Surfboard Shapers Forum as well as appearances by 7X ASP Women’s World Champion Layne Beachley and former world champion Peter Townend as well as much more throughout the week.

For the full schedule of events, festival information, competitor info and more log onto http://noosamalibuclub.org .


SOURCE: Surfing Australia