Bells Beach 

The Rip Curl Pro Surf & Music Festival has been granted funding for a further three years by the Victorian Government leading up to the 50th anniversary in 2011 the Premier John Brumby announced yesterday at Bells Beach.

Mr Brumby and the Sports and Recreation Minister, James Merlino met with two-time World Champion and Rip Curl Pro Contest Director Damien Hardman at Bells Beach today to make the announcement.

“The Rip Curl Pro is a major draw card on a dynamic calendar of major events including the Melbourne Grand Prix, Australian Open and the AFL Grand Final,” Mr Brumby said.

“That’s why I am delighted to announce that the Victorian Government will support the Rip Curl Pro for a further three years, delivering on our commitment to building on Victoria’s world-class major events.”

Mr Merlino congratulated event organisers for supporting both men’s and women’s surfing at the annual Rip Curl Pro Surf & Music Festival.

“It creates an exciting platform to celebrate excellence in sport and attracts strong tourism to the region,” Merlino said.

Rip Curl Group Advertising and Marketing Chairman Neil Ridgway said Rip Curl was excited to extend its relationship with Victoria for a further three years and to have the world’s most prestigious surfing contest sit in the Victorian ‘Hallmark Events’ program sanctioned the Rip Curl Pro as elite.

“This partnership helps to cement both men’s and women’s professional surfing for the next three years and that is very important for both ASP world tours. Rip Curl sees surfers as equal no matter what their gender and that attitude is epitomized in the Rip Curl Pro.”

Surfing Victoria Rip Curl Pro Event Director Max Wells welcomed the announcement.

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Roxy Sunset Pro 

Despite slightly improved surf in the three-to-four foot (1 metre) range on offer at Sunset Beach this morning, another lay day has been called for the Roxy Pro citing inconsistent conditions.

Event No. 7 of 8 on the 2008 ASP Women’s World Tour, the Roxy Pro at Sunset Beach marks the second stop on the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing (an ASP Specialty Series), but today’s sporadic pulses in swell and the forecast of increasing surf coming throughout the next days prompted event organizers to call competition off for the day.

“The swell we have been tracking hasn’t properly arrived yet so we’ve called competition off for the day,” Randy Rarick, Vans Triple Crown Event Director, said. “We expect this swell to fill in a bit more throughout the day and will be back tomorrow morning at 7am to make another call.”

Event organizers will reconvene tomorrow morning at 7am local time for a possible 8am start.

The waiting period for the Roxy Pro Sunset runs through December 6, 2008.

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Kelly Slater

Nine-time surfing world champion Kelly Slater is rumoured to return to the Gold Coast in 2009 to defend his Quiksilver Pro title.

That means, Slater will try to snatch the 10th world title. The first indications came from the organisers of the Australian event.

"The Quiksilver Pro, presented by LG, and the Gold Coast are two things very special to Kelly," said spokesman Johnathan Jenkins. "He has always claimed the waves of the Gold Coast are among his favourites in the world."

The Quiksilver Pro will be the first 2009 WCT event. Last season, Kelly Slater defeated Mick Fanning and conquered the Gold Coast stage.

"His non-committal reputation is pretty legendary among the surfing community," said Jenkins.

"But his competitiveness always seems to get the better of him. If I was a betting man I would be putting my money on him going for 10 titles."

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