Easter Surfing Classic celebrates
The Ben King Memorial Byron Bay Easter Surfing Classic is the longest-running amateur surfing event in Australia.
Now in its 35th year, the contest will be held for three days over Easter on April 2, 3, and 4.
Run by the Byron Bay Boardriders Club, the contest is held in memory of Ben King, former president of the club.
Ben died about four years ago while surfing in a contest at Yamba.
The Easter Classic is also one of the few remaining events that can be classified as a family surfing competition, with 11 divisions from U/13s boys and girls all the way through to the legends, which is the over 50s division.
Divisions for this year’s event include: U13s boys, U13 girls, U16s boys, U16s girls, U19s boys, U19s girls, open men, open women, O30s senior men, O40s master men, O50s legend men and an invitational single fin event run in memory of Ben King.
During the past 35 years the classic has become a stepping stone for some of the best surfers in the world.
"The open men’s division is always electric and its past list of winners makes it one title that any great surfer would be stoked to win," boardriders president Bryce Cameron said.
Past winners include Mark Williams, Richard Marsh, Chappy Jennings, Simon Law, Rod Anderson, Jeremy Byles, Shane Bevan, Craig Holley, Danny Wills, Jye Gofton, Kieren Perrow, Mark Richardson, Jock Barnes, Shane Wehner, Shaun Gossman, Yerin Brown, Jarrad Sullivan and Stu Kennedy.
Bryce said that increased prizemoney in both the open men’s and open women’s divisions in 2010 would attract the highest level of surfing from the east coast of Australia to Byron Bay for the contest.
The open men will battle it out for $1500 cash plus prizes.
The open women will compete for cash in 2010 also, with the winner receiving $500 cash and prizes.
Junior winners will once again win $500 cash and prizes.
"Make sure you are in Byron Bay this Easter to witness an explosive three days of surfing," Bryce said.