Narrabeen on Sydney’s Northern Beaches will host one of the biggest events on the global surfing calendar when the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour comes to town, thanks to a partnership between WSL and the NSW Government.
The partnership means the WSL will now host two Championship Tour events in NSW, with Newcastle debuting as the opening event of the Australian leg of the tour in April 2021.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro said the Narrabeen Championship Tour event will see some of the world’s biggest athletes battle the waves to win a share of over $1 million in prize money.
“Here in NSW we have shown our ability to host premier events while keeping people safe,” Mr Barilaro said.
“When the WSL scanned the world for the safest beaches to relocate some of their prized Championship Tour (CT) events, NSW was the first choice.
“NSW will deliver not one, but two CT events in 2021 after the WSL announced Newcastle would host the first CT event in NSW in nearly three decades, in place of the iconic Bells Beach Pro.
“Today, thanks to the NSW Government, we can announce Narrabeen will host a championship event in place of the Gold Coast’s Snapper Rocks.
“NSW will be Australia’s surfing state and sporting capital of the nation and this partnership with WSL will pave the way for us to host future tournaments in country towns, creating a safer and stronger regional NSW.”
Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said securing a second WSL Championship Tour event for NSW was testament to the State’s event hosting capabilities and world-class beaches.
“Yet again NSW is the destination of choice for this major international WSL event, giving us the chance to showcase the beautiful Northern Beaches to the world and welcome competitors, spectators and supporters to Greater Sydney to stay and spend locally,” Mr Ayres said.
Member for Pittwater Rob Stokes said Narrabeen is the perfect location to host a globally significant surfing championship.
“This highly coveted Championship Tour will bring much-needed tourism dollars into local shops, cafes, restaurants and accommodation providers on the Northern Beaches, a timely boost following the recent lockdown during the busy holiday period,” Mr Stokes said.
“I’m thrilled to see this spectacular surfing event come to our shores and I know the community will love this opportunity to showcase the local area on a global stage.
“This competition will not only be fantastic to watch but will allow Aussie surfers to put their skills to the ultimate test ahead of the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, when surfing is set to make its debut.”
World Surf League Asia Pacific General Manager Andrew Stark said the WSL is excited to have the Championship Tour coming back to Australia in 2021 with an added event.
“This year, the Aussie CT leg is looking very different to what we’re used to due to COVID-19, with the addition of three new stops. Although it’s very disappointing to miss locations like Bells Beach and Snapper Rocks this year, we are stoked to add Newcastle and North Narrabeen to the schedule.
“We would like to genuinely thank all of our partners for their patience, understanding and support during this extremely difficult time. The WSL can’t wait to get the tour back underway and run epic and safe events for our athletes, fans and partners in Australia.”
The 2021 Championship Tour schedule currently includes events in Australia, Brazil, South Africa, Tahiti, and the United States.
The Championship Tour is broadcast on Channel 7 and Fox Sport in Australia, with international broadcast partnerships for coverage in Asia, Europe, and the United States.
The WSL Championship Tour Newcastle is supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency Destination NSW. For more information, visit www.worldsurfleague.com.