SURFING AUSTRALIA today announced the Be the Influence Australian Boardriders Battle (ABB) – the biggest grassroots, boardriders event series in Australian surfing history with more than $100,000 in prize money.
It will involve more than 100 of Australia’s best boardriding clubs in seven State qualifying rounds and culminate in a two-day, National Final for 16 clubs on the Australia Day Long Weekend on 25-26 January, 2014 at Cronulla in Sydney.
The series is officially sanctioned by the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP), which allows Australian ASP World Championship Tour surfers (men and women) the opportunity to represent their local boardriders club at respective State qualifying events and the National Final.
Sally Fitzgibbons, Mark Occhilupo and Joel Parkinson
The Be the Influence Australian Boardriders Battle is proudly supported by Be the Influence – Tackling Binge Drinking, Billabong, Toyota, Nikon, Destination NSW, Surfing Australia, the Association of Suring Professionals, Sutherland Shire Council, Coastalwatch and Surfing World.
In total $105,000 is up for grabs across the entire National Series including the National Final. There is $30,000 available across the seven State qualifying events, while $75,000 will be split between the 16 clubs that make the National Final.
The overall champion boardriders club will receive $20,000.
Each club team of seven will include two juniors (1 male and 1 female), four Open age surfers (3 male and 1 female) and one over 35 surfer (male or female).
An exciting event format will see club teams battle it out in Pairs competition, five-person Teams competition and a Skins competition. The National Final will include a lucrative, winner-take-all Skins format across 10 heats with a $1000 jackpot in each heat.
Current ASP Men’s World Champion and Snapper Rocks Surfriders Club member Joel Parkinson said the strength of Australian surfing and its unique culture could be traced directly back to the impact of boardriders clubs.
Occy and Joel Parkinson
“It’s pretty safe to say I’d never have had the same success in my surfing without having grown up in a boardriders club.
“When people ask what makes Australian surfing unique, it can largely be traced back to boardriders clubs. They’re always competitive and there are a lot of local bragging rights involved, but there’s a huge social component as well. In most towns around the Australian coast it’s a boardriders club that binds the surfing community together.
“It’s going to be awesome to get Australia’s best boardriders clubs together on the Australia Day weekend. There’s such a great vibe when the tribes get together and surf against each other, and while it will be friendly on the beach you can bet it’s going to get a little heated in the water. The rivalries in this thing will be huge. It’s a big thing for a boardriders club to be able to say they are the best club in Australia.”
Surfing Australia CEO Andrew Stark said boardriders clubs had a rich history and have played a major role in the strength of Australian surfing on the world stage.
“This is a major announcement for Surfing Australia and for our sport,” Stark said. “Boardriders clubs have a rich history in this country and form a critical part of the sport development pathway.
“We are very excited to launch this national club series and look forward to delivering an innovative new club series that will crown the country’s best boardriders club and importantly build capacity in clubs and increase the profile of the boardriders club system.
“The boardriders clubs are a breeding ground of champions and the Be the Influence Australian Boardriders Battle will significantly strengthen the sport pathway and help to continually produce Aussie World Champions along with a fantastic community sport program for surfing enthusiasts Australia wide. We sincerely thank our sponsors for helping to bring the program to life.”
The Be the Influence Boardriders Battle also includes a Monster Raffle giveaway with one lucky ticket holder to drive away in a new Toyota RAV4. Other prizes include a Billabong pack valued at more than $1500 and a Nikon camera valued at up to $1000. The Monster Raffle is open to all Surfing Australia affiliated boardrider clubs with proceeds returning to the boardriders club community.
In a further incentive to the clubs that make the National Final, the four junior female surfers from the four highest placed clubs will be invited to be part of the Surfing Australia documentary Wildcard.
Wildcard is a one hour documentary following the four female surfers as they are given the chance of a lifetime to win a wildcard spot into both the Open and Pro Junior events at the Australian Open of Surfing at Manly in February, 2014. The four will be invited to the Hurley Surfing Australia High Performance Centre (HPC) for a week-long selection camp to see who will win the wildcard.
The Be The Influence Australian Boardriders Battle Schedule:
October 12, 2013
New South Wales
October 26-27, 2013
November 2-3, 2013
November 16 or 17, 2013
Trigg Point, Perth
December 14, 2013
December 21, 2013
New South Wales
January 11-12, 2014
January 25-26, 2014
Cronulla, New South Wales