Professional surfers from all over the world will be descending upon Manly Beach, known as one of Sydney’s most beautiful beaches boasting miles of tree-lined soft white sand and the perfect surf, to participate in the inaugural Australian Open of Surfing Event, taking place February 11-19, 2012. More than 100,000 surfers, tourists, and Sydney-siders are expected to flood the beach to attend the free 9-day event, which also includes an exciting world-class Skate Bowl featuring the world’s best skateboarders, live concerts featuring some of Australia’s top musicians.
“The Inaugural Australian Open of Surfing will reinforce Manly Beach and Sydney’s reputation as a top surfing destination not just for pro-surfers, but for any traveler interested in a vibrant coastal lifestyle and all the activities that go along with that,” said Sandra Chipchase, Chief Executive Officer at Destination New South Wales. “Manly Beach is a destination gem in Sydney and this event will help to showcase all that it has to offer young travelers – not only an unbelievable surf location, but the hub of live music, surf lifestyle, great restaurants, shopping, museums and art.”
Destination New South Wales, along with event sponsors Hurley and Billabong are partnering to bring the event to Manly Beach. While the surf competition will take center stage, the other activities have been designed to attract beach lovers, surfing enthusiasts and youth travelers alike. A unique wooden bowl structure, dubbed the “Beach Bowl,” has been constructed especially for the skateboarding competition, which will feature three divisions – Juniors, Pro, and Pro Masters – showcasing more than 80 competitors. The total prize winnings being awarded to skateboarders top $50,000, and promises to draw notable athletes from around the world. Large scale music performances from Australian bands and artists will also hit the stage throughout the event, drawing music lovers out to the sand for some music in the famous Australian summer sun.
“I grew up surfing New South Wales’ beaches and to me, there is no better surf destination in the world,” said Sally Fitzgibbons, winner of the ASP Women’s World Title at the US Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach, CA in July 2011 and New South Wales native. “New South Wales is full of incredible surf spots, and Manly Beach is one of the best in the world. I’m so excited that the surf community is recognizing the amazing surfing Australia and Manly Beach have to offer by hosting this world renowned event there.”
Along with the featured athletic events, attendees will also have the opportunity to partake in unique Manly Beach activities and Australian surf culture. The area offers extensive opportunities for waterfront dining, exciting nightlife, contemporary fashion boutiques, museums and adventure activities. Adventure and sports enthusiasts can partake in some of Manly’s offerings such as beach volleyball, kayaking, paddle boarding, surf lessons, or even whale watching while the more retail oriented traveler can stroll through the stores, arcades and boardwalks discovering Australian handmade jewelry, clothes, shoes and artworks.
To celebrate the Australian Open of Surfing, Destination New South Wales and STA Travel are partnering to offer affordable travel packages to young travelers starting as low as $1,383 per person including roundtrip airfare from Los Angeles and five nights’ accommodation at a choice of hotels. Additional nights are available for as low as $54 per person. Rates are based on twin share accommodation valid for travelFebruary 16-20, 2012. Prices are valid for students or those aged 26 years or less. For more information and to purchase travel packages, please visit http://www.statravel.com/virgin-australia-student-tickets.htm
Manly Beach is home to more than 100 years of surf heritage, and was the host of the first World Surfing Championships in 1964. The “Path of Olympians” lines the boardwalk honoring notable athletes of the past and commemorates the area’s rich athletic heritage. Many world famous surfers call New South Wales home including Sally Fitzgibbons, winner of the US Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach, CA inAugust 2011, Layne Beachley and Barton Lynch adding to Manly’s tie to the surfing community. Manly’s unique history in the world of surfing from its iconic surf culture to its deep athletic history makes it the perfect location to host this inaugural event.