ASP Australasia 4-Star World Qualifying Series
US$ 85 000
Burleigh Heads – February 17 to February 22 2010
Gold Coast, Queensland
Australian surfers, left to right – Blake Wilson (Sunshine Coast), Jay Thompson (Burleigh Heads) and wild card entry Brendan Margieson (Cabarita, NSW) at Burleigh Heads. Photo: Surfing Australia
Shock Wildcard's Announced As The Breaka Burleigh Surf Pro Begins Today!
Outstanding Surf Forecast as ASP World Professional Surfing returns to one of its home
Gold Coast Queensland, Tuesday 16th January, 2010: IN a shock announcement, Nicky Wood (AUS) and Brendan Margieson (AUS) have both been awarded a wildcard entry into the Association Of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) 4-Star, US$85,000 Breaka Burleigh Pro, which begins tomorrow.
For those unfamiliar with the name Nicky Wood, at 16-years of age Wood became the youngest-ever winner of a World Championship Tour Surfing Event, claiming the 1987 Rip Curl Easter Surfing Festival at Bells Beach.
Wood went on to win a total of four WCT events in his short yet prolific professional career before he drifted away from the sport.
Now, at age 40 and 23 years after his historic Bells Beach win, Nicky Wood has found his way back into the competitive surfing limelight via a randomly drawn "Win a Wildcard" promotional competition with event sponsor Breaka Flavoured Milk.
When it was confirmed that the competition winner Nicolas Wood was in fact the legendary surfer Nicky Wood – who garnered so much publicity in the 1980's and 1990's, to say organisers were amazed would be an understatement.
Adding to the intrigue surrounding Wood's entry into the inaugural Breaka Burleigh Pro is the fact that Wood is the Godson of surfing royalty – World Champion Mark Richards, who was synonymous with the iconic Stubbies contest held at the event's location of Burleigh Heads in the 70's and 80's.
In another coincidence, pending results there is a possibility of a round-four blockbuster showdown between Wood and old rival and 1999 World Champion Mark Occhilupo – a matchup that if it eventuates will undoubtedly have the eyes on the surfing community the world over watching.
Also lining up in the Breaka Burleigh Pro is renowned free surfer Brendan Margieson who has been awarded the event's official wildcard from contest organisers (a separate type of entry to Wood's).
No stranger to competition, 'Margo' as he's known, famously won the Indonesian Nias Pro in 1996, however is better known for helping pioneer the "free-surfing" movement of the 1990's.
For over a decade, Margieson built his career almost exclusively around sponsor-paid promotional trips to exotic surfing ports of call around the world.
Free-surfers as they're known have been part of the sport since the 1980's however the avenue exploded thanks to the likes of Margieson who defined the role – being superhuman in the water and a great ambassador for the sport.
Despite being out of the competition scene for some time, Margieson will certainly be no easy-beat and although as an event-wildcard he's drawn top-seed and reigning two-time World Champion Mick Fanning (in the round of 64)- if Burleigh Heads delivers the goods, it could well and truly be Margo's day.
Contest Director Scott Gillies said that the decision to grant Margieson the event wildcard was an excellent choice.
"Margo is a well-known identity in the surfing community particularly in the Northern NSW / Gold Coast region and his ability in the water speaks for itself," said Gillies.
"For a lot of surfers competing on the WCT and WQS, Margo was their hero growing up and with a wave forecast that suggests there could be some swell for the event, it could play perfectly into Margo's hands," he said.
Coastalwatch.com chief forecaster Ben Macartney said "There is a decent SE swell and SE winds predicted for throughout the event's duration, which is optimal conditions for Burleigh Heads."
Furthermore, since the announcement that three-time World Champion Andy Irons (Hawaii) will join fellow World Champions Mick Fanning and Mark Occhilupo in the field for this week's Breaka Burleigh Pro, it has been confirmed that a fourth World Champion Sunny Garcia (Hawaii) will also be competing.
The February (17-21) Breaka Burleigh Surf Pro will be the first standalone professional surfing event to be staged at the iconic point-break of Burleigh Heads in almost 10 years.
The Breaka Burleigh Surf Pro is proudly supported by Breaka Flavoured Milk, ASP Australasia, Channel 7, brisbanetimes.com.au, Nova 106.9fm, SEA FM, Ooh!, Coastalwatch, Australia's Surfing Life Magazine, GCCC, XXXX Summer Bright Lager, and Surfing Queensland.
Stay tuned to event's website breakaburleighsurfpro.com.au for news, photos and updates relating to the Breaka Burleigh Surf Pro.
The Breaka Burleigh Surf Pro will commence on February 17 and conclude on February 21, 2010.
The event will be live webcast beginning on the opening day. Connect to the live webcast at the mini-site via www.aspworldtour.com
Breaka was first launched in 1978 and quickly became a Queensland favourite. Today it is available in a range of flavours, including Chocolate, Iced Coffee, Strawberry, Vanilla Malt, Strong Iced Coffee and Lime, in a variety of pack sizes to suit every occasion, from 300ml to 3 Litre. Breaka Lite, which is 99% fat free, is also available in Chocolate and Iced Coffee.