Quiksilver announced today that it will sponsor a top level surfingevent based at Kirra, on the Australian Gold Coast, from March nextyear. The 2001 event, with proposed dates of March 8-18, will be afive-star rated World Qualifying Series (WQS) contest carrying US$80,000prize money. It will then upgrade to full World Championship Tour (WCT)status from 2002, with a US$250,000 purse. The 2001 event will alsoincorporate the four-star rated Quiksilver Roxy Pro for women.
Quiksilver’s decision to sponsor the Queensland event has been widelywelcomed by the professional surfing community.
The 2000 world champion-elect Sunny Garcia, who is also president of theWorld Professional Surfers group, said today he would definitely becompeting in the Quiksilver WQS event on the Gold Coast in March.
Speaking from his Kauai, Hawaii, home, Garcia said: “Personally I wouldlike to thank Quiksilver for stepping up to the plate and being a majorsupporter of the sport of surfing.
“As far as Kirra is concerned, I know that 100 per cent of the surfersare really stoked that we have an event there and that Quiksilver haspicked it up. Even though it’s a WQS event next year, I’m really happyit’s on. Quiksilver has my support, that’s for sure.”
Kieren Perrow, the WQS representative on the Association of SurfingProfessionals (ASP) board, said the surfers really wanted to keep theWCT event on the Gold Coast. “We were very happy to find out that it canbe run as a WCT again in 2002. In the meantime, it’s a great thing forthe WQS to have another quality wave location next year.
“We were prepared to take on the license ourselves but it was definitelyone of the positive points of the ASP Annual General Meeting here inHawaii earlier this week to learn that Quiksilver was going to step upand take the plunge,” Perrow said.
The president of the ASP, Wayne “Rabbit” Bartholomew, said it was clearat the AGM that the surfers were upset about not having a major event onthe Gold Coast counting towards the world title. “They urged the boardto rectify the situation and Quiksilver responded to that spirit byproposing a major WQS event for 2001 followed by a commitment to a WCTpermanently housed on the Gold Coast.
“That proved to be a very positively received initiative right acrossthe board. Under that formula, the WQS will be a one-off, which isexcellent for the young Aussie chargers aspiring to qualify for the WCT.The realization of a new WCT on the Gold Coast, as the first event inAustralia, gives the tour a fantastic global balance.”
The marketing director of Quiksilver Australia, Craig Stevenson, saidQuiksilver was ecstatic to be given the opportunity to showcase the bestsurfers in the world on the Gold Coast, one of the best surfinglocations in the world.
“We plan to base the event at Kirra and be mobile to include BurleighHeads and the beach breaks,” he said. “And as a WQS event next year itis going to attract a top-class field as many of the world’s leadingprofessional surfers have told us they will be competing.”
Meanwhile, Quiksilver also announced that it will take the prestigiousQuiksilver Pro to G-Land, East Java, Indonesia, in May next year as partof the World Championship Tour. The event has been held at Cloudbreak,Fiji, for the past two years and hasn’t been held at G-Land since 1997,when Australian Luke Egan won in perfect eight foot barrels at Speedies.
And Quiksilver has created a new event, the Roxy Surf Jam, which will bea World Championship Tour event for women with US$60,000 prize money,and based on the Fijian islands of Tavarua and Namotu. Cloudbreak willbe the main surfing venue.