Domestic surfing will reach new heights as the Professional Surfing Tour of America (PSTA) brings on the Rip Curl Pro at Newport, September 4-9 in Newport Beach, California, at 56th street. The four-star men’s and one-star women’s World Qualifying Series (WQS) event carries a total of $65,000 in prize money. The contest will also feature an amateur competition, and the Vans/Surfing Magazine Airshow series (SMAS), with an additional $8,000 in prize money.
“We are pleased that Rip Curl has come on board – they simply get it,” said Alan Gibby, executive producer of the PSTA and DynoComm. (DynoComm, the surfing industry’s premiere TV production company since 1982, acquired the PSTA in fall 2000.) “They truly understand that competitive surfing has experienced a decline on the U.S. mainland in recent years, and as a result they are making a strong statement on where it should go now. There will soon be other PSTA announcements that should generate some excitement in the surf industry,” he continued.
“The Rip Curl Pro at Newport will be an awesome event, and is the impetus for something really exciting in terms of domestic competitions,” said James Sampson, chief operating officer for Rip Curl.
A major sponsor of worldwide surfing events for 31 years, Rip Curl has been looking for a domestic event in the mainland U.S. and is thrilled to ink a deal with the PSTA. Sampson continued, “We really need to bring American competitors back to America to compete on their home turf. This tour gives us the opportunity to crown a domestic champion.” Rip Curl teamriders competing in the event include Pancho Sullivan, Chris Davidson, Nathan Hedge, Mick Fanning, Anthony Petruso, Mike Losness, Gabe Kling, and Jamie O’Brien.
The Rip Curl Pro at Newport takes place the week prior to the Billabong Pro World Championship Tour (WCT) stop in Orange County. As a result, organizers are expecting many of the top American WCT surfers to be in town to compete in the event, along with many domestic and international WQS competitors. “While the City of Newport Beach has hosted a local amateur surf contest at the same venue for 13 years, it’s the first time ever to escalate into a contest of this magnitude,” said Darren Brilhart of SMAS and organizer of the City of Newport Beach pro/am contest for the last 13 years. “September is usually a good time of year for south swells, and 56th St. is know for its long hollow left,” he continued.
The event includes:
The Rip Curl Pro at Newport, with PSTA competition beginning on Tuesday Sept. 4. The men’s quarter, semis and finals and the girls’ semis and finals take place on Sunday, Sept. 9. Stop number six on the Vans/Surfing Magazine Airshow series (SMAS), taking place at 54th street between Sept. 5 and Sept. 8, depending on wave conditions, with the finals scheduled for Sept. 9. Now in its fourth year, 45 surfers from around the world will compete in the “above the lip” competition for the $8,000 prize purse. City of Newport Beach amateur event starting on Sept. 8 with divisions including open men’s, girls’ and high school through elementary school. Finals are scheduled for Sept. 9. (MORE)
The PSTA also has a solid TV package in place that includes national cable airings, syndication and international distribution. Results and highlights will be available on the Net and in the surf media as well.
The PSTA’s goal is to offer events that showcase competitive surfing domestically. On that note, all PSTA events in 2001 will be ASP sanctioned, giving U.S. surfers increased opportunities for WQS points. The PSTA is majority-owned by DynoComm, which has produced over 1,200 extreme sports related TV programs since 1982. The Emmy Award winning company which has covered ASP Tour events for over 18 years, are owners of ESPN’s X Surf Series and helped bring the Bud Surf Tour into prominence by producing the TV programming for Prime Network.