GOLD COAST, March 25, 2010: The TSB Bank Women's Surf Festival, the third event on the Association of Surfing Professionals' Women's World Tour, has received further industry endorsement with Billabong joining the event as a platinum sponsor.
The involvement of Billabong follows extensive discussions with Surfi ng Taranaki, the event organizers, and carries added significance for Taranaki's most successful surfing export, Paige Hareb.
Paige, who is in her second year competing on surfing's 'Dream Tour', is sponsored by Billabong. "The involvement of Billabong is an endorsement of the event, but it is also a show of support for Paige in front of her home crowd at Taranaki," said Billabong New Zealand marketing manager Scott Casey.
"This is New Zealand's first ever world tour event and Paige is the country's first ever surfer to qualify for the elite tour, so we wanted to acknowledge those milestones through some involvement in the event. The opening up of a new location on the Women's World Tour is an exciting development and one that is endorsed by Billabong."
The week-long festival, which runs from 10-16 April, begins with the New Zealand Women's Open on day one and is then followed by a six-day contest window for the U21 Australasian Girl's Pro Junior and the Women's World Tour event featuring the world's top 17 surfers.
Surfing Taranaki executive officer Craig Williamson said Billabong's involvement in the TSB Bank Women's Surf Festival was welcome. "The people of this region will be getting right behind Paige Hareb so it is great to see her sponsor sharing in that excitement," said Craig Williamson.
It is a sentiment shared by Paige as she prepares for the second event on the 2010 Women's World Tour, the Rip Curl Pro at Australia's Bells Beach starting on 30 March.
"I'm excited to be representing Billabong and it is great to hear they have come on board as one of the event partners," said Paige. "Taranaki has some incredible waves so it I can't wait to show all of the girls my part of the world and at the same time show my home crowd the incredible competition at the elite level."
Paige, who is ranked equal ninth in the world after the season-opening event, has a strong sporting pedigree. She grew up playing tennis, soccer, basketball and rugby and was also a member of the New Zealand academy for skiing. But it is in surfing that she excels and she is looking forward to the week-long festival which is based at New Plymouth's Fitzroy Beach.