Professional surfers from all over the world will be descending on the northeast-Sydney district of Manly in February to participate in the inaugural Australian Open of Surfing event.
The inaugural Australian Open of Surfing takes place from February 11 to February 19 at the long and beautiful Manly Beach, half-an-hour’s ferry ride from the Circular Quay ferry terminal in the heart of Sydney. The ferry terminal is next to the Sydney Opera House and is located near the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
More than 100,000 surfers, tourists, and Sydney-siders are expected to flood the beach to attend the free nine-day event, which also includes a Skate Bowl featuring the world’s best skateboarders and 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, the official tourism organization of the eastern-Australia state of 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,” added Chipchase.
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, which makes the event likely to draw notable athletes from around the world.
Large-scale music performances from Australian bands and artists will also be presented throughout the event, drawing music lovers out to Manly Beach for music in the 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, California in July 2011 and a 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 and nightlife and also offers contemporary fashion boutiques, museums and adventure activities.
At Manly beach, adventure and sports enthusiasts can also partake in beach volleyball, kayaking, paddle boarding, surf lessons, or even whale watching. The more retail-oriented traveler can stroll through Manly’s stores, arcades and boardwalks discovering Australian handmade jewelry, clothes, shoes and artworks.
For the Australian Open of Surfing, Destination New South Wales and STA Travel are partnering to offer affordable travel packages to young travelers starting from $1,383 per person including round-trip airfare from Los Angeles and five nights’ accommodation at a choice of hotels. Additional nights are available from $54 per person.
Rates are based on twin-share accommodation valid for travel from February 16 to February 20. Prices are valid for students or those aged 26 years or less. For more information and to purchase travel packages, visit 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 athletic heritage. Many of the world’s top surfers call New South Wales home, among them Sally Fitzgibbons, Layne Beachley and Barton Lynch.
For more information on the inaugural Australian Open of Surfing, visit www.Sydney.com.