Surfing classic carves its way back onto the waves
SURFING: After almost a decade of sitting on the shoreline, the Pacific Hotel Pippie Beach Classic is set to make a triumphant return to the waves on Australia Day.
The Angourie Boardriders Club showcase event was a major drawcard for the region in the past and the club is excited to bring competitors back to local beaches.
While the event will only be open to Angourie Boardriders members, the entry fee for the event covers a year-long membership to the club, which is expected to lead to a healthy crowd returning to other club events during the year.
Angourie Boardriders contest director Ben Churton said the event was aimed at Australia's favourite holiday as it is inside the peak tourist periods.
"This way we can start the boardriders year off with a bang,” Churton said.
"The competition has always been in January for those peak surf conditions, but I think having it on Australia Day should allow us to draw a great crowd.”
While he admitted it would be "baby steps” for the event's return with the classic only starting off with four separate divisions.
The four divisions will include Open Men's, Open Women's, Under 16s and Over 45s with the club intending to host a number of past Classic competitors.
"This is all about getting those old blokes back involved in the club and rebuilding the boardriders back to what it was,” he said.
"The Classic provides that incentive for the blokes to return and maybe get involved in more club events through the year.”
There will be major prizes on offer across all divisions with the Opens Men competing for a $1000 cheque provided by event major sponsors Pacific Hotel.
The division is expecting to see some of the older heads around the Clarence Coast locking horns with the unbridled talent rising through the junior ranks.
The last Open Men's winner Dan Ross - who lifted the Classic crown 10 years ago - is already waxing up the boards in anticipation as he faces off against Angourie young buck Chris Zaffis.
"Those young blokes are really building a profile for themselves on the local breaks and around the world but to see them come up against some local legends is going to be awesome,” Churton said.
Local surf school teacher Jeremy Walters is also expected to wax up the board and will likely come up against eldest son Dakoda Walters.
Underground rippers Zane Byrne and Lawrie Towner will also impress at the tournament.